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Businesses shun local production despite benefits

New research has revealed just 20 per cent of Australian companies have a firm policy for buying Australian made goods wherever possible.

The research report, Corporate Approach towards Buying Australian Made Goods, by Roy Morgan found some 34 per cent of surveyed companies had neither a policy nor a preference for buying Australian-made goods.

“It is worrying to discover that the portion of companies with ‘buy local’ policies in place is so low,” Australian Made CEO, Ian Harrison, said.

“Perhaps even more concerning is the percentage of businesses with no apparent inclination to reinvest back into the local business community they operate in,” he added.

Harrison said the results were both surprising and disappointing, given the importance that consumers and the Government alike place on purchasing Australian made goods.

There’s no question though that Australian made goods are a winner with consumers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) closely monitors country of origin claims and regularly catches businesses falsely using the Australian made logo.

Upon bringing a claim against a Sheepskin boot retailer in July this year for falsifying the products’ country of origin, Deputy Chairman Dr Michael Schaper said the ACCC considers country of origin claims to be a particularly valuable marketing tool for businesses. “Many consumers place a premium on goods that are Australian made,” Schaper said.

In the Roy Morgan research, the top three reasons given by businesses for not having a clear policy or preference for making their products in Australia were:

  • Price (21%)
  • Lack of availability (20%)
  • Value (14%)

Harrison said that it is a misconception to believe Australian products are always more expensive, and the concern needs to be revisited and put into a broader context rather than the price alone.

“We recognise the pressure that many Aussie businesses are under in the marketplace from cheap imports and the need therefore to keep the ‘cost of doing business’ down, but we urge them to consider local sourcing wherever possible,” Harrison said.

“Products made and grown in Australia to our high quality, health and safety standards offer genuine value,” he added.

For businesses looking to use the certified Australian Made logo, more information is available here.

*1,150 businesses completed the survey.