Jared Ingersoll – 231

Do you buy Australian made?

A few days back I was lunching with a friend who has a really exciting exporting business. We were talking about Australia’s reluctance to truly support Australian native foods and locally made products.

Then a day or two later, talking with a venison farmer – whom, aside from just meat, manufactures products like hides and velvet – the topic came up again. While their whole business philosophy has always been the ‘paddock to plate’ approach and they have steadfastly embraced the importance of Australian made, none of it counts for much if the customers are not buying. Their thinking is fantastic but the reality of their industry is that Australians don’t like eating venison (85 percent of what’s farmed here is exported). Furthermore, to get a hide processed locally is seven to eight times more expensive than overseas.

When faced with a choice we generally forget our emotive words and go for the cheaper option.

Now we have all heard Dick Smith bang the ‘Aussie made’ drum and more than a few foodies talk about the importance of eating locally. But is it the right thing to do?

When faced with the choice of a locally made product or a cheaper imported product, we generally forget our emotive words and go for the cheaper option. Which makes sense because then we are able to save our money for those really expensive imported products like cars, computers, whitegoods, clothes and eating at the table of a foreign celebrity chef. Hopefully you sense my sarcasm here.

I know this rant is rather broad, and it’s not about sour grapes, but I can’t help but think that those of us choosing to live in Australia are constantly missing out on some bloody brilliant opportunities because our vision is clouded by the next big thing coming in from overseas. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is and think a little more about our purchasing decisions, in the kitchen and beyond.

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