Analysts and industry commentators point to a pull back in mining activity as a key contributor to this most recent decline, in addition to competition from imported goods due to the strength of the Australian dollar. Increased utility costs have also been offered as a contributing factor.
This decline comes despite some indications that Australian consumers are willing to buy locally made products to support Australian growers and manufacturers. In recent research commissioned by the Australian Made, Australian Grown campaign and conducted by Ray Morgan, 87% of Australians demonstrated a strong preference for buying Australian made or grown food and beverages.
Importantly, however, this loyalty to Australian brands does not translate to other product categories such as furniture, clothing, hardware and household appliances, with the majority of Australian consumers being largely indifferent about the country of origin of these products.
Commenting on the Ray Morgan research, Australian Made Chief Executive Ian Harrison warned that consumer indifference to the origin of various products would cause more manufacturing and processing to move offshore, putting Australians across many industries out of work.
While it is undoubtedly outside of Ferret.com.au's mandate to attempt to influence consumer spending patterns with regard to Australian Made products, there are many companies on the site that have embraced the Australian Made, Australian Grown campaign. In this series we will look at some of the more vocal proponents, and their approach to local manufacturing.
At the core of the Australian Made, Australian Grown campaign is the ubiquitous green triangle and golden kangaroo logo. The logo is so well known, in fact, that the previously mentioned Roy Morgan report also revealed that a vast majority (88%) of Australian consumers identified a product as Australian from the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo on the packaging.
Only products that "meet the strict rules approved by the Federal Government and administered by not-for-profit, Australian Made, Australian Grown, are allowed to use the Australian Made logo."
There are three main iterations of the logo, which identify to what extent a product has been manufactured locally. These are:
- Product of Australia - all of the product's significant ingredients come from Australia, and all, or nearly all of the manufacturing or processing has been carried out in Australia
- Australian Made - the product has been made here and more than 50% of the cost of making it has occurred here; and
- Australian Grown - all of the product's significant ingredients are grown in Australia, and all, or nearly all of the processing has been carried out in Australia.