The fallout of COVID has negatively impacted almost every industry, company and individual in Australia. 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year, but what if we saw the unrest and uncertainty as an opportunity to redefine our business practices and reshape the landscape of the Australian economy?
Amidst talk of “going back to normal”, this unprecedented set of circumstances could be the catalyst to create a new–and better–normal.
Australian owned or Australian made - what’s the difference?
Clever marketing can easily confuse well-intentioned consumers when it comes to the origin of a brand or product. Companies are can rightfully claim Australian-owned or Australian-designed status while having their goods manufactured offshore. The concern is that most offshore production of textiles, electrical goods, personal care and furniture is undertaken in developing countries where the treatment of workers is poor and environmental policies are non-existent.
Further to ethical concerns, offshore production sidesteps support of our local economy. Australian made means that goods are manufactured within Australia. This ensures that the goods, the people who make them, and the environmental impact of production are governed by various codes of ethics. These governance structures ensure that the quality of the products is high and, more importantly, that the company’s employees are treated with respect, have rights within the workplace, and are paid fairly for their work.
Homegrown goods may attract higher price tags, but that’s justified by higher standards for workers and more stringent controls over environmental impact. From an economic perspective, Australian made means that profits are kept in Australia, effectively strengthening our economy and bolstering employment. With that in mind, there has never been a better time for companies who have traditionally had their goods manufactured offshore to pivot their business models and bring production home.