Monday, 8 February 2010

Building Brand Tasmania...... what Tasmanian food bowl?

Watching the first 2010 episode of Landline on ABC-TV yesterday, I watched their report on Tasmania’s Food Bowl with great interest, but found the big question they asked extremely interesting – and relevant.

The question was – whilst Tasmania is frantically marketing itself as clean and green, disease-free, being blessed with a natural environment to provide safe food, with a geography and climate which provide a natural advantage over our competitors – does food and produce from Tasmania actually taste better?

Everyone in Australia who cares about the food miles issue, and prefers to buy locally (and believe me there are many who DO) will buy locally – ie NOT Tasmanian, so, if they’re in Victoria, or NSW, then they’ll buy local produce. Why wouldn’t they?

So who are we marketing this clean green food to? Is the marketing geared towards overseas markets exclusively?

According to the spokesperson on Landline from the Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, who are currently testing local carrots v mainland carrots for taste, people buy first and foremost for quality, value and freshness.

Where the product comes from is down the list, and only comes into play after the first three prerequisites are ticked. So branding something as Tasmanian wouldn’t mean a hell of a lot to Victorian customers.

In fact, according to Landline, all home grown chips in Australia come from Tasmania, but are not labeled as being Tasmanian, but rather as generically Australian. Simplot (distributors of frozen chips, peas, beans – all Tasmanian) claims mainlanders don’t differentiate between Tasmanian and Australian. They feel that having a picture of a Tasmanian farmer (I’m not clear whether or not it actually says on the pack that the picture is of a genuine Tasmanian farmer though) on the front of some of their frozen products suffices.

Jane Bennett from Ashgrove Cheese said that she didn’t feel that labeling something as being made in Tasmania necessarily addressed the needs of the customer, and that being a Tasmanian producer is not enough.

This was Part 1 of a 2 part report on the state of Food Bowl play in Tasmania, so I will be watching eagerly again next week to see what Part 2 reveals.
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

I wonder what Bartlett thinks of that.

Anonymous said...

bartlett doesnt think.