A huge 90% of Tasmanian consumers would prefer to buy locally produced meat that is guaranteed free from chemical residues, according to a survey conducted last year by the Tasmanian Farmers’ & Graziers’ Association, and now such meat will be easily identifiable with a new labelling system.

From next month, the new labelling scheme will inform consumers if the beef is locally produced and free of antibiotics or hormone growth promotants (HGPs), which are primarily responsible for chemical residues. The label will include the signature of Tasmanian Premier Jim Bacon.

Tasmanian Angus beef exported to the Jusco supermarket chain in Japan will carry the same label, which local producers hope will help boost sales after BSE was discovered in Japan’s national herd.

The Mercury newspaper reported that 50% of Tasmanians source their meat products in supermarkets, but many major retailers are sourcing increasing quantities of beef from outside Tasmania. Grocery giants Woolworths and Coles Supermarkets Australia have said that they will not participate in the scheme.