Tasmania a leader in GM Free, Premium Branding

Tasmania a leader in GM Free, Premium Branding

Tasmania and South Australia are both official GM Free food producing regions. Tasmania has prohibited the commercial production of GM crops for some years now, and has a branding programme to position the state as the home of gourmet foods. As it states, “global negatives” (such as GM foods) can be turned to the state’s advantage. They’ve got a great story…

  • Hormonal growth promotants and antibiotics are banned in cattle
  • Tasmania is free from many of the major pests and diseases – such as mad cow disease, foot and mouth disease, rabies and rinderpest.
  • Tasmania is the only state in Australia free from fruit fly, potato cyst nematode and tobacco blue mould
  • Chemical usage is low due to the absence of major pests and diseases.
  • Tasmania has some of the world’s most stringent quarantine policies.

Tasmania has built a reputation over recent decades as Australia’s gourmet island. Outstanding seafood, a range of more than 100 specialty cheeses, world-famous honey, including organic leatherwood honey from the rainforest, excellent meat and crisp, fresh vegetables attract buyers and fastidious consumers to the islands in the Southern Ocean. Now global negatives are adding a positive local impetus. 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. Tasmanian farmers have no need to use certain chemicals that are routinely applied to food crops in other regions. Because food is GM-free and artificial hormones and antibiotics are not used to promote livestock growth, it is as safe as it is delicious.

Tasmania’s fertile soils, geographical situation, temperate climate and reliable rainfall position it ideally to supply quality food to the northern hemisphere. When it is winter in the north, it is summer in Tasmania and out-of-season produce is being harvested and prepared for export. Potatoes, carrots, peas and beans are staple crops in the rich brown soil of the north-west, where 10 per cent of Australia’s export vegetables are grown. However, Tasmanian farmers are versatile and innovative. When Japanese customers wanted buckwheat and kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) out of season, Tasmanians delivered. Black truffles are being grown with the French in mind; walnuts are destined for the German market. Wasabi is a boutique Tasmanian crop; and locals have found innovative uses for this traditional Japanese condiment.

Lush pastures and ample supplies of good water are competitive advantages in the dairy industry. Tasmania’s dairies supply excellent milk that is the raw material for a stunning array of cheeses and other products. Tasmanian cheeses regularly collect national and international awards. Pasture-raised beef – including Japanese oxen (known as wagyu if raised in Japan) - is another export success story.

Aromatic, full-flavoured leatherwood honey gathered in temperate rainforests has a world-wide following for decades. Now a major producer has achieved organic certification.

The range of products is constantly diversifying. Japanese cherries, Fuji apples, coloured capsicums, olives, myrtus berries, daikon, wasabi, kyoho grapes and saffron are all available from innovative island agriculturalists. Gourmet delis and butchers supply succulent lamb, wallaby, venison and an array of award-winning sausages.