The Australian Made Campaign has contacted all major political parties, urging them to take country-of-origin branding more seriously.
Australian Made Campaign chief executive Ian Harrison told SmartCompany that a letter had been sent earlier this week to highlight the importance of political support for country-of-origin promotion.
He argues this would help support manufacturers, farmers and food processors producing Australian goods, which have struggled due to the high dollar and tough economic climate.
Harrison says the value of promoting Australian made goods has been “consistently underestimated” by government and bureaucratic circles for many years. Failing to promote goods that are Australian made is a “waste of an asset”, he says.
He wants whichever party is elected at the September 7 federal election to “strategically engage” with the Australian Made Campaign to increase country-of-origin promotion.
A key issue he wants addressed is the implementation of stricter guidelines concerning what makes a product legitimately Australian made, in order to qualify for the Australian Made logo.
“Greater clarity will reduce consumer confusion and scepticism about genuine country of origin claims”, he says.
The problem arises when products have mixed origins, such as pork that is cured overseas but packaged here, or fish that is imported then crumbed locally.
Harrison argues that promoting Australian made products is a cost effective action, compared to many of the millions of dollars that are being pledged pre-election in industry solutions. He says it will boost the struggling manufacturing industry and improve job prospects.
The Australian Made Campaign is yet to receive a formal reply from each political party contacted, Harrison says.
The Australian Made logo, which has been in operation for 27 years, is used by approximately 1800 businesses nationally, across 10,000 products. The logo is known for its green and gold kangaroo, and is a registered trade mark in Australia, South Korea, the US, China and soon also in Singapore.