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Following are excerpts of an interview with Bellis Fruit Bars Chairman, Nick Begakis, AM.

The next time you're packing a fruit bar in your child's lunch box, check to see if the name Bellis is on it. If so, you're part of a South Australian success story. Bellis Fruit Bars manufactures around 100 million fruit bars, and if that sounds like a lot, it is!

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"Our success, I would say, has created a lot of 'me-toos'. So now we find some of the very big Multi Nationals competing against us. Bellis Fruit Bars is a small privately owned company, based in South Australia, one of the few such companies still supplying the supermarket chains in Australia. However, we still sell two out of every three fruit bars consumed in Australia. We're the original and still the number one brand."

Nick Begakis, AM.

Bellis uses fruit from the Riverland and from around the world for some of its product that is now processed in its Elizabeth factory. After being ranged in supermarkets and fruit and veg stores across the nation, Bellis is now pinpointing potential overseas markets to add to its existing sales in New Zealand, Singapore, the European Union and the United Kingdom.

"We've realized it's not possible to continue the growth that we've had in Australia for the last few years. Therefore, for Bellis Fruit Bars to grow we have to export and to this extent we've established an office in Millstatt, just south of Vienna, Austria. We've just concluded a long term and successful trial of our product in the European Community."

Nick Begakis, AM.

The Europe drive is coming as the low fat bars have turned into a multimillion dollar business. It's yet another example of this state breeding success. A factor our leaders have recognized by making Nick Begakis AM part of the official Business Ambassadors Network.

Nick uses his frequent business trips to showcase our State's easy traffic flow, stable and competent workforce and low operational costs.

"From a purely business sense, we have a lot to offer and therefore when I'm talking to people from overseas or interstate, or when I'm dealing with people who supply services, then I'm forever being an Ambassador for the State." "

Nick Begakis, AM.

While it's taking time to get the message through, Nick Begakis, AM believes we're on the right track!

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