An introduction to Tasmania’s food and beverage advantage
Tasmania, a group of Australian islands washed by the unpolluted Southern Ocean, has won respect as a supplier of fine, safe food. Celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda said recently: ‘I think of Tasmania as beyond organic.’ More than a quarter of the total land area of 68,300 sq km (about the same size as the Republic of Ireland) is committed to food production, while a 3,200 km coastline is ideal for catching or growing excellent seafood. When Tasmania was selected as the centre piece of a Restaurant Australia promotion in 2014, the head of Tourism Australia, John O’Sullivan, described the State as an ‘emerging food and wine superpower.’
Tasmania, a temperate Australian island group, is ideally positioned to supply out-of-season fresh food to the northern hemisphere. When it is winter in the north, it is summer in Tasmania. Crops are at their peak and are being harvested and prepared for export.
Recent large-scale irrigation projects have increased cropping land. The new infrastructure protects farmers from drought and has opened the way for diversification of farm activities in drier regions.
‘As a food lover with a passion for natural flavors, I knew I had found a paradise’Tetsuya Wakuda on his initial visit to Tasmania in 1990.
Ideal climate and soils
Tasmania has an ideal temperate growing climate and some of the world’s most fertile soils. Rain is plentiful in traditional growing areas.
No genetic risks
The Tasmanian Government has placed a moratorium of at least five years on the commercial production of genetically modified crops. Hormones and antibiotics are not used to promote growth in livestock – good news for health conscious consumers.
Recent concerns about food safety in an increasingly polluted world have focused attention on Tasmania’s famously clean air, ample supplies of clean water and freedom from many of the outside world’s pests and diseases. A European berry producer has recently invested in Tasmania because ‘the biosecurity is unique in the world.’
Low chemical use
Tasmanian farmers have no need to use many of the chemicals that are routinely applied to food crops in other regions. This means Tasmanian food is more natural and healthier.
The people who operate Tasmania’s farms take pride in being at the cutting-edge of production methods, packaging and marketing. Primary industry innovation is supported by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and private-sector specialists.
Digital farm data
Sense-T uses real-time data from sensors, along with spatial and historical data, to build a digital view of the entire state. Sensors used include tiny ‘back-packs’ carried through the environment by bees. Sense-T is unique and it is transforming the way Tasmanians manage their food production.