Trevor at Golden North's factory in Laura
Case study /
Unlocking economic opportunity

Trevor: exports

Image: 
Linda Roche/DFAT
LAURA, AUSTRALIA

Although more of a vanilla man himself, Trevor Pomery now spends much of his time tasting, mixing and making green tea ice cream. Trevor is Marketing and Export Director with the Golden North ice cream company based in Laura in the Flinders Rangers in South Australia.

Golden North started making ice cream in 1923. When the owners wanted to exit the business in 2010, five South Australian families banded together and bought the business. ‘We’d all been involved in the company, had a desire to see it continue and had faith in the future of the company’, Trevor says.

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Close up of Trevor holding a Golden North ice cream product

Trevor Pomery. Image credit: Nathan Fulton/DFAT

A desire to ‘expand beyond our postcode’ saw the company work closely with Austrade to start exporting their premium ice cream products to China. While travelling in China and speaking with his customers, Trevor realised that developing different flavours would be a boon for the company. He worked with Golden North’s Research and Development Manager to create new green tea ice cream flavours and Austrade helped him find international students to taste test the new products. Golden North will launch its new green tea flavoured ice cream later this year.

Laura is a small country town, it’s 550 people…we employ about 65. So if we grow, it’s really good for the local economy.

Along with new ice cream flavours, Chinese demand for high quality, clean Australian products has led to a new opportunity for Golden North: fresh milk. The company now airfreights 4,000 litres of fresh milk to China every week. The China – Australia Free Trade Agreement has helped. ‘There’s obviously tariffs when you go into a country, and part of the free trade agreement is the decrease in the tariffs...So what it does is make our product more competitive with the locally produced product’, Trevor says.

Golden North’s success in China has positive flow-on effects for the local community. ‘Laura is a small country town, it’s 550 people…we employ about 65. So if we grow, it’s really good for the local economy. It’s also very good for the dairy farmers, because all of our milk is sourced as close to the farm as we can…and the more we sell, the more milk we need’, Trevor says.

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Trevor Pomery in work clothes, shovelling sawdust into a furnace

Trevor shovelling sawdust into the furnace at Golden North Ice Cream's factory. Image credit: Linda Roche/DFAT

Golden North is also experiencing the benefits of working across both hemispheres, with part of the attraction of the north Asian market being that ‘their summer is our winter’. This means that Golden North can operate at full speed year-round, employing more staff and increasing hours for casual staff to meet demand.

Trevor and the team at Golden North are working towards an eternal summer of sorts, with benefits for the beautiful town of Laura, as well as the lucky ice cream consumers of China and Australia.