With Efic’s Export Line of Credit, Toowoomba-based Pixie Ice Cream was able to deliver on a significant export order into New Zealand.
Established in 1959, Pixie Ice Cream (Pixie) was Queensland’s alternative to the major brands of the day.
Now with three generations of the family running the business, Pixie, the manufacturing arm of the business, has two well-known retail brands added to the mix – Home Ice Cream and Darling Downs Ice Cream.
The business is located in Toowoomba. “It’s important to us that we remain a strong business so that we can support the local farming supply chain through our main supplier,” said Justin Reisinger, Global Business Development Manager at Pixie.
“Pixie makes the ice cream for our two retail businesses, for some private label businesses and we also do contract manufacturing.”
Exporting only began for the business a couple of years ago. “We felt like we had a great product. We use fresh milk delivered daily from local farms around the Darling Downs, and we also have machine capacity,” said Justin.
“The reality is that export helps with our volumes and economies of scale that support the factory, local farmers, and the families that work for us. It just made sense to try and enter new markets, so we decided to look at Asia. We managed to secure ongoing contracts in Singapore and Taiwan.”
Opportunity over the Tasman
With exports growing in Asia, Pixie secured a significant contract a little closer to home.
“The contract was for a company in New Zealand and consisted of about 55, 40ft containers of ice cream. It was high volume and represented a major uplift in our production schedule.
“The deal kept growing by the week and we realised that we needed funding to manage the cashflow. Barriers to entry are very minimal when you’re exporting to New Zealand, but an order of this size and volume adds real pressure on the business.”
Working together with Pixie’s bank, Efic was able to provide a $1 million line of credit to help with the manufacture and delivery of the New Zealand contract and support the business with other export deals over the year.
“It was a very straightforward process when working with Efic. They were very supportive and worked with our bank as well. The bank saw it as a positive that Efic was coming in to support us. They thought it was great.”
“Without Efic’s support, it would be very difficult to grow and deliver on export contracts at the rate that you can as a business. You do the deal, you get these big contracts, but if you can’t cashflow it, you’re in big trouble,” explained Justin.
What’s next for Pixie? “We’ve secured the New Zealand contract for next year, and we’ll be consolidating and building our existing export markets, and looking at new markets to enter,” said Justin.