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Greens continuing to help King Island farmers rebuild abattoir

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 17 Jun 2013

The Greens vision for the future of Tasmania's diversified, brand-driven economy was today supported by an independent feasibility study of a locally owned and branded abattoir on King Island.

Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson and Tasmanian MP Basil O'Halloran recently visited King Island to introduce financial experts to beef farmers in a move to promote the development of a new independent, farmer owned abattoir on the Island.

Today they welcomed the release of the Government consultant's findings that a new abattoir could succeed if there was enough local farmer support, and if innovative business models for processing and marketing was adopted.

"For many hard working King Island farmers this issue has only arisen because a big multinational corporation put the profits of its shareholders before their needs", said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

"To bed this down quickly the proponents now need a retail/wholesale champion and cornerstone investor.

"Specialist banking company Greenard Willing's director Glenn Fozard has been in contact with potential high end distributors and investors over recent months following our meeting with King Island farmers in March.

"If business as usual is not working for King Island then this is a golden opportunity for farmers to now take control of their own destiny, by value adding and owning their own supply chain and brand.

"It could also be a watershed for Tasmania, with the right attitude and business structures in place it would be a role model for other agricultural producers in the state who want to look at alternative marketing, processing and branding opportunities.

"What we need now is for all parties to urgently get on with the next steps in this plan to get King Island producers moving forward after many were abandoned by JBS," he concluded.

The Greens are also working hard to help Tasmanian farmers by tackling national competition and food labelling issues, as well as having direct dialogue with farmers to establish alternative business models that could help underpin a brighter future for some of Tasmania's agricultural businesses.


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