Nominated by the Victorian Government for a business migration visa, Chau Tran has launched a vitamin export company, working with South Gippsland Dairy.
In 2016, Vietnam-born Chau Tran, her husband and five children bought one-way tickets to Melbourne after they were selected by the Victorian Government’s business nomination visa program. They purchased a dream house in Noble Park and got busy establishing their new life.
“We chose Victoria as it has been the fastest-growing city economically in Australia,” Chau says. “I love Melbourne’s quality schools, diversity, cleanliness, greenery, and the fact it has four distinct seasons (while in Vietnam we have two seasons: sunny and rainy).”
Although she had made a name for herself in the catering industry back in Vietnam – providing meals to factories in industrial zones – in Melbourne Chau identified an entirely new area where she could carve out profitable returns: exporting vitamins.
It was a matter of having the confidence to take the leap.
Which she did - big time.
In February 2020, Chau and her husband founded Pearls Nature Pty Ltd, working with South Gippsland Dairy to export bio-colostrum vitamins (popular in Asia for its touted gut and immunity benefits) created from colostrum from Gippsland cows. (Colostrum is the anti-body rich first milk produced by mammals following delivery of the newborn in the first few days after birth.)
Things moved swiftly.
Their first shipment – 275 60-gram pouches of colostrum powder and 350 bottles of Natural Vanilla Tablets – arrived in Vietnam in October 2020 and the business has taken off.
“I’m aiming to achieve an export turnover of $350,000 to $400,000 annually for the first two years,” Chau says. “And from the third year, my expected turnover should be over $500,000 if I can realise the market development plan in Vietnam.”
Personal ties are helping to deliver that goal.
“While I was living in Melbourne, I usually assisted my Vietnamese friends and relatives to buy health products and supplements. Vietnamese people have strong confidence in made-in-Australia health products.”
Chau is determined to become a leading distributor and supplier of premium quality colostrum in Vietnam: “we have a plan in place to develop our distribution network all over Vietnam covering all major cities and provincial markets.”
While she has hired one Melbourne staff member to help manage export documentation, Chau is taking on most of the distribution management single-handed. “I myself find the market and buyers in Vietnam. I use my business contacts and assist buyers to develop a distribution network in Vietnam.”
For more information about choosing Victoria for your business, visit liveinmelbourne.vic.gov.au
Q&A: Shelley Walker, Marketing Director, South Gippsland Dairy (SGD)
SGD’s partnership with Chau Tran’s business is helping to bolster Gippsland’s $7 billion food and fibre sector.
How has the Victorian Government supported you in this partnership?
We’ve had great support through Food & Fibre Gippsland: they’ve done a promotional video for us that we may use for export opportunities. And they’ve been very helpful in giving information on government regulations/requirements for export.
Are you exporting to other countries, too?
At this stage we’re only exporting to Vietnam, but I’m exploring five other countries as export options through Export Connect.
How big is the colostrum export market for Australia?
We’re the only Australian colostrum producers. But there are many other companies that buy in colostrum from overseas and repack.
Why is this export partnership such a strong business opportunity for Gippsland?
Gippsland is becoming a great region for quality exports; I hope I can work with Pearls Nature in the future to advise them of other amazing Gippsland products they may be able to export. We’re hoping that through export, we’ll have the opportunity to expand our business over the next few years and take on many more farmers and create more job opportunities in the South Gippsland area.