Tasmanian producers could be the eventual winners from an historic healthcare agreement which has been revealed by the Chinese Government with Tasmanian company EPOH Health Tasmania P/L, and announced this week by Tasmanian Federal Senator Eric Abetz.
The opportunity, led by Peter, Elizabeth and Geoff Hope of Hope Pharmacies in Tasmania, will deliver a pilot Pharmacy Community Health Centre model into China – starting with an initial trial pharmacy in Beijing early next year.
NRM South’s interest in the opportunity is considering where the advantages lie for Tasmanian producers.
NRM South is working with Peter and Elizabeth Hope to deliver sustainable farming outcomes on their Redlands Estate property in the Derwent Valley. NRM South CEO Donald Coventry believes that additional opportunities can come from the unique relationship with the Chinese Government.
“China is clearly in the spotlight at the moment. The forthcoming visit from the Chinese President is predicted to put Tasmania in focus. There are two pieces at work here; the first is this tremendous retail pharmacy channel into China that provides potential for Tasmanian producers to access new markets; the second is the underlying focus on high quality food and the benefits for Tasmania in investing in sustainable management practices.
“Through this opportunity, the Hopes have demonstrated how Tasmanian companies can innovate for growth. For NRM South, the sustainable approach that Peter and Elizabeth have applied to their Redlands Estate Farm is our key area of interest. They have used the sustainable approach as a foundation piece for the development of their business model and see it as a market differentiator when Redlands whisky is released in 2016.
“For NRM South it is an approach worth promoting. Our focus is on demonstrating the benefits that natural resource management and sustainable agriculture practices have for the local environment and for farmers and the consumers of our products. That the Hopes are using sustainable agriculture as the basis for a market approach to China is exciting for us, reiterating the value of managing our resources for positive production outcomes,” Mr Coventry explained.
The Pharmacy Community Health Centre model has been developed from a similar business run by the Hopes, which has been operating in Tasmania for 30 years. Specifically ‘the Elizabeth Hope Baby Club”, which is recognised by the Chinese Government as best practice and meeting their needs for a community healthcare intervention. NRM South is continuing its sustainable agriculture trial with the Redlands Estate through into 2015.