Overseas opportunity pays off
International Alpaca Exports
Mission: Grasp new business opportunities
Who did it: Alpaca breeders Steve and Sue Ridout have always tried to make the most of every business opportunity — selling everything from alpaca meat to manure.
Several years ago they spotted an opening that has transformed their business from breeding to organising the country’s largest exports of alpacas to Asia.
The realisation they could expand the export side of the business dawned on them in 2013 when the Ridouts heard Chinese organisations were interested in importing breeding stock.
Steve knew he could call on logistical knowledge from his previous career in oil and gas to take his business to a new level.
In October 2014, after months of negotiations between Australian and Chinese authorities, the Ridouts supervised a record live shipment of 525 alpacas to China.
These were followed the first export of alpacas to South Korea. They have also exported to Taiwan, New Zealand, Japan, UK, Europe, South Africa and the US.
They rebranded their business from Wildflower Alpacas to International Alpaca Exports to better describe their growing business.
In any business, diversification is key, Steve says, but with livestock it is particularly important.
“We were really lucky that Steve knew the logistics industry, but we also knew our product extremely well,” wife Sue adds.