As we emerge from lockdown, the world is looking a little different and so too is our attitudes toward how life will look from here on in. It seems we have had time for some deep reflection in this unprecedented pause from our frantically busy lives. For many of us, this reflection time has encouraged us to make some positive changes in our daily lives, changes that support a more sustainable future. One realisation that is becoming far more apparent is our unsustainable reliance on imported goods. The holt and delay to exported goods has affected us all in some way during the pandemic and has served as a real wake-up call about where our money is being spent. With a changing economic climate, there has never been a better time to shop local and support Australia.
Surprising as it may be, it is often the consumer’s dollars that speak the loudest and it can in fact create some big changes as to the way companies operate. The simple act of buying Australian goods and services certainly speaks volumes, especially in times like these. Keane (2020) from the Daily Telegraph recently reported that if households spent $50 a week buying Australian made good, this could create a $30 billion-dollar boost which would fuel the nation’s COVID-19 recovery and not to mention create tens of thousands of jobs.
Sure, we have all heard that buying Australian made and owned is good, but we hear you ask, but why and how does this flow-on effect help me?
So, let’s take a look at the humble slab of beer. Something I am sure we can all agree is an essential purchase in our weekly shop?
There is no doubt the choice of brews can be utterly overwhelming, and we naturally seem drawn to the old faithfuls that we know and love, all the big-name brand name brews, but what happens if next time you pull up at the bottle’O you dig just a little deeper in the cool room, hunting down those three sweet little words ‘Made in Australia.’
Here is what might just happen in making this one small swap
You will be receiving a product that is likely far more superior. Australian Made products are held extremely accountable in regards to quality and performance through various laws and rules, some argue these stringent regulations are some of the most difficult to comply with in the world. And with a huge amount of Australian made products created using quality, local ingredients, made by highly skilled individuals, with a deep level of care placed in the manufacturing process, as the beer connoisseur that you are, you will be picking up all those robust flavours of this outstanding boutique brew.
Perhaps relating more to products that aren’t drinkable, you can also expect consumer guarantees that are fair superior to its imported competitors. This means as the purchaser you can rest assured you are receiving a safe, long-lasting, high-performing product often with life-time guarantees and easily accessible repairs and parts promises.
You will be helping to maintain local manufacturing but what’s more you will be helping to retain the skills for this manufacturing here in Australia. Imagine what our country would look like if a whole generation lost the art of brewing beer? Now that is un-Australian! It is in our best interest to pass these trade skills on to future generations so they can continue this magic process right here in Australia.
To purchase a brew from one of your fellow Aussies, you are buying from a home-grown expert. These business owners know our tough climate, the blistering sun, stretching long dusty plains, and they know just the right balance of flavours required to quench one’s thirst after a hard day on the tools. Locally produced means their products are made by Aussie’s for Aussies, and they know how to deliver.
You can even reduce your carbon footprint! Buying products made in Australia means far fewer carbon miles and greenhouse gas emissions that are created in transporting your brew. Just ponder the carbon creating miles on a certain European carton.
With stringent environmental guidelines and policies that must be adhered to in the manufacturing process here in Australia you could expect a product that is far more environmentally sustainable too.
And let’s not forget the impact of that $50 bucks you just spent on the slab. This is where the flow-on effect really takes place. When you buy Australian made, you are not just supporting the manufacturer and its works (which by the way, is no small feat) you are also supporting Aussie businesses and workers right the way along the supply chain, from farmers to truckies, even to the keyboard tapping accountants.
And these dollars still stretch further. With the entire Australian supply chain chipping away with consistent work they of course pay their taxes, therefore allowing the Government to increase their spending on valuable infrastructures like hospitals, sporting facilities, and schools. It is this trickle-down effect that is imperative in times of crisis like these.
Now just imagine if you got every one of your mates to make this one small swap in their buying habits at the bottle’O? It was the Australian Bureau of Statistics who completed a survey on household spending, and they discovered that out of our $666 billion we as Australia’s spend on living costs, $14.9 billion was spent on booze alone! The buzz of the flow-on activity around this figure would be mind-blowing, not to mention the huge increase in demand for more brewers! And for every one extra brewer in manufacturing, you can expect this to create 3-4 other jobs in other parts of the supply chain (Keane, 2020). And in times like these, I think we could all use a few more jobs floating around.
It is in our nature as Australian’s to lend a hand in times of need, and right now Australian owned and operated businesses are suffering. Following the devastating effects of the 2019/2020 bushfire season and then compacted with the constraining restrictions of COVID-19, now is the time to lend that hand. Get curious about where your purchases come from, be aware of where your dollars go and use this as your helping hand towards a country that is thriving and proud of its home-grown achievements.
Keane, A, 17 October 2020, Dollars and jobs that flow form buying Australian-made goods, https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/dollars-and-jobs-that-flow-from-buying-australianmade-goods/news-story/39e6cd00c094fe6fb55a8eba35fdf1c5.
Technology Core, 2020, The benefits to buying Australian, https://technologycore.com.au/the-benefits-to-buying-australian/ .