Food and agriculture

Famous for its gourmet foods and premium wines, Tasmania's food and agriculture industry is one of the state's most prominent and successful sectors.  Home to an impressive array of producers, the state boasts flagship brands - such as King Island dairy products, Huon Aquaculture and Tassal salmon, Petuna Seafoods, Cape Grim beef, King Island beef, Josef Chromy wines, Moorilla Estate wines, Tasmanian Estates wines, Cascade and Boag's beers and Cadbury chocolate and confectionery - as well as a number of boutique brands.

Tasmanian agriculture and aquaculture sector is highly diversified and includes:

  • dairy
  • fruit (including stone fruit, apples, pears and berries) and vegetables
  • viticulture and hops
  • poppies and pyrethrum
  • beef and lamb
  • pigs and poultry
  • mixed farming enterprises incorporating broad acre cropping and wool and livestock production
  • Atlantic salmon and ocean trout, abalone, mussels, oysters, scallops and rock lobster
  • niche production such as seeds, honey, ginseng, olives, nuts, berries, truffles, herbs, cut flowers, bulbs and essential oils.

Alongside the state's primary production activities, Tasmania also has a thriving food production sector.  This sector includes dairy products, meat, seafood, 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.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to the growth of these sectors, and believes there are particular opportunities for investment in wine, dairy, berries and poppies.

The Tasmanian wine industry is particularly well regarded for the quality of its products and the state is recognised as one of the world's best locations for future investment.

In 2012, the Drinks Business magazine recently published its list of the 10 top vineyard investments and named Tasmania as the second most attractive investment location in the world.  The article stated that, 'Tasmania is the only Australian state where its entire grape production is genuinely in a cool climate' and further noted that:

"Tasmanian wines are 'punching considerably above their weight" in relation to the tiny fraction of national production and the relative youth of the current industry.

"While vineyards are being removed in other parts of Australia, the Tasmanian wine industry is enjoying modest growth, with recent investments confirming Tasmania's position as a premium cool climate wine region.

"[Tasmania] is a particularly attractive investment location for those seeking to expand or diversify their businesses, due to the region's cool climate, affordable land, abundant water resources and relative pest and disease freedom.

More recently, the ABC's article Thirst for cool climate wine triggers vineyard expansion explains that "The growth in premium wine sales, lucrative grape prices and long-term contracts is making Tasmanian viticulture, very appealing".

The dairy industry is the largest segment of Tasmania's agricultural industry and is a significant contributor to the Tasmanian economy.

Tasmania benefits from excellent growing conditions for lush pastures, underpinning the production of premium-quality dairy products.  Tasmanian dairy cows spend their time outside all year round grazing on grass and clover whilst enjoying some of the cleanest air in the world.

The state's dairy farmers benefit from low-cost, pasture-based production systems underpinned by reliable rainfall and increasing irrigation options.  This translates to lower costs of production, considerable growth potential and a more reliable milk supply when compared with many dairy districts both in Australia and internationally.

Tasmania's dairy industry offers many investment opportunities including large-scale pasture-based milk production, specialty cheese manufacturing and large-scale dairy commodity processing.

Tasmania offers:

  • a temperate climate, distinct seasons, reliable rainfall, clean air, and rich, fertile soils
  • the only Australian state free from fruit fly, potato cyst nemotode, tobacco blue mould, and other major pests and diseases
  • high biosecurity with an indefinite moratorium on genetically modified crops
  • infrastructure support with major irrigation projects to efficiently and sustainably utilise our significant water resources
  • strong trade with proven domestic and international markets
  • research and development partnerships between industry, university and government - Tasmania's research and development community works together for improved productivity, safe food production, and resource management
  • counter-season supply - Tasmania's location enables Tasmania to supply fresh produce to northern hemisphere markets.

To find out more go to:

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment