VDL Farms

VDL Farms is committed to sustainable land and stock management practices, animal health / herd quality, and pasture renewal.

We are proud to be able to provide investment and employment in our home state of Tasmania.

Historical Background

VDL Farms is one of Australia's oldest companies. It was established in London in 1824 following a meeting of eleven men closely connected with the English Wool Trade and Textile industry. 

In 1825, the following year, King George IV signed a parchment document granting VDL 350,000 hectares of land in the fledging colony that was to become Tasmania.

The Company operates under Royal Charter, to which was attached the King's Great Seal. To this day VDL has maintained the tradition of a Court of Directors, chaired by a Governor rather than a Board with a Chairman, and is believed to be the only Charter Company still operating on part of its original land grant.

VDL Farms became part of the New Zealand publicly listed company Tasman Agriculture Ltd in 1993.

Tasman Agriculture Ltd was put into voluntary liquidation on 31 October 2001, following a restructuring of its New Zealand Farms, and its shareholders received one share in Tasman Farms Limited for every share held in TasAg by way of an in-specie distribution.

In June 2004 VDL purchased all the shares in Tasman Farmdale Limited, which owned a further 11 dairy units in the Circular Head region of North-West Tasmania.

Tasman Farms Limited, a New Zealand Company, is the current majority shareholder of VDL Farms, owning 98.42% of shares on issue.

Management of VDL Farms is undertaken from a small, modern office located in Smithton, within 40 minutes of all farms.

VDL has 75,500,000 shares on issue.

In late 2007 the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC), based in the Taranaki region of New Zealand, launched a takeover bid of Tasman Farms Limited. In February 2008 this bid was finalised with the NPDC purchasing 74.33% of Tasman Farms Limited. NPDC has since increased its Shareholding to 100%.


With records dating back to the incorporation of the Company in 1825, these historical documents represent the single largest opus of Tasmanian history.

To ensure that the safety and state of these records is preserved, the National Archives Office in Hobart has catalogued and attended to the storage of these documents in a climate-controlled enviroment.

At 31 May 2006, Mr Robert Broughton of Broughton Archival Consultancy assessed the value of this collection as AU$1.44 million.