Tassie farms on a $2b high

TASMANIA’S record-breaking agricultural sector has passed the $2 billion gross farm gate value barrier for the first time.

The 2019-2020 Agri-Food Scorecard released this week shows the agricultural industry has grown by 13 per cent to $2.15 billion.

The state’s overall agri-food value grew to $3.22 billion, and the value of food produced after packing and processing grew to $5.27 billion.

Tasmania produces a staggering 5.5 times more food than is consumed by resident Tasmanians, with the surplus sold interstate and overseas.

Tasmania’s 2019-2020 Agri-Food Scorecard notes seasonal conditions, access to irrigation and export growth as key drivers of the continuing expansion of the agricultural industry.

The ScoreCard measures and reports on the value and final market destinations of the state’s agriculture, food and beverage production, providing data including: the value of food and non-food agriculture and seafood production; the value added to packed and processed food along the supply chain; and the market destinations into which the products are sold.

The North is the epicentre of agriculture holding 45 per cent of the farmland, carrying 1013 farm businesses, North West 16 per cent of farmland and 857 businesses, South 39 per cent of the farmland and 650 businesses.

The sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector is Tasmania’s second-largest, employing about 14,500 people, nearly three quarters of them full-time, and accounting for 9.1 per cent of Gross State Product in 2019-20.

Tasmania leads the nation with its strong agricultural performance.

The Agri-Growth Scorecard demonstrates why Tasmanian agriculture continues to lead the nation, and we remain securely on track to achieve our target to sustainably grow the value of Tasmania’s agricultural production to $10 billion by 2050.

In 2019-20, the value of Tasmania’s international food exports reached a record $954 million and the value of total agri-food exports increased by 23pc to $1.08 billion, accounting for around 29 per cent of Tasmania’s total merchandise exports. Rabobank’s latest quarterly Rural Confidence Survey shows that Tasmanian farmers remain among the most confident and optimistic in the country.

For the second consecutive quarter, 100 per cent of Tasmanian farmers surveyed expected current business conditions to continue or improve further over the next 12 months.

Big gun backs Tassie brand

TASMANIA is set to have its own branded mark on supermarket produce signifying its origin after Coles and Brand Tasmania launched a new partnership last week.

The partnership marks the first time a major retailer has adopted the Tasmanian mark for the promotion of Tasmanian-made and grown products.

The brand has already been taken up by Tasmanian brands Cripps and Ashgrove Cheese, as well as Coles’ Tasmanian-sourced lamb line GRAZE.

Premier Peter Gutwein said it was a clear sign of confidence in Tasmania’s brand, and that the Tasmanian mark will serve as a demonstration of quality we create.

“When you buy Tasmanian produce, you know you’re buying the best of the best, all underpinned by your environmental sustainability, quality control and strict biosecurity.”

Nick Haddow, chairperson of Brand Tasmania, said: “Tasmanians understand why Tasmanian-grown and produced food is different, and it’s about so much more than our clean air and fresh water.”

“It’s our culture of hard work and our shared passion for quality.”

Tasmanian growers, producers, makers and creators are also being encouraged to adopt the Tasmanian mark on their own packaging to help raise the profile of their products.

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