Mercury (Hobart)

Tassie ices deal to feed explorers


explorers will be fuelled by Tasmanian coffee, eggs and ice cream as

part of a $30m-a-year deal struck between local suppliers and new research ship, the RSV Nuyina. Tasmanian Shipping Supplies has signed a 10-year deal to be the ship’s provedore which means they will be plying the crew with Tassie food and drink.

Director Richard Fader said the scientists and expedition­ers came from around the world but were all impressed by the calibre of Tasmanian produce.

“A lot of the expedition­ers say they eat better on the ship and on the stations than what they get at home,” Mr Fader said. “We’re certainly well known for not only our food but also our beverages that go to the French and Italian stations. “It’s a great opporANTAR­CTIC

tunity to display Tasmania to the world.”

One of the suppliers is Tasmanian Coffee Roasters’ Rachel Sansom, who sends about 800kg of roasted beans to the Antarctic every year.

Ms Sansom said many expedition­ers got hooked on Tassie coffee, taking several bags back home with them once their voyage was over.

“We actually get a lot of staff down at Antarctica come and buy the coffee from us when they get back home because they really like the product and they like to continue drinking it,” she said.

“[They sent us] photos of our bag of coffee with some walruses and another of a bag of coffee on the runway down at Antarctica with a big penguin.”

Valhalla Ice Cream’s Luke Atkin said he sent about 1500 litres of ice cream to Antarctica every summer, despite the freezing temperatur­es.

“You think of ice cream in the warmer weather but everyone needs a special treat now and then,” Mr Atkin said.

“Most of our product stays here in Tasmania so to get it outside and down to somewhere where there are some internatio­nals is definitely a nice feeling.”

Golden Free Range egg farmer Steve Pavlides said his company would apply a special massage oil to the eggs so they survived the long journey aboard the rough seas.

Mr Pavlides said they would be going into overdrive to provide enough eggs to keep the crew fed.

“We try to do our stock rotation so we have surplus eggs, because we’re only as good as our hens, so we try to keep our hens fit and healthy as we can so they can produce beautiful eggs,” Mr Pavlides said.

“It definitely helps our bottom line.”

Expedition­ers have previously found themselves stuck on the mainland after having their G2G passes rejected due to not being deemed essential workers.

But Transport Minister Michael Ferguson said the government was working to ensure there would be smooth sailing for voyagers.

“Just as we did last year, we are now in the final stages of negotiatin­g arrivals for expedition­ers to enjoy the use of Hobart and Tasmania as the gateway to get to Antarctica for their expedition­s this season,” Mr Ferguson said.

“It certainly does mean very strict protocols around vaccinatio­n and quarantine for any arrivals that would then travel on to Antarctica, so we have it covered.”

The RSV Nuyina icebreaker is making its way around the globe and is due to dock in Hobart next month.

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