Tasmania look toward organic growth

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 23rd May 2008

Growth in the Australian organics industry has been strong in recent years and Tasmanian Government is now looking toward the organic farming industry to improve food production sustainability.

The Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, David Llewellyn, opened the ‘Organic Conversion and Expansion ­- Steps to Sustainable Success’ conference in Launceston on Wednesday and pledged his support to organic farming. “Tasmania has a natural, clean, green image, and Tasmanian organic products rate highly in quality against other national and international products,” said Mr Llewellyn.

Mr Llewellyn stressed that the organic industry was well placed in the marketing of its products to the world, but urged that Tasmania continue the push to satisfy consumer demand for regular supply and consistent quality. “The Tasmanian organic industry is worth around $20 million, with the national market at $400-$500 million,” said Mr Llewellyn. “In most sectors there’s been a pleasing growth, estimated at 25 per cent.”

“Conferences like this greatly help farmers considering organic conversion. The quality of the event’s local and national speakers will further assist farmers.”

Mr Llewellyn said the Organic Coalition of Tasmania, which convened the conference with the Department of Primary Industries and Water, has a key role to play in the future growth of the industry along with the Organic Federation of Australia.”The Organic Coalition has already shown leadership in fostering partnerships between the industry and Government,” said Mr Llewellyn. “The support from the national peak body, the Organic Federation of Australia, shows that Tasmania is well placed for organic and biodynamic industry growth.”

Australian consumers have slowly been increasing their interest in organic food products, with Don Fraser, consultant to organic retail success story Macro Wholefoods Market, claiming interest in organic food is being driven by parents. “Consumer concern over food origins and ingredients has parents looking for certified organic alternatives,” he said in a statement released by the Biological Farmers of Australia. “This willingness to invest in a child’s health is occurring despite the fact parents may not consume organic themselves. Some mothers are buying two separate rounds of groceries – conventional product for themselves, but organically produced for their children.”