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TAS Country : November 25th 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010 Tasmanian Country 5 News Growers urged to wrap up' markets JENNIFER CRAWLEY SHRINK-WRAPPED veg- etables could be the way out of the doldrums for the state's farmers, says Tas- manian Institute of Agri- cultural Research market- ing man David Wells. Mr Wells is researching the use of cluster chains, a marketing technique that uses value-adding, industry co-operation, networking and briefing to sell prod- ucts. He said cluster chains could be the answer for vegetable farmers who have suffered from process- ing factory closures and reduced potato contracts. ''Tasmania has always been dependant on two foreign-owned processing companies and two retail food supply giants to drive and maintain our farming income,'' Mr Wells said. He said Tasmanian growers were financially vulnerable and at the bot- tom of the supply chain. ''Only those along the chain outside of Tasmania reap the financial benefits,'' Mr Wells said. ''Growers need to think outside the square.'' He said shrink- wrapping, pre-prepared salads, juicing and manu- facturing baby food for Asia could use all of Tas- mania's fresh produce. Mr Wells said cluster chains were used around the world and were suited to the Tasmanian agricul- tural industry because it was small in the economy of scale. ''Cluster chains can cre- ate sustainable competitive participation in the global market place,'' he said. Mr Wells said South-East Asia offered Tasmania the greatest market for export- ing food and beverage. ''Despite the logistics in transporting fresh food over long distances, Aust- ralian high labour rates and the current value of our dollar, some Tasman- ian companies have found market niches which they have exploited success- fully,'' he said. Mr Wells said market penetration in Asia could not just rely on promoting Tasmanian climate and soils and its biosecurity. ''Competition in price and continuity of supply are hurdles that will not go away, and will continue to impede Tasmania's desire to join the world markets,'' he said.''We need to look beyond just selling fresh produce and explore the possibilities of value- adding. We need to become less fragmented and more open to a collaborative and unified style of approach to overseas markets.'' DREAM TEAM: Moving from England to Bushy Park fulfilled Lis and Phil Beattie's aim of owning a dairy farm. Big move pays off for quiet achievers JENNIFER CRAWLEY PHIL and Lis Beattie have been named the winning dairy farmers in the inaugural Virbac Proud Achievers Awards. The awards recognise excellence in animal health management. The Beatties moved from a rented dairy farm in Hampshire, England, to Bushy Park in the Derwent Valley eight years ago. They made the move to fulfil their dream of owning a farm, plus the climate of Hampshire and Bushy Park are similar. But they battled drought conditions in the first six years, only experiencing good rainfall in the past 18 months. The family have worked hard to convert the dryland 680ha Styx River farm into an irrigated dairy farm. The Beatties milk up to 900 cows, compared with the 150 they milked in Hampshire. They have reduced the incidence of mastitis on the property by 40 per cent through their use of teat seal, have decreased their calf mortality to less than 1 per cent, and developed a pasture program to include high-value varieties. The Beatties have won an international study tour worth $12,000. They are still deciding where to go, and are considering Chile and Argentina because their climates are similar to that in southern Tasmania. Dairy judge vet, university lecturer and dairy industry software developer David Beggs said a ''big-picture business focus'' was essential in modern dairying. He said leading dairy producers were always looking at ways to improve the health of their stock for better reproductive rates and increased milk production. ''The importance of animal health cannot be stressed enough,'' Dr Beggs said. ''There are hidden costs in less productive animals, with the additional risk to the reputation of the whole industry when there are adverse welfare outcomes.'' "Husqvarna's got what it takes" MM C ri er 28.0cc - 0.8kW - 4.4kg ro on $ 39* t l 24 rgo series awn owers i N W * Your choice of either a Free Trailer or Sunshade with purchase of LT series tractors. Free Trailer with selected Rider models: R13C, R16C, R18, R15TSAWD. Offer available from 1st September to 31st December 2010, and only at participating dealers. www.hus varna.com.au For your nearest S AR A Specialist Dealer 00 006 037 urnie pp Devonport obart c g ll p t Launceston c t & h Smithton S tht F t & G lverstone N th W t F t & G th l ct - F * rai er or un ha e F rai er va ue at $ 99 F unsha e va ue at $ 79
November 18th 2010
December 2nd 2010