Boost for Tasmania's organics industry

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 Group."

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.