Promoting Quality Tasmanian Food and Drinks Sat 26 May 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Economic Development The Minister for Economic Development, David O'Byrne, today launched an innovative campaign encouraging Tasmanians to buy local food and drinks. The new and distinctive Taste Tasmania logo will make it easier for shoppers identify Tasmanian products. Tasmania's My Kitchen Rules cooking show finalists, Megan and Andy, will also host in-store cooking demonstrations at selected IGA supermarkets. The Tasmanian Government has invested $300,000 to develop and roll-out the campaign. Mr O'Byrne said it will highlight Tasmania's high-quality but affordable food and beverage. "We know from research that customers prefer to buy local products if possible," Mr O'Byrne said. "That's both because they love Tasmanian quality, and want to support local businesses and jobs. "But sometimes it can be difficult to work out what's local and what's not. "This new campaign puts Tasmanian products front and centre in participating stores. It raises their profile, and makes it easy for Tasmanians to buy Tasmanian. "Megan and Andy's involvement also adds a bit of showbiz. My Kitchen Rules has become hugely popular, and offers a great platform to help boost people's interest and appreciation of local produce," he said. The State Government has a strategy to sustainably increase Tasmania's food production and become a major supplier of premium food - locally, nationally and internationally. "The Government's Economic Development Plan is all about making the most of Tasmania's natural strengths," Mr O'Byrne said. "Playing to our strengths is the best way to find new markets, strengthen local supply chains, and create new and lasting jobs. "Our high-quality food and beverage industry is one of those natural strengths, and a key priority for Tasmania's diversified economic future," he said. The Tasmanian Government is proud to partner with the Tasmanian Independent Retailers / IGA group, the Tasmanian Hospitality Association, and the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association to support and promote the campaign. All independent retailers have access to materials highlighting Tasmanian products in their stores. Other retailers, restaurant owners, producers, independent and specialist stores are being encouraged to get involved, and several have already expressed interest. For more information on the Taste Tasmania campaign, contact Angela Cranwell at the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts on 6233 5813.