As Australia continues on the road to recovery from COVID-19, there’s been a renewed focus on buying local and supporting domestic manufacturers as a way of boosting the economy.

This renaissance of pro-Australian Made sentiment is an opportunity for Aussie manufacturers to expand their markets, but it also presents consumers with a challenge.

How can you be sure the products you’re buying are genuinely Australian made?

“The ‘made in Australia’ claim has never been more powerful than right now,” says Australian Made chief executive Ben Lazzaro.

As the man in charge of the Australian Made Campaign signified by the iconic green and gold kangaroo logo, Lazzaro says the brand sends a strong message to consumers.

“The products that carry the claim are made to some of the highest manufacturing and safety standards in the world - with inputs often sourced from Australia’s clean, green environment,” he says.

“It also makes a compelling statement about generating local jobs and economic activity.”

It’s no surprise that products that carry ‘made in Australia’ branding are viewed in a positive light; even more so in the current COVID-19 and bushfire-affected retail environment.

As a result, ‘buy local’ campaigns have gained momentum, along with the emergence of new brands, retailers, social media groups and e-commerce platforms that seek to celebrate and promote all things connected with Australia.

While this unprecedented level of support for ‘buying local’ is welcomed, it’s important that the ‘made in Australia’ claim is not confused with other aspects of ‘Australianness’. Often, the ‘Australian Made’ claim is conflated with the ‘Australian owned’ claim.

While both claims resonate with some shoppers, Lazzaro says they mean very different things and are not interchangeable.

“Add the ‘Designed in Australia’ claim into the mix, along with myriad Aussie marks and symbols, and it’s easy to see how consumers can quickly become overwhelmed and confused, or in some cases intentionally mislead,” he says.

“Intentional or not, all such claims are policed by the ACCC.”

So what should consumers look for to be sure the products they are buying are genuinely Australian?

“Here, the famous Australian Made logo provides a solution for both consumers and businesses,” Lazzaro says.

“As Australia’s only registered country of origin certification trademark, the Australian Made logo is the true mark of Aussie authenticity.”

The Australian Made logo is Australia’s most trusted, recognised and widely used country of origin symbol, and is underpinned by a third-party accreditation system administered by the not-for-profit Australian Made Campaign Ltd (AMCL).

The logo can only be used on products which meet the criteria set out in the Australian Consumer Law and the Australian Made Logo Code of Practice.

For more than 30 years, the Australian Made logo has helped thousands of brands communicate their Australian credentials to consumers, businesses and all levels of government.

It does this instantly and clearly, making it a powerful sales and marketing asset for authentic Aussie brands, and a helpful shopping aid for consumers around the globe.

While the Australian Made logo provides some country-of-origin certainty from an on-product branding perspective, consumers still need to navigate the numerous online retailers, e-commerce platforms that offer Australian products for sale, as well as the many well-intentioned social media groups presenting information about Australian products and the issues affecting their production and sale.

“Here, consumers need to maintain their vigilance, researching, questioning and only buying and engaging with trusted platforms with the appropriate compliance and governance protocol in place to ensure the Aussie products are genuine and the information accurate.”

Despite the challenges, it’s important to remember that Australian industry needs the support of consumers more than ever.

“With that in mind, let’s support our Aussie manufacturers regardless of their ownership structures – some manufacturers will be Australian-owned businesses and some will not,” Lazzaro says.

“Regardless, our Aussie manufacturers are all making products to some of the highest standards in the world, creating jobs and positive knock-on effects throughout the supply chain to ultimately help deliver a more prosperous and self-sufficient Australia.”

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