Aussies could inject an extra $5 billion into the economy each year just by buying Australian-made products

  • CEO of Australian Made Ben Lazarro wants Melbourne’s latest lockdown to remind Aussie consumers of the importance of buying local.
  • Australian Made Week, which ends on Sunday, seeks to hammer home the economic benefits of choosing Australian-made products.
  • “Consumers know if they see those products they can buy with confidence and not worry about where the product’s from,” Lazarro said.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

If every household spent an additional $10 a week on Australian-made products, it would inject an extra $5 billion into the economy each year and create up to 11,000 new jobs, according to new research from Roy Morgan.

That’s what Ben Lazzaro, chief executive at advocacy group Australian Made, hopes Australians will do.

His organisation kicks off Australian Made Week on Monday — and he wants to spend every last minute of the week ensuring Australian consumers are aware of the massive impact their purchases could have in boosting the country’s economy over the next 12 months.

As part of the first-ever Australian Made Week, May 24-30, the campaign urges shoppers to buy one extra Australian-made product a week.

Over 4,000 businesses are licensed with the green-and-gold Australian Made logo; the only registered country-of-origin certification trade mark for Australian products and produce.

Model, businesswoman, designer, social media influencer and Australia Made ambassador Elyse Knowles.

Elyse Knowles — model, businesswoman, designer, social media influencer and Australia Made ambassador — said $10 is a small price to pay to help support local makers and growers.

“There are so many high quality Australian products,” Knowles said, adding that “in nearly every product category there’s an Aussie option – so why wouldn’t you want to buy local?”

With a social following of 878,000 that she’s sharing her Aussie purchases with, she said she hopes others will do the same.

“When you’re making purchases – whether it’s flowers, bedlinen, sunscreen or socks – go for Australian Made or Grown, and spread the word on your socials by posting about your buy with #AustralianMadeWeek,” Knowles said.

Lazarro told Business Insider Australia that, particularly in the current economic climate, as international border closures, trade disputes and rolling lockdowns impact businesses, it’s more important for consumers to think about who their money is going to.

“More than half of the businesses… that carry the Australian Made logo are exporters,” Lazarro said.

“Many of those would certainly have been impacted.”

Lazarro believes the pandemic has shown Australians “the importance and the impact their purchasing decisions can have when they do choose to buy local and support, not only local manufacturers and growers but also businesses.”

He said that with the increasing likelihood that we “will all be spending a lot more time in Australia,” the silver lining is the opportunity to support more local businesses and makers.

“Whether that be in the Metro centres or in the regions; that is a positive outcome of a situation none of us want to be in,” he said.

Every Australian Made product purchased is directly supporting a sector of 900,000 people and thousands of businesses across the supply chain, Lazarro said, with one job in manufacturing producing three to four jobs in other parts of the economy.

Anton McKernan, general manager of Australasia’s largest mattress and foam manufacturer, The Comfort Group, said he considers his Australian Made certification a “badge of honour”.

“All of our brands are supported by Aussies who work every day to produce high quality products that are distributed across Australia,” he said.

“Australian Made Week is a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on those interesting and inspiring people behind local brands and manufacturing.”

Lazarro said that while support for, and trust in, Australian brands has always been strong — 99% recognise the Australian Made logo and 92% trust it — it often takes a major disruption for people to really think about the real-world impact their choices make.

“It’s important to acknowledge that this green and gold logo kangaroo has been around for 25 years, and has got an enormous amount of market capital,” he said.

“It’s a really effective tool for businesses to demonstrate their Australian credentials.”

“That trust level…it’s the reason it’s so effective,” Lazarro added. “Consumers know if they see those products they can buy with confidence and not worry about where the product’s from.”