Tasmania’s Stories

Dairy industry lauds our brand

Edition 181_Kim Seagram  the Tasmanian brand has never been stronger

The Tasmanian brand is more significant for dairy producers than regional or company brands and should be used more widely, a Legislative Council inquiry has been told.

The inquiry also heard that lack of a certified logo or stamp to guarantee place of origin was holding back investment.

“Everyone knows Tasmania, the brand of Tasmania has more recognition globally,” Legerwood dairy farmer John Williams said.

Former Tasmanian Brand Council member, Kim Seagram, told the inquiry a powerful Tasmanian dairy brand could lead to new opportunities.

Ms Seagram, the co-owner of Launceston restaurants Stillwater and Black Cow and co-founder of Fermentasmania, said: "The Tasmanian brand has never been stronger.”

But the Managing Director of Tasmania Invest, Sarah Hirst, told a later hearing that she had two clients who wanted to invest $800 million to process milk sourced from Tasmanian dairy farms.

She said they were being held back by the lack of a certified Tasmanian dairy brand.

"We don’t have a logo or a stamp that guarantees [the product is] Tasmanian,” Ms Hirst said.

Tasmania Invest has asked for State funding to develop a certification scheme for Tasmanian products, similar to 100% Pure NZ.

“The scheme would be self funding," Ms Hirst said. "Producers have indicated they would be willing to pay”.

The Executive Director of Brand Tasmania, Robert Heazlewood, said: “It’s a good thing and it should happen, but the truth is it’s already under consideration. We are already researching the value and cost benefit of a Tasmanian trademark and a certified mark.”

He said Brand Tasmania had been speaking with copyright and trademark lawyers for more than a year. It would take another year to introduce certification if it was approved.

The Chairman of the committee, Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall said Ms Hirst’s submission had been impressive.

“A clean, sustainable brand [for Tasmania] has some merit,” Mr Hall said.

The inquiry heard discussion about regional brands, such as Duck River, and their effectiveness in international markets.

“The Tasmanian brand as a whole is much more significant than these regional ones,” Andrew Lester of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association said.

The dairy inquiry held public hearings in Launceston and Burnie during February and March and is due to hand down its findings in May.

Meanwhile, Moon Lake Investments has announced that it is converting four dairies in north-west Tasmania to organic production, while embattled exporter Bellamy's Organics confirmed that it aspires to source organically produced milk in the State.

Moon Lake Investments' Managing Director, Sean Shwe, told a forum of the Australia China Business Council in Hobart in February that his company had two key new projects earmarked for this year.

“We have initiated conversion of four of our farms into organic farms. We have started this organic journey and, from March or April, we will start extracting milk using organic methods,” Mr Shwe said.

Moon Lake bought Australia's biggest dairy business, Van Diemen’s Land Company, last year.

It operates 25 dairy farms on and around Woolnorth in the State's extreme north-west.

The company's second project involves three farms being developed to produce the nation's highest-quality milk with the lowest somatic cell counts [a measure of the likelihood of bacterial infection].

“This project is expected to be completed by mid-year,” Mr Shwe said.

In October, Van Diemen’s Land Company unveiled Van Milk which will fly fresh milk to China in partnership with Qantas.

After processing in Hobart, the milk will be on Chinese supermarket shelves the day after it leaves Tasmania.

“So far on our subscription model, we have pre-sold about $3.8 million of Van fresh milk,” Mr Shwe said.

Tasmanian organic milk production appears to remain a goal for baby formula exporter Bellamy’s Australia Ltd.

Before he was deposed in a board upheaval in late February, foundation Chairman, Rob Woolley, said the company hoped to renew efforts towards Tasmanian organic production in the second half of 2017.

In its present form, Bellamy's is not a producer. It imports milk products or buys them in Victoria and uses contractors for its packaging.

Mr Woolley said Bellamy's Asian customers were not yet as focussed on the organic concept as Australians were.

Tasmania's Brand Ambassador, Tetsuya Wakuda, has described Tasmanian products as being "beyond organic".

Image courtesy of The Examiner.

9 March 2017, Edition 181

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Facts about Tasmania


Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located at latitude 40° south and longitude 144° east and separated from the continent by Bass Strait. It is a group of 334 islands, with the main island being 315 km (180 miles) from west to east and 286 km (175 miles) north to south.


Tasmanians are resourceful and innovative people, committed to a continually expanding export sector. In 2012-13, international exports from the state totalled $3.04 billion. USA, China, Taiwan, India, Japan and other Asian countries account for the bulk of exports, with goods and services also exported to Europe and many other regions.


Tasmania is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland or Sri Lanka. The Tasmanian islands have a combined coastline of more than 3,000 km.


The main island has a land area of 62,409 sq km (24,096 sq miles) and the minor islands, taken together, total only 6 per cent of the main island's land area. The biggest islands are Flinders (1,374 sq km/539 sq miles), King, Cape Barren, Bruny and Macquarie Islands.


About 250km (150 miles) separates Tasmania’s main island from continental Australia. The Kent Group of Islands, one of the most northerly parts of the state, is only 55km (34 miles) from the coast of the Australian continent.


Twice named 'Best Temperate Island in the World' by international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Tasmania has a mild, temperate maritime climate, with four distinct seasons.


In summer (December to February) the average maximum temperature is 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit). In winter (June to August) the average maximum is 12° C (52° F) and the average minimum is 4° C (40° F). Snow often falls in the highlands, but is rarely experienced in more settled areas.

Annual Rainfall

Tasmania’s west coast is one of the wettest places in the world, but the eastern part of the State lives in a rain-shadow. Hobart, the second-driest capital city in Australia, receives about half as much rain as Sydney.

Annual Rainfall

Annual rainfall in the west is 2,400 mm (95 inches), but hardy locals insist there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. If you travel 120 km east to Hobart, you experience a much drier average of 626 mm (24 inches) a year.


The 512,875-strong community spreads itself across the land; less urbanised than the population of any other Australian state. Hobart, the capital city, is home to more than 212,000 people.

Capital City

Hobart nestles at the foot of Mt Wellington (1,270 m / 4,000 ft) and overlooks the Derwent Estuary, where pods of dolphins and migrating whales are sometimes seen from nearby beaches. Surrounded by thickly forested rolling hills, the city is home to the state parliament and the main campus of the University of Tasmania.

Capital City

Its historic centre features Georgian and Regency buildings from colonial times. Hobart is home port for coastal fishing boats, Antarctic expeditions and vessels that fish the Southern Ocean.

Land Formation

Mountain ranges in the south-west date back 1,000 million years. Ancient sediments were deeply buried, folded and heated under enormous pressure to form schists and glistening white quartzites.

Land Formation

In the south-west and central highlands, dolerite caps many mountains, including Precipitous Bluff and Tasmania's highest peak, Mt Ossa (1617 m / 5300 ft). More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park and marine or forest reserves.


Vegetation is diverse, from alpine heathlands and tall open eucalypt forests to areas of temperate rainforests and moorlands, known as buttongrass plains. Many plants are unique to Tasmania and the ancestors of some species grew on the ancient super-continent, Gondwana, before it broke up 50 million years ago.


Unique native conifers include slow-growing Huon pines, with one specimen on Mt Read estimated to be up to 10,000 years old. Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King's holly, is a self-cloning shrub that may well be the oldest living organism on earth. It was discovered in 1937.


Tasmania is the last refuge of several mammals that once roamed the Australian continent. It is the only place to see a Tasmanian devil or eastern quoll (native cat) in the wild and is the best place to see the spotted-tailed quoll (tiger cat), all carnivorous marsupials.


The eastern bettong and the Tasmanian pademelon, both now extinct on the Australian continent, may also be observed.


The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was Australia's largest surviving carnivorous marsupial and is a modern day mystery. The last documented thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and although the animal is considered extinct, unsubstantiated sightings persist.

History and Heritage

Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania for about 35,000 years, since well before the last Ice Age. They were isolated from the Australian continent about 12,000 years ago, when the seas rose to flood low coastal plains and form Bass Strait.

History and Heritage

Descendants of the original people are part of modern Tasmania's predominantly Anglo-Celtic population.

History and Heritage

Tasmania was originally named Van Dieman’s Land by the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642. The island was settled by the British as a penal colony in 1803 and the original name was associated with the convict era. It was changed to Tasmania when convict transportation stopped in 1853.


A resourceful island culture has generated leading-edge niche industries, from production of high-speed catamaran ferries and marine equipment to lightning-protection technology.


Tasmanians produce winches and windlasses for some of the world's biggest ocean-going pleasure craft; large-scale inflatable evacuation systems and provide specialist outfit-accommodation services to the marine industry.


The Wooden Boat Centre at Shipwrights Point has re-established the skills and traditions of another age and attracts students from around the world.


Tasmania is a world leader in natural turf systems for major sporting arenas and in areas of mining technology and environmental management. Its aquaculture industry has developed ground-breaking fish-feeding technology and new packaging.


Tasmanians sell communications equipment to many navies and their world-class fine timber designers and craftsmen take orders internationally for furniture made from distinctive local timber.


The state is a natural larder with clean air, unpolluted water and rich soils inviting the production of 100 varieties of specialty cheeses, as well as other dairy products, mouth-watering rock lobsters, oysters, scallops and abalone, Atlantic salmon, beef, premium beers, leatherwood honey, mineral waters, fine chocolates, fresh berry fruits, apples and crisp vegetables.


Tasmania is a producer of award-winning cool-climate wines, beers, ciders and whiskies. Other export products include essential oils such as lavender, pharmaceutical products and premium wool sought after in Europe and Asia. Hobart is a vital gateway to the Antarctic and a centre for Southern Ocean and polar research.


The industries in Tasmania which made the greatest contribution to the state's gross product in 2010-11 in volume terms were: Manufacturing (9.4%), Health care and social assistance (8.2%), Financial and insurance services (7.2%), Ownership of dwellings and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (each 7.1%).

Getting to Tasmania

Travel is easy, whether by air from Sydney or Melbourne, or by sea, with daily sailings of the twin ferries Spirit of Tasmania 1 and 2 each way between Melbourne and Devonport throughout the year.

This site has been produced by the Brand Tasmania Council © 2014

Brand Tasmania

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