Tasmania’s bountiful supplies of fruit are renowned for their delicious flavour and are recognised by food connoisseurs across the world.
Tasmania grows temperate fruit - pome, berries and stone fruit including cherries.
Fruit growing is one of Tasmania’s oldest agricultural enterprises and has shaped the future of many regions of the state. In the early days of the industry, Tasmania shipped a large volume of apples to Europe (predominantly to the United Kingdom) with counter seasonal supply. Berries were also grown in large volumes used for processing by Hobart based operations such as IXL.
Today, the focus is more on fresh produce for the domestic market and a broad range of export markets. Tasmania’s fruit industry has a farm gate value of $300 million and continues to expand with a focus on providing premium quality fruit to national and overseas markets.
A favourable climate
Tasmania’s temperate climate provides the essential winter chill followed by a long, mild, growing season to support fruit development and enhanced flavour. The state’s rugged geography also creates niche micro-climates throughout the state, allowing a diverse variety of products to be grown and harvested fresh from late spring through until late autumn.
Regular rainfall sweeps in from the Southern Ocean providing clean water in our rivers, and is captured and redirected through Tasmania’s extensive network of hydroelectric dams and irrigation schemes.
Safe and secure
Tasmania’s island status and risk-based quarantine controls mean Tasmania also has the advantage of relative disease and pest-free status. This allows access to a number of international markets, including Asia, where stringent import regulations are in place.
Tasmanian stone fruit and berries also have a clear, late seasonal timing advantage within Australia and overseas. The timing of Tasmanian production also provides counter-seasonal supply opportunities to the northern hemisphere.
Fresh is best
The Tasmanian fruit processing sector remains small, with the majority of players being micro or small operations (predominately preserves and jams) servicing niche markets. There are now a number of small processors in the industry producing a range of value-add products, such as juices, purees as well as freeze dried products and flavour concentrates.
Small agri-tourism ventures, especially those attached to farms, are increasingly moving into other fruit-based value-add products such as ice cream, baked items, fruit wines and chocolates.