Kent Exports sets up in Singapore

Business growth prompts Australian fresh produce supplier to move closer to its customers.

by Matthew Jones

Kent Exports is relocating its head office from Australia to Singapore, as it looks to move closer to its growing customer base.

Set up in 2020, the company specialises in exporting Australian-grown washed potatoes, onions and carrots. Over the past 12 months it has expanded to other lines such as celery, spinach, avocados, strawberries and stonefruit.

“We work directly with many farms across Australia, particularly in the states of Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria,” says Rob Kent, director of Kent Exports.

The company’s main export markets are Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan. The relocation of its head office to Singapore will assist in servicing these markets, while allowing Kent and his team to pursue fresh opportunities in Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

“I have developed strong relationships with some of Australia’s best fruit and vegetable growers and I am now keen to be based closer to my markets, to monitor trends and identify opportunities to grow exports of Australia’s premium fresh produce,” Kent explains.

Kent Exports will continue to be supported by an experienced logistics team in Australia, headed up by Neil Kennelly, who has over 30 years’ experience in the sea and airfreight industry, and has owned and operated his own freight forwarding company.

Kennelly’s experience has proven crucial over the past 24 months, as the company has successfully navigated transport delays and lockdown restrictions to significantly grow its business.

“We have grown new markets for onion exports this year, shipping in excess of 200 containers from Australia into markets such as Thailand, Taiwan, East Malaysia and Singapore,” Kent says. “We’ve also been exporting Japanese onions direct from the farm gate in Hokkaido to our customer base in South-East Asia.

“The Australian stonefruit season has also just commenced and we’re working with one of the country’s leading stonefruit growers to supply apricots, nectarines, plums and peaches to our customer base in the Asian region.”

Looking ahead, Kent is optimistic about his company’s prospects in 2022.

“The situation is still challenging, as various Covid-related restrictions remain in place in many markets and may very well impact the Lunar New Year period, and of course there are ongoing shipping delays,” Kent explains. “However, we have managed to navigate our way through these challenges up until now, and demand for Australian fresh produce remains strong.”

The company has started supplying Australian stonefruit