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TAS Country : February 24th 2011
18 Tasmanian Country Friday, February 25, 2011 Opinion All aboard the brand wagon PLENTY ON THEIR PLATE: David Byard, left, and Brand Tasmania's boss Robert Heazlewood. Brand Tasmania has been around for many years and is making progress.Picture: ROSS MARSDEN CHEWS theFAT David Byard People can say that they are selling Tasmanian produce without their claims being checked and there is very little chance of being found out if the claims are untrue.' LAST week, I tried to articulate the problems I had trying to buy Australian frozen foods in a large supermarket. It was close to an impossible task, rummaging around the bottom of a supermarket freezer, getting frostbitten fingers, and needing a magnifying glass to determine the place of origin. Most of the places of origin I identified were other countries. The Independent Farmers Group, of which I am a member, has been trying for some time to come to grips with this problem and devise an overarching brand that identifies Tasmanian produce that will ultimately give consumers choice. In October last year, the group met and agreed branding and labelling had been bandied about in the industry for years with little action or traction ever being achieved. It was agreed the time had come to change that uncoordinated stagnated effort. The Tasmanian landscape is strewn with programs and labels that have attempted to make consumers aware of local produce. These have not endured, and most consumers still have little idea of what is Tasmanian and what isn't. People can say that they are selling Tasmanian produce without their claims being checked and there is very little chance of being found out if the claims are untrue. At the October meeting, broad principles were discussed and those who attended agreed to the following. A brand will guarantee the products consumers buy is bred, grown and processed in Tasmanian. The brand can apply to all Tasmanian products. The brand will underpin, not replace, any existing brand providing the people producing or processing the goods agree to a system that ensures integrity of product. The brand will be universally recognised and consumers will be left in no doubt as to where the products come from. Claims will be verified through existing Quarantine Australia industry programs. There was also agreement that there were opportunities, including increased profit to farmers and certainty for consumers, levering the health benefits of Tasmanian food. It was agreed it is important to get a truly Tasmanian brand out there that was well recognised and had integrity. Those who attended the meeting believe consumers are the key and if they demand a Tasmanian product the mainland will follow. This doesn't mean to say there are not people already using a Tasmanian logo and not succeeding on the mainland or here. There are, and they will tell you the Tasmanian branding is valued by the customers in these markets. After much discussion with people like Brand Tasmania, the Department of Primary Industries, the Department of Economic Development and others, it was agreed that we needed a functional brand that people could recognise and buy with confidence. Brand Tasmania has been around for many years and is making progress. The new Petuna packaging is a great example of the benefits that flow to those who embrace place-of-origin branding. But there is much more to do to get the critical mass required. It was felt that making Brand Tasmania a recognised and trusted household name may not be all that difficult considering Tasmania's small population. The group submitted a detailed budget submission last December and has been doing the rounds of relevant ministers and departments since. In part, the submission asks for an extension of the Brand Tasmania marketing initiative, making it more commercial and universal and providing support and funding for a basic auditing system to test Tasmanian origin claims. We wait with fingers crossed to see what happens. There needs to be an appropriate organisational structure for the management of a brand in Tasmanian. This is something that the group will be pursuing. We need to make sure there is a high level of ownership accountability and governance to underpin and give confidence to the brand and its management. Industry involvement will be crucial and it is proposed that the group along with Brand Tasmania and some retailers, manufacturers and farmers meet soon to test the assumptions and proposed reforms. This will be done to find a pathway to get industry to use a Brand Tasmania logo that will be recognised by consumers. These products could be red meat, white meat, honey, jam and milk. One of the biggest problems with any brand is integrity and Brand Tasmania is underpinning and will underpin a vast array of products. One of the suggestions is a requirement that anybody using the brand would have to have a recognised QA system. Auditing under the QA system would ensure the product is what it claims to be. But it is important that we don't burden farmers with more regulations and paperwork and it is essential that people who try and use the brand outside the rules are dealt with harshly. 2016746-110225 DAIRY LIVESTOCK FOR SALE* 200 Friesian Cows on forward contract for next season -- calving August onward $1600 30 crossbred heifers $1200 -- top quality 13 crossbred heifers $1200 15 crossbred heifers $1200 Kent Tyson 0428 318 272 Peter Korpershoek 0438 583 108 DAIRY LIVESTOCK WANTED* 150 Autumn calving Friesian cows -- price negotiable on quality Export Friesian heifers for Landmark Global Exports $1250 High cell count cows in calf $100 more than chopper price Kent Tyson 0428 318 272 Peter Korpershoek 0438 583 108 CATTLE FOR SALE* Rising 2yo Poll Hereford bulls $2000 Russell Cowan 0418 346 339 CATTLE WANTED* Lines of store cattle Russell Cowan 0418 346 339 CATTLE AGISTMENT* Weight gain agistment available Kent Tyson 0428 318 272 SHEEP FOR SALE* White Suffolk Rams Russell Cowan 0418 346 339 *Please note -- livestock prices may be subject to GST LOOK TO US TO QUOTE ON YOUR GRASS SEED REQUIREMENTS Call us today on 6452 1034 CONTACT US Smithton 1-3 Rubicon St Ph: 03 6452 1034 Fax: 6452 1089 Longford 10A Marlborough Street Ph: 03 6391 2811 Fax: 03 6391 2209 www.landmark.com.au POLL DORSETS THE PERFECT COMBINATION STILL NUMBER 1 THE PRODUCERS CHOICE TRIPLE COMBINATION DRENCH FOR SHEEP www.polldorset.org.au Martin Dumaresq Mt Ireh, Longford "We have been using Poll Dorsets Rams for over 20 years. 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February 17th 2011
March 3rd 2011