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TAS Country : July 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010 Tasmanian Country 7 News Little guys after leg-up ALL APPLES: Primary Industries and Water Minister Bryan Green talks to Nick Nikitaras and apple and cherry producer Howard Hansen. Picture: LEIGH WINBURN It's local, it's fresher, there's less travel, it's cheaper to transport, which reduces the environmental costs and people want to support local producers.' JENNIFER CRAWLEY SMALL producers are in danger of being overlooked by the State Government's Food Bowl strategy, a lead- ing Hobart grocer said this week. Hill Street owner Nick Nikitaras said farmers needed more than irri- gation infrastructure to help break into new mar- kets. Co-ops were needed to help smaller producers scale up and negotiate. ''Smaller producers have been forgotten in all this,'' Mr Nikitaras said. ''They need help to crack the big markets. ''A grower co-operative should be a big part of the food-bowl strategy.'' The Tasmanian Food and Beverage Industry Score Card for 2007-08 was released this week. It shows a burgeoning agri- cultural sector, reflected in the local produce at the Lauderdale and West Hobart Hill Street shops. Tasmainan pumpkins, apples, red onions, garlic and walnuts were highly sought after by Tasmanian and interstate customers. ''Business is good,'' Mr Nikitaras said. Interstate visitors specifically look for Tas- manian produce when they visit the store, he said. ''There is a perception out there that Tassie pro- duce is fantastic -- the cheese, the fruit and the vegetables,'' he said. ''It's local, it's fresher, there's less travel, it's chea- per to transport, which reduces the environmental costs and people want to support local producers.'' Latest figures from the score card for 2007-08 show farm gate sales in Tas- mania increased by $169 million from 2006-07. Dairy sales rose by $98 million, vegetables by $43 million, wine grapes by $15 million and cherries by $15 million. Value-added foods have increased by $218 million from 2006-07. Dairy products rose by $106 million, beer by $74 million and vegetables by $53 million. Ninety per cent of Tas- mania's food trade revenue is generated by only 10 categories -- dairy, confec- tionary, salmon, potatoes, beef, abalone, beer, lobster, carrots and onions. The significant growth has been in interstate mar- kets, where food sales have increased by $154 million since 2006-07. Major contributors were dairy ($115 million), beer ($66 million) and veg- etables ($23 million). The value of the agricul- tural and seafood sectors has increased by $730 mil- lion over the past 10 years. Primary Industries and Water Minister Bryan Green, at the Lauderdale to release the figures, was surprised to see pumpkins from his home town of Forth when he bought some apples from Mr Ni- kitaras. ''They're bound to be good pumpkins,'' Mr Green said. People and tools for prosperity JENNIFER CRAWLEY A STELLAR line-up of Tas- manian agricultural ex- perts is assembled for this years Midwinter Gather- ing at Quamby Estate. Work smarter, not harder is the theme for 2010 conference organised by the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Associ- ation of Agricultural Con- sultants. Farmer advocate Ric- hard Bovill, dairy farmer Grant Rogers, renewable energy boss Peter Rae, irri- gation consultant Chris Thompson, digital adver- tising guru Phillip Drury, garden designer Tim Barbour and agribusiness banker Donna Avery are speaking on the day. ''It is our people that make Tasmanian agricul- ture prosper,'' event organ- iser Rachel Brown said. Award-winning dairy farmers Grant and Mel- anie Rogers will present Smart Ideas for Profit and Lifestyle in Dairying, in which they will share tips on practical dairying. The Rogers moved to the Derwent Valley from New Zealand in 2003 in search of water and affordable land. They restored a rundown property to the point where they were awarded 2010 Dairy Farmers of the Year. Digital advertising e7x- pert Phillip Drury will ex- plain digital channels available to market farm produce. Mr Drury will use the Betta milk ad cam- paign as a case study to highlight the scope of integrating traditional and digital marketing. It was important to understand how Facebook, Twitter and blogs could influence purchasing decisions. Mick Lehman from Agricultural Resource Management will talk to farmers about GIS, GPS and Precision Ag techno- logies and mapping tools. Mr Lehman will preview farm mapping software called My Farm just re- leased by the Department of Primary Industries. ''Tasmania is lucky to have some fantastic GIS resources for agriculture and NRM,'' Mr Lehman said. ''This workshop is about letting people know what is available and how we can all work smarter using the spatial techno- logies now available.'' In the afternoon, partici- pants can choose to go a farm bus tour, attend a rural garden design work- shop, a Cape Grim beef paddock-to-plate cooking class, a soil carbon work- shop or a workshop on making confident business decisions. The Midwinter Gather- ing on August 12 at Quamby Estate is spon- sored by Cradle Coast NRM, NRM North and NAB Agribusiness. It costs $99 if you book by today. Contact Rachel Brown 0419 528 428. VOTE 1 LIBERAL on Senate ballot paper to RE-ELECT ADVERTISEMENT ABETZ, Eric PARRY, Stephen BARNETT, Guy Authorised by Jonathan Hawkes, Level 1, 25 Davey Street, Hobart LIBERAL PARTY LIBERAL PARTY ABETZ, Eric LIBERAL PARTY PARRY, Stephen LIBERAL PARTY BARNETT, Guy LIBERAL PARTY LA 17167dev Your Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team Advancing Tasmania's Interests Senator Guy BARNETT Senator Eric ABETZ Senator Stephen PARRY 1
August 5th 2010