With a renewed focus on buying Australian Made and supporting local manufacturers, Australians are seeking to do their bit to fast-track the country’s recovery from COVID-19.
While this renewed pro-Australian sentiment presents an opportunity for Aussie manufacturers to expand their markets, it also presents consumers with a challenge—how can they be sure the products they are buying are genuine Australian products?
Australian Made Chief Executive, Ben Lazzaro, explained, "The ‘made in Australia’ claim has never been more powerful than right now. It tells consumers that the products that carry the claim are made to some of the highest manufacturing and safety standards in the world, with inputs often sourced from Australia’s clean green environment. It also makes a compelling statement about generating local jobs and economic activity.”
It’s no surprise that products that carry ‘made in Australia’ branding are viewed in a positive light, even more so in the current COVID-19 and bushfire-effected retail environment. As a result, ‘buy local’ campaigns have gained momentum along with the emergence of new brands, retailers, social media groups and e-commerce platforms that seek to celebrate and promote all things connected with Australia.
While this unprecedented level of support for ‘buying local’ is welcomed, it’s important that the ‘made in Australia’ claim is not confused with other aspects of ‘Australianness’.
Mr Lazzaro said, “Often, the ‘Australian Made’ claim is conflated with the ‘Australian Owned’ claim. While both claims resonate with some shoppers, they mean very different things and are not interchangeable. Add the ‘Designed in Australia’ claim into the mix, along with myriad Aussie marks and symbols, and it’s easy to see how consumers can quickly become overwhelmed and confused, or in some cases intentionally mislead. Intentional or not, all such claims are policed by the ACCC.”
So, what should consumers look for to be sure the products they are buying are genuinely Australian?
“Here, the famous Australian Made logo provides a solution for both consumers and businesses. As Australia’s only registered country of origin certification trademark, the Australian Made logo is the true mark of Aussie authenticity,” Mr Lazzaro said.
The Australian Made logo is Australia’s most trusted, recognised and widely used country of origin symbol, and is underpinned by a third-party accreditation system administered by the not-for-profit Australian Made Campaign Ltd (AMCL). The logo can only be used on products which meet the criteria set out in the Australian Consumer Law and the Australian Made Logo Code of Practice.
For more than 30 years, the Australian Made logo has helped thousands of brands communicate their Australian credentials to consumers, businesses and all levels of government. It does this instantly and clearly, making it a powerful sales and marketing asset for authentic Aussie brands, and a helpful shopping aid for consumers around the globe.
While the Australian Made logo provides some country-of-origin certainty from an on-product branding perspective, consumers still need to navigate the numerous online retailers, e-commerce platforms that offer Australian products for sale, as well as the many well-intentioned social media groups presenting information about Australian products and the issues affecting their production and sale.
“Here, consumers need to maintain their vigilance, researching, questioning and only buying and engaging with trusted platforms with the appropriate compliance and governance protocols in place to ensure the Aussie products are genuine and the information accurate,” said Mr Lazzaro.
Despite the challenges, it’s important to remember that Australian industry needs the support of consumers more than ever. “With that in mind, let’s support our Aussie manufacturers regardless of their ownership structures—some manufacturers will be Australian-owned businesses and some will not,” said Mr Lazzaro. “Regardless, our Aussie manufacturers are all making products to some of the highest standards in the world, creating jobs and positive knock-on effects throughout the supply chain, to ultimately help deliver a more prosperous and self-sufficient Australia.”