• Staff Writers

Most Australians want to buy local goods

More than half of Australians want to be able to buy locally sourced and produced products, the Commonwealth Bank says in research findings released during the inaugural Australian Made Week.

Australian Made Week runs from May 24 to 30 and was launched this week to drive support for local manufacturers and grow domestic jobs.

Industry Minister Christian Porter said on Monday:

"The government is backing local manufacturers to scale-up and grow, especially in the COVID-19 recovery, and I strongly encourage members of the public to search for the Australian Made logo the next time they head to the shops.
"Every time you buy an Australian Made-branded product you're not just helping that business, but all the others right across the supply chain – and of course the local workers they employ."

The CommBank consumer insights report shows more Australians are choosing to shop locally, supporting local online retailers and manufacturers as well as suburban shopping centres and neighbourhood stores.

CommBank's Jerry Macey says Australian businesses are adapting to consumers' changing needs and their customers have noticed.

"It's a credit to these businesses that they've been able to adapt and thrive during such a challenging period.”

The federal government has put $1.5 billion into its modern manufacturing strategy, while providing more than 2300 grants since July 2018, worth more than $780 million.

Mr Porter also recognises the importance of the instantly recognised Australian Made logo, with a $5 million grant given last year to extend its international reach.

Food and grocery manufacturers believe the sector has opportunities to grow through exports and innovation to meet rapidly changing consumer demand, building on the positive direction taken by the government.

However, a new report from the Australian Food and Grocery Council warns that inaction could not only miss the opportunity to grow but risks further offshoring manufacturing and a decline in Australia's long-term ability to meet its own food and grocery needs.

AFGC Chief Executive Officer Tanya Barden said:

"Australia's well-deserved 'clean and green' reputation will not be enough to ensure our sector remains competitive in either the domestic or export markets in the future.”

The Council's report, produced with EQ Economics, finds the sector's growth potential is contingent on significant investment to boost the sector's competitiveness, agility and resilience.

This includes investment in sustainable packaging, advanced manufacturing and digital technologies.