Food and agribusiness in Tasmania
Tasmania has a strong agricultural tradition and the sector is highly diversified. Activities fall into six main areas:
- mixed farming enterprises, incorporating broadacre cropping, wool and livestock production
- fruit (including stone, pome fruit and berries) and vegetable production
- viticulture and hops
- pigs and poultry
- niche production such as seeds, honey, ginseng, olives, nuts, truffles, herbs, cut flowers, bulbs and essential oils
Tasmania enjoys excellent growing conditions, affordable land, relative freedom from pests and diseases, abundant water resources and strong research and development capability. Tasmania also has a strong fishing and aquaculture industry, particularly in the area of salmonid aquaculture.
Tasmania’s food processing sector includes dairy products, meat, seafood (Atlantic salmon and ocean trout predominantly, but also abalone, mussels, oysters and scallops), potatoes and other vegetables, confectionery, beer and wine. There are many small producers of boutique beverages, preserves, olives and olive oils, small goods and baked goods. In particular, boutique cider and whisky from Tasmania is gaining attention in national and international markets.
Tasmania is a net exporter of food-based agricultural products. The state is well connected to markets via sea and air, and has the capacity to supply fresh product into the Northern Hemisphere in its off season. The industry services a range of market segments, from commodity through to premium and niche, and supplies the local, national domestic and international markets.
Employment and flow-on benefits from this sector accrue largely to Tasmania’s rural and regional communities.