Choosing Aussie-made

G Magazine

Did you know that earlier this year there was a push for an entirely Australian-made supermarket isle? We ask if an aisle like this is feasible, and look at how we can best support Australian-made products.


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Research shows 65 per cent of Australian shoppers having a strong preference for buying locally made products and produce. But did you know that earlier this year there was a push for an entirely Australian-made supermarket isle?

Glen Cooper, executive chairman of Coopers Brewery, and deputy chairman of Australian Made, Australian Grown (the not-for-profit organisation that approved the use of the Australian Made label) has instigated a controversial way to help consumers choose products that support Australian farmers.

"It's not realistic for busy shoppers to read every label to see its country of origin before you put it in your trolley," Cooper told us. "Supermarkets should be forced to have a certain amount of locally grown content and it should appear in a clearly defined area designated for Australian-made products only."

Ian Harrison, chief executive of the Australian Made campaign says, "the Australian Made aisles would get pretty crowded with shoppers! The vast majority of Australians - 89 per cent - feel very strongly that the fresh food they buy is Australian, and 82 per cent are as avid that the processed food they buy is Australian as well."

Harrison adds that people who buy Australian-made "are supporting local jobs, reducing food miles and contributing to the local economy."

Ingrid Just from Choice told us that "it's just not feasible" and says that efforts should be put towards "better labelling and better requirements for food under the Food Standards Code".

Harrison remains optimistic, saying "whether or not it is feasible comes down to the consumer - if there is enough demand for it, and it is commercially viable, then we imagine it would be seriously considered".

“Manufacturing products and growing produce locally still underpins our community," says Harrison. "It helps create Australian jobs, skills training opportunities for young people and wealth. It needs to be a part of the purchasing decision for all Australians.”

To buy Australian, look for the Australian Made label, and beware of products that say Made in Australia but 'from imported ingredients'.