The Legislative Council inquiry investigating branding Tasmania’s dairy industry plans to present its findings in the spring session of state parliament.
Chaired by Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall, the committee was formed in late 2016 and has spent much of 2017 speaking with milk processors, dairy farmers and agricultural consultants in Tasmania, Victoria and New Zealand about how Tasmanian dairy products should be branded.
Mr Hall said there had been many differing views presented during the committee’s inquiry.
Many believed Tasmania’s clean image and reputation for fine produce should be exploited further to mitigate some of the issues associated with the cyclical nature of dairy prices.
“They are trying to take the edge off that if we can," Mr Hall said.
"We looked at the potential benefit to the economy and examined opportunities for Tasmanian dairy farmers to value add using the Tasmanian brand to produce specialty cheeses, high-quality milk powders and yoghurts.”
Committee members travelled to New Zealand to see how the country’s produce is branded.
“They are a world-leading example of a branded product,” Mr Hall said.
One of the problems with branding all the state’s produce in the way New Zealand does is Tasmania’s brand would be damaged if one producer did not meet standards, he said.
“We agree [a Tasmanian] brand has to be defendable,” Mr Hall said.
“We can’t have a brand saying it’s Tasmanian but not have raw produce sourced here or produced here.”
The committee expects to hold one or two more hearings before presenting its findings to Parliament.
Want to read more stories like this?
Sign up to receive our e-newsletter delivered fresh to your email in-box twice a week.