2012 Tasmanian Exporter of the Year Fri 28 September 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Economic Development Download hi-res version Download hi-res version The Minister for Economic Development, David O'Byrne, today congratulated the family business, Huon Aquaculture Group, for winning the Tasmanian Exporter of the Year Award. Huon Aquaculture is the largest private salmon farm in Australia, with about 400 employees. Its fish are nurtured in a stress-free environment, using sustainable farming systems. "Through our innovation and investment strategies and funding, the Tasmanian Government has been a strong supporter of the aquaculture industry," Mr O'Byrne said. "We know that sustainable, premium industries like aquaculture are crucial for diversifying our local economy. That's why it's a priority industry in our Economic Development Plan. "Congratulations to Huon Aquaculture for this outstanding achievement. "In the past year, it's expanded export volumes and launched premium smoked salmon products into key markets - including Singapore, Dubai and New Zealand," he said. Mr O'Byrne said Tasmania has a strong brand, as well as resilient companies that are constantly striving for new markets. "Our exporters are embracing new technology like high-speed broadband to innovate and boost their appeal, particularly in key Asian export markets," Mr O'Byrne said. "We're working closely with local business to pursue that strategy of innovation. In particular, the Tasmanian Government's Economic Development Plan looks to diversify our economy and find new markets by playing to Tasmania's natural strengths. "There's much work to be done, but it's encouraging to see that strategy starting to pay-off with steady exports and signs of improving business confidence," he said. Overseas merchandise exports from Tasmania remained steady at $3.22-billion, in the year to July 2012. While retail conditions remain challenging, Tasmanian exports are holding-up remarkably well against the high Australian dollar and volatile market forces. The rise of China has been important, with almost 30 per cent of all Tasmanian exports now going to China (including Hong Kong) - up 16 per cent over the past financial year. "The Government is looking to continue that strong momentum, with the Premier recently promoting new opportunities on an Asian trade mission," Mr O'Byrne said. The winners of the 2012 Tasmanian Export Awards are: The 2012 Tasmania Exporter of the Year Award: Huon Aquaculture Group Tasports Agribusiness Award: Springbay Seafoods Pty Ltd Austrade Emerging Export Award: Walnuts Australia Tasmanian Government Information and Communications Technology Award: ISW Solutions Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Small Business Award: Australian Quality Honey Australian Government AusIndustry Manufacturing Award: Specialised Vehicle Solutions Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Services Award: Biofouling Solutions Austrade Regional Exporter of the Year Award: Huon Aquaculture The Tasmanian Export Awards are run by the Department of Economic Development Tourism and the Arts. Winners progress to the Australian Export Awards in November or December.