There is not much that Tim Groom doesn’t know about exporting onions. So much so that his business Wynyon Pty Ltd, exports on behalf of other onion growers in the northwest, where the vast majority of Tasmania’s onions are grown.
Tim Groom’s business has been exporting onions since 2000, but his experience goes back well before this time — back to the 1980s when he was production manager with Roberts Vegetables Pty Ltd, and then general manager Field Fresh Pty Ltd.
“Tasmanian onions are prized around the world for their great shelf life, rich flavour and beautiful shiny skins — onions don’t get any better.”
Wynyon grows onions in some of the most picturesque farming land in Tasmania — on the top of Table Cape, near Wynyard in the State’s north west.
The varieties grown include Creamgold, Rhinestone, Trekker and Plutonus brown onions and 902E, 903 and Rubillion red onions. The business works closely with Charlton Farm which packs onions for the domestic and export markets.
Key markets for the business are Europe and Asia, particularly Spain, France and United Kingdom where Wynyon is a counter season supplier to Europe. As well as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in Southeast Asia. “Indonesia and Thailand have developed into very important markets for our business. In fact, they are where we are currently focusing a considerable amount of our time,” says Tim.
In relation to supply and prices, improved storage capacity and capability in Europe has allowed for some countries to supply their markets 12 months of the year. Despite this a bad season in one part of the world is an opportunity for other regions to sell more onions.
Wynyon’s reputation for high quality onions is underpinned by the quality assurance systems that it has in place. “All production is compliant with GlobalGAP, and Wynyon is now working on ways of changing growing techniques to fully offset the carbon emissions from transport”, says Tim. Tasmania already sources 100% of its electricity from renewal resources.
Tim believes the key to successful exporting is persistence in tackling market challenges such as increased freight costs. “At the end of the day what matters to customers is reliability of supply, premium quality produce and good customer service. I believe Tasmanian producers deliver that in spades.”