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TAS Country : June 28th 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012 Tasmanian Country 5 News CRUNCH TIME: Eat Well Tasmania's Nenita Orsino says fresh is best. Eat healthily for a fruitful future ROGER HANSON IT'S snack time, and Tasmanians can play a key role in helping the state's fruit and vegetable producers. Tasmania's producers would get an economic boost of an extra 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of fruit a year if the majority of Tasmanians ate the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables. The national recommended intake is two serves of fruit and five of vegetables a day. The 2007-08 National Health Survey found 89 per cent of Tasmanian adults and 8.6 per cent of children (5-17 years) did not eat enough fruit and vegetables daily. Fruit Growers Tasmania (FGT) business development manager Lucy Gregg said fruit groups needed to start taking on the snack food segment. She said peak bodies such as Apple and Pear Australia and Cherry Growers Australia undertake national market research studies to investigate what are the major drivers for fruit purchases. ''We certainly know from our consumer research that quality and price are major drivers when it comes to consumers purchasing fruit,'' Ms Gregg said. ''However, some fruits, such as cherries, are perceived as impulse purchases and therefore we are also trying to present fruit as a healthy option instead of chocolates or other snack foods.'' Eat Well Tasmania executive officer Nenita Orsino said when con- sumption of local produce was low, our fruit industry and communities also missed out on the economic benefits adequate fruit consumption brought. ''We understand that there are various barriers to increasing fruit consumption and there is work under way to address these barriers,'' Mrs Orsino said. ''Eat Well Tasmania is keen to see an increase in collaborative efforts to promote sales, access and consumption of Tasmanian fresh produce, particularly fruit and vegetables.'' Eat Well Tasmania, in conjunction with FGT, is holding Fruitful Futures Seminar in Hobart on Tuesday, with the focus on getting Tasmanians to eat more of the produce grown in their own state. Industry-leading speakers will examine the role fruit has in the contemporary diet. They will also cover Tasmanian fruit purchase and consumption issues, including supply and demand, retail trends, nutritional benefits, incorporating fruit into the teenage diet, access and food security. ''We know Tasmanians are better at consuming fruit than vegetables, but steps need to be taken to lift fruit consumption to meet the benchmark required under the national partnership agreement on preventive health,'' Mrs Orsino said. She said the economic burden of diet-related heart disease, stroke and cancer nationally was estimated to be more than $6 billion a year. ''Conversely, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption by just one serve per person per day would save the Australian health care system $157 million a year in relation to heart disease alone,'' Mrs Orsino said. ''Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption by one serve per day would result in direct health care savings of $180 million annually Australia-wide.'' The not-for-profit organisation Eat Well Tasmania is looking to extend its partnership initiatives to increase promotion and marketing of the health and economic benefits of increasing Tasmanians' consumption of local fruit and vegetables. The seminar on Tuesday is at the FGT office, 262 Argyle St , Hobart. To register, phone 6231 1944 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The cost is $50. TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania Tasmanian Alkaloids are expanding our growing area this season. Talk to your local TasAlk Field Officer, or Phone 6393 5202 2058341-120413 $23m irrigation projects in the pipeline ROGER HANSON Spin-offs for local business MORE irrigation projects worth more than $23 mil- lion are in the pipeline for the North-West Coast. The Deputy Premier and Minister for Primary In- dustries and Water, Bryan Green, said with the $12 million Sassafras- Wesley Vale scheme hav- ing successfully completed its first season, the Govern- ment was looking at furth- er opportunities to expand irrigation opportunities in the region. He said construction of the Kindred-North Motton Irrigation Scheme, south of Ulverstone, was likely to start this year. ''This $10 million scheme has reached the water sales threshold re- quired for the project to proceed to the final design stage,'' Mr Green said. ''The preferred option for the design of the $12.6 million Dial Blyth scheme will soon be presented to the farming community for its feedback. ''We are seeing irri- gation developments like this not only underpinning existing production but providing opportunities for farmers to diversify. ''What we are seeing in Tasmania now is a once-in- a-generation investment in new irrigation schemes that will sustain growth and jobs in the agricultural sector for decades to come.'' He said the Govern- ment's water development strategy was also provid- ing significant spin-offs for local businesses and the wider Tasmanian econ- omy. ''Zezt at Wynyard is a perfect example, with the company winning a $10 million contract to supply high density polyethylene pipe for the Midlands Water Scheme,'' Mr Green said. ''The $104 million Mid- lands project is about to begin and is the biggest irrigation development ever seen in Tasmania.'' Zezt will supply about 100km of pipeline for the Midlands scheme, and with its preferred-supplier status it will be in the running for further major contracts. The first project under the Government's $400 mil- lion irrigation expansion program was completed at Whitemore in the state's North last year. ''We have six schemes complete or under con- struction and a further four at various stages of develop- ment,'' Mr Green said. He said $52 million was allocated in this year's Budget for the construc- tion of the Midlands, Lower South Esk and the Kindred-North Motton ir- rigation schemes and to progress the development of further schemes.
June 21st 2012
July 5th 2012