From the 24th to 30th of May, 2021, Australia is going to celebrate the ‘Australian Made Week’ to encourage consumers to support local jobs and businesses by buying products made and produced in Australia.
This move to shift the focus back onto local manufacturing and production, and engage in industry-building policy comes on the back of several global trends and challenges.
THE NEED TO RE-EVALUATE AND RE-FOCUS
As noted by Philip Toner, the market-driven policies of the past few decades that have led to globalisation and the proliferation of trade have also been ‘hollowing out’ the occupational structure. Middle-wage and middle-skill jobs have been disappearing from local manufacturing sectors, and more low-skilled workers are finding it difficult to receive training and climb the social ladder.
Add to this the vulnerabilities that Covid-19 has exposed in our local manufacturing capabilities, and we can see why there is an increased emphasis on buying ‘Australian Made’ products. With global supply chains cut off and imports brought to a complete halt, Australia realized its crucial weakness: we could not provide strategic goods to our people because we could not produce them locally, and thousands of people were left unemployed because of a diminished manufacturing sector that relied heavily on imports.
RISING SENTIMENT FOR AUSTRALIAN MADE
This has not escaped the attention of local consumers, who are now more eager than ever to support the growth of local manufacturing. According to research by Roy Morgan, 93% of Australians state that they are ‘more likely to buy Australian Made’ products, as compared to 87% last year.
So how can you, as a consumer, buy Australian Made?
At the heart of the Australian Made Week is the Australian Made logo.
Symbolized by a golden kangaroo in a green background, it represents the ‘golden’ quality of Australian-manufactured products that are produced in environmentally-friendly, or ‘green’, ways.
For Australians, this logo is deeply associated with the support of local jobs and employment opportunities, safe and high-quality products, the use of ethical labor, and sustainability.
Centered around this logo, the Australian Made Week seeks to encourage people to consider the downstream effects of their purchasing decisions and realize that when they buy Australian Made products, they are supporting local jobs, businesses, and communities.
The week will progress as a full-fledged campaign with presence on TV, radio, social media, print media, and the internet to maximize its outreach among Australians.
Ultimately, the Australian Made Week is just the start of a long-term shift in purchasing decisions that is needed to channel resources towards local manufacturers and help them grow. Even though the public campaign will come to an end after the 30th of May, consumers should resolve to make every week henceforth an Australian Made Week and continue to choose Australian Made products.
If Australia is to build itself back up after the damage caused by Covid-19 on the economy, it will have to do so on the back of a strong manufacturing industry that produces a wide range of strategic goods and provides employment opportunities to our future generations.