Dairy News Australia - - NEWS / TASMANIA -

The Tas­ma­nian brand is more sig­nif­i­cant for dairy pro­duc­ers than re­gional or com­pany brands and should be used more widely, a Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil in­quiry in­ves­ti­gat­ing brand­ing Tas­ma­nia’s dairy in­dus­try has been told. The in­quiry also heard that lack of a cer­ti­fied logo or stamp to guar­an­tee place of ori­gin was hold­ing back in­vest­ment. “Ev­ery­one knows Tas­ma­nia, the brand of Tas­ma­nia has more recog­ni­tion glob­ally,” Legerwood dairy farmer John Wil­liams said. Former Tas­ma­nian Brand Coun­cil mem­ber, Kim Sea­gram, told the in­quiry a pow­er­ful Tas­ma­nian dairy brand could lead to new op­por­tu­ni­ties. Ms Sea­gram said: "The Tas­ma­nian brand has never been stronger.” But the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Tas­ma­nia In­vest, Sarah Hirst, told a later hear­ing that she had two clients who wanted to in­vest $800 mil­lion to process milk sourced from Tas­ma­nian dairy farms. She said they were be­ing held back by the lack of a cer­ti­fied Tas­ma­nian dairy brand. "We don’t have a logo or a stamp that guar­an­tees [the prod­uct is] Tas­ma­nian,” Ms Hirst said. Tas­ma­nia In­vest has asked for State fund­ing to de­velop a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion scheme for Tas­ma­nian prod­ucts, sim­i­lar to 100 per cent Pure NZ. “The scheme would be self fund­ing," Ms Hirst said. "Pro­duc­ers have in­di­cated they would be will­ing to pay”. The Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Brand Tas­ma­nia, Robert Hea­zle­wood, said: “It’s a good thing and it should hap­pen, but the truth is it’s al­ready un­der con­sid­er­a­tion. We are al­ready re­search­ing the value and cost ben­e­fit of a Tas­ma­nian trade­mark and a cer­ti­fied mark.” He said Brand Tas­ma­nia had been speak­ing with copy­right and trade­mark lawyers for more than a year. It would take an­other year to in­tro­duce cer­ti­fi­ca­tion if it was ap­proved. The Chair­man of the com­mit­tee, Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall said Ms Hirst’s sub­mis­sion had been im­pres­sive. “A clean, sus­tain­able brand [for Tas­ma­nia] has some merit,” Mr Hall said. The in­quiry heard dis­cus­sion about re­gional brands, such as Duck River, and their ef­fec­tive­ness in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. “The Tas­ma­nian brand as a whole is much more sig­nif­i­cant than these re­gional ones,” An­drew Lester of the Tas­ma­nian Farm­ers and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion said. The dairy in­quiry held pub­lic hear­ings in Launce­ston and Burnie dur­ing Fe­bru­ary and March and plans to present its find­ings in the spring ses­sion of state par­lia­ment.

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