|October 10, 2003, Tasmania
Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment:
Organic production in Tasmania has been given a morale boost with
the announcement that Bellamy’s Organic Farms Tasmania has bought
the Parramatta Creek Orchards. Minister for Primary Industries, Water
and Environment Bryan Green said the $3.4-million deal was a vote
of confidence in Tasmania’s fledgling organics industry.
Mr. Green said the company planned to convert the 130 ha Parramatta
Creek Orchards to organic production over the next 6 years - making
it one of the biggest organic orchards in the world. It also intends
to re-commission the processing factory on site.
"The operation of the factory should allow smaller and fledgling
operators to process product on a contract basis," Mr. Green
said. "Demand for organic products is increasing and there
is no doubt there are opportunities to expand the Tasmanian industry.
Bellamy’s hopes this new venture will enable Tasmania to become
a significant player in organics nationally and internationally."
"While conventional farming is being done on a sustainable
basis and there are significant opportunities to grow the sector,
the organics industry broadens the middle ground and enhances Tasmania’s
reputation as a producer of clean quality food."
Mr. Green said Tasmania’s organics industry was worth more
than $3 million to the State.
"With more than 86 certified producers and another 50 in various
stages of certification, Tasmania has the largest acreage under
organic farming per head of population in Australia. This Parramatta
Creek deal is a positive step towards the realization of the Tasmania
Together goal of achieving a 700 per cent increase in organic production
by 2020. The State Government has made a significant commitment
to support the development of the organics industry in the State,
most recently with the formation of the Ministerial Organics Advisory
The existing workforce at Parramatta Creek will be maintained with
more staff expected to be needed as the conversion of the orchard
and re-commissioning of the factory began.