Do you buy Australian - on purpose?

 
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
RTT_Rules mentioned a while ago that he thinks everyone buys at their local supermarket on price alone - I don't think I agree with that.

I buy Aussie-grown tinned tomatoes rather than the Italian ones - I do this because I think our food standards are superior but also because I read an article a while ago about the treatment of people who pick tomatoes in Italy. There's really not a big difference in price anyway, especially if you buy the large tins and I think the quality is better. I don't always buy tinned tomatoes but if you're cooking with them and the fresh ones are out of season it's a better alternative.

I always buy Aussie-grown garlic. One of the really good things that Coles and Woolworths did several years ago was put some money towards trying to get domestically-grown garlic rather than Chinese or Mexican garlic being the only option. From what I've read it's been a big success and consumers prefer it - there's lots of domestic suppliers feeding into the major supermarkets again. Australian-grown garlic is much tastier and is only slightly more expensive than the imported variety anyway. I do grow my own garlic in my veggie garden but its only ready in December so you have to buy from the shops the rest of the time (our family is a big garlic consumer!).

Anyone else buy local when they don't have to? Interested to hear.

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  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I grow my own tomatoes and make my own pasata from the last of them, that said, when short I buy Italian tinned tomatoes because I typically find them better.

I grow much of my own herbs and garlic, but cannot grow enough garlic and will which buy ever garlic looks the best on the day I need to buy it. Generally that becomes Argentinian garlic if the supermarket has it, else it’s Mexican then generally Australian, sorry, that’s just how the quality generally falls for me. Sometimes I buy Chinese garlic if that looks the best - it is though typically smaller in clove size and weaker in flavour.

I won’t buy Australian soft cheese, preferring instead the real stuff from France, obtained from Adelaide’s superb central market. Likewise, always imported Emmental, Maasdam and Edam.

I only buy Australian wine, unless it’s champagne, in which case it’s almost always Cliquot, Sauvignon Blanc which is always from NZ or Gruner Vertliner which imported from Austria - although O’leary Walker do a ‘nearly as good’ here in the Adelaide Hills.

I buy the best produce available when I need it, and I don’t in all honesty bother to check for country of origin - if the quality is good I don’t care who grew it.
  apw5910 Chief Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
I always buy Australian produce where possible, especially seafood. eg I won't buy Viet prawns.

But manufactured consumer goods are almost entirely made overseas, so I'll get the lowest price I can for those, usually from the internet.

Aaron, there are some very good "sparkling wines" (can't call them champagne...) from Tasmania and Canberra now. Try Surveyor's Hill.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I forgot, Australian ‘Polish’ Sausage (not that coiled rubbish they call polish sausage), but the polish country sausage, Torunska, Starapolska, Polish chimney etc, are better in Australia than Poland. Though I in some cases make my own sausage these days.

Beer, ALWAYS Coopers, Zwiec and Warka are the only two imported beers I’ll drink, Warka interestingly enough I have only found at Croydon Soccer club. That or I also make my own, mostly ‘local’ sometimes imported grains.

Cider, always local - Hills Cider, I went to school with the boys and Prohibition Gin know them well.

Australia Sauerkraut is literal rubbish, we buy European or make it myself, except when I do that it’s generally regarded by the wife as being ‘too good to cook’ so instead I have 5kg of sauerkraut sitting here destined for ‘salad’ while be buy kilos more in jars from Europe to ‘cook’...
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
apw, I am not a drinker of sparkling wine as a rule, I’ll drink local still 99% of the time, the one or two bottles of sparkling I get through in a year I’ll have imported.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
This topic poses a good question.

My short answer is that I will buy Australian if it suits what I want. If it doesn't, I will buy whatever is available for the purpose I have in mind.
Like Aaron, I drink Australian wine ( red or white table wines and the odd northern Victorian Tawny Port ). On the rare accasions that I want "bubbly", I buy genuine imported champagne.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
No Don I did not say "everyone buys on price alone".

I did say and will say again the loss of Australian Made is due Aussies  not not being overly patriotic buyers. This is partly why such industries as the car sector failed.

You mentioned food industry, what about
- banking
- phone/internet
- insurance
- power provider
Etc
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

I always buy Australian produce where possible, especially seafood. eg I won't buy Viet prawns.

But manufactured consumer goods are almost entirely made overseas, so I'll get the lowest price I can for those, usually from the internet.

Aaron, there are some very good "sparkling wines" (can't call them champagne...) from Tasmania and Canberra now. Try Surveyor's Hill.
apw5910
Agree, will not buy imported seafood, with exception of tinned tuna/salmon.
Domestic beer for me, have a preference and will stick to it. Wine and others, a quality read expensive bottle would be wasted on my palet don't particularly like them.
As for consumer goods Ect, little choice as SFA is produced locally anyhow.

A balance of convenience price and seasonal availability works for me. Primarily from the local IGA and small businesses.
The Mrs has been frequenting that German supermarket, we don't shop together.
I always have a list, gather and gone, her, not so much.
We do have however a do not buy from the above store list. Compiled through trial and error.


As for services,
Banking is via credit union.
Insurance is IAG, presumably Aussie owned?
Energy provider is OZ.
Phone is YES, fail.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Every car I have owned was built in Australia.

I might not be able to do that next time.

The worst of these was a Holden Commodore bought new in 1996.

The best was the Mitsubishi 380 that followed it.
I finally damaged it at 14 years old and I was sad to see it go...

Peter
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
RTT_Rules mentioned a while ago that he thinks everyone buys at their local supermarket on price alone - I don't think I agree with that.

I buy Aussie-grown tinned tomatoes rather than the Italian ones - I do this because I think our food standards are superior but also because I read an article a while ago about the treatment of people who pick tomatoes in Italy. There's really not a big difference in price anyway, especially if you buy the large tins and I think the quality is better. I don't always buy tinned tomatoes but if you're cooking with them and the fresh ones are out of season it's a better alternative.

I always buy Aussie-grown garlic. One of the really good things that Coles and Woolworths did several years ago was put some money towards trying to get domestically-grown garlic rather than Chinese or Mexican garlic being the only option. From what I've read it's been a big success and consumers prefer it - there's lots of domestic suppliers feeding into the major supermarkets again. Australian-grown garlic is much tastier and is only slightly more expensive than the imported variety anyway. I do grow my own garlic in my veggie garden but its only ready in December so you have to buy from the shops the rest of the time (our family is a big garlic consumer!).

Anyone else buy local when they don't have to? Interested to hear.
don_dunstan

It is an interesting question.

Conversely do we expect people from other countries to avoid purchasing products made in Australia or produce from Australian farms wherever possible?

That would quickly smeg up a few lucrative export markets.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Australia’s (sometimes not entirely deserved) reputation for clean environment/produce will see our export produce market quite strong.

You might be surprised at the number of ‘chinese’ colleagues I have that bemoan the seeming lack anything but ‘made in China’ product here. Just last week a colleague from Shanghai was complaining that she almost had to buy a chinese made kettle.

They buy minijumbuk quilts like they’re going out of style to ship back to China.
  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

Now on top of buying Australian what exactly is Australian. You buy well know Australian brands and if you check them out they are for the most part owned by overseas companies and those companies are no adverse to importing something that they formerly made here in Aust as it is cheaper for them. Then comes Australian content in things, it was in the media recently that a lot of stuff that is imported and canned or packaged here has little more than water content as the local product in it. Most consumers of food are concerned with price and a lower priced thing with approx the same quality will do them just fine.

I don't think really that these days you would find much in a supermarket that was not classified as junk type food that is wholly Australian anymore. You might find some things but it might not be exactly what you want to buy though. Just as an instance of this you buy some lollies as a treat to your self so you buy some Natural Confectionery Company fruit chews then you look on the back in small print you can hardly see and it says Made in Thailand". The company though is an Australian company. So in those circumstances you really have to give up buying Australian unless you want to starve. There are plenty of other companies doing this as well so the above company is not alone.

Then there are the well known Australian Brands that have been bought out by large overseas companies but continue to trade under there well known brand, Arnotts Biscuits is one as it was owned for decades by Sara Lee company until recently when it was again on sold to private equity firm KKR who is an American firm as was Sara Lee. Check any label really even fresh baked bread from supermarkets own bakery comes from overseas the dough that is all the supermarket does is actually bake it.

Tools etc I have not seen a made in Australia label on a product in a long time as most comes from overseas now , TV's, fridges, radios, computers, phones, and thousands of more things are now all imported. So good luck buying Australian.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Let me join Aaron in appreciation of the Central Market! It's the #1 place in Adelaide to take any American or English guest we have, usually introduced along the lines of 'just picking up a few things on the way home' with every intention of finding somewhere to have lunch or tea there.

I've particularly loved the gradual diversification of it over recent years as management has been proactive in bringing in a greater variety any time a stall becomes vacant. It's still great for basic fruit and veg, but the amount of duplication has been reduced somewhat.

RTT_Rules mentioned a while ago that he thinks everyone buys at their local supermarket on price alone - I don't think I agree with that.
don_dunstan
A lot of people aren't well off enough to have the luxury of choosing.

I've heard that both Coles and Woolworths have started quietly removing the permanent 'down down' and 'price cut' tickets and are starting to raise prices on many of the basics, which means food is only going to get more bleak for people who rely on processed products and don't cook properly.

It would be great if there could be a re-think and modernisation of the Home Economics curriculum in schools to focus on teaching kids how to really cook for themselves using real ingredients rather than processed products.

I buy Aussie-grown tinned tomatoes rather than the Italian ones - I do this because I think our food standards are superior but also because I read an article a while ago about the treatment of people who pick tomatoes in Italy. There's really not a big difference in price anyway, especially if you buy the large tins and I think the quality is better. I don't always buy tinned tomatoes but if you're cooking with them and the fresh ones are out of season it's a better alternative.
don_dunstan
I don't generally buy canned vegetables that often, but if I was to avoid any particular source of canned vegetables due to labour practices, it would be Australian-sourced canned vegetables. I saw the Four Corners expose on the horrible labour practices at the large scale producers who supply the big brands and Coleworths.

I've followed up on this too, by writing to a bunch of the brands and informed them that I would be willing to buy their Australian-sourced products again if they commit to a labour standards certification scheme. I have little capacity to make any impact on practices in Italy or wherever else, but I can make a difference here.

With specific reference to canned tomatoes, I do my own and freeze them when tomatoes are in season. I'd like to be able to grow my own like Aaron, but have to settle for going to the markets instead due to lack of space.

But when the previous season's freezer stock runs out, I generally buy Italian sourced canned tomatoes - and usually from a brand only sold at Foodland. Tomatoes benefit more from better soil than better weather, so the Italian ones have a richer flavour and you can be sure they are up to standard as they have to exceed both domestic and Australian food standards to be sold here.

Sweetcorn is the opposite of tomatoes - weather makes more of a difference than soil so it's a crop which grows well in Australia, though Mexico has both.

One thing where Australian standards for canned vegetables should be tightened is in the proportion of vegetable pieces by mass. I've found that Australian-sourced canned tomatoes tend to have fewer tomatoes packed in each can, and you lose out twice as the rest is usually a watery gruel rather than a rich tomato paste.

Anyone else buy local when they don't have to? Interested to hear.
don_dunstan
I buy milk from independent local companies (Paris Creek, Fleurieu Milk Company etc) but I can see why plenty of people might find that to be unaffordable. I'd rather go without milk than use the watery Coleworths labelled milk.

Apart from making it yourself with an espresso shot, milk and a scoop of Golden North honey ice cream, the best iced coffee available is Fleurieu Milk Company with just three ingredients - milk, coffee, sugar. You can get it at supermarkets all over the place and most non-chain cafes in SA, and there's a campaign to get it stocked at Adelaide Oval in place of the Barista Bros (a Coca Cola brand) one which is made using powdered milk.

I always buy pasta from one of only two sources: an independent stall at the Central Market or San Remo pasta, that's a decision based purely on quality.

I never buy Australian rice, it should be banned for (a) being bland, and (b) the horrendous water management practices in the areas it is grown. I generally use red rice (from an Asian grocer at the Central Market) or a 2:1 mix of red rice and black rice.

Australia’s (sometimes not entirely deserved) reputation for clean environment/produce will see our export produce market quite strong.

You might be surprised at the number of ‘chinese’ colleagues I have that bemoan the seeming lack anything but ‘made in China’ product here. Just last week a colleague from Shanghai was complaining that she almost had to buy a chinese made kettle.
Aaron
That's not the first time I've heard that about the attitude of Chinese people towards consumer products.

The quality of consumer goods made in China, Thailand etc really depends on how well the factory operations are supervised by the Western companies running the show.

A good example is bicycles - I was in the market for a new commuter bike a few years back and went to the Giant Bicycles store in the city to look at a Giant bike which had decent specs on paper, with every intention of buying it and riding home if they had one in the correct size. But when I saw it in the flesh, I could see that the welding of the aluminium frame looked absolutely terrible and the spokes on the wheels had a strange twisted look to them, so I walked out of the store.

On the bus home, I saw an AvantiPlus store and thought I could do worse than having a quick look there before heading home to do more research online. Within an hour I was riding home on a Scott bike which had a better frameset and better equipment level than the Giant and wound up being a couple of percentage points cheaper.

Here's the interesting bit: both the Giant and the Scott were both made by Giant in Taiwan, quite possibly in the same factory. The difference is that when a Giant factory is doing a run of bikes for an external client there are technical reps all over the place keeping an eye on things, but they are only accountable to their own management when they are building bikes to be sold with their own label. It's a similar story at the Chinese/Taiwanese company Merida which makes bikes under both their own name and for other companies like Specialized and Cannondale.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
where possible yes.  To the extent of using a green-grocer in town that can tell you where the farm is that their stock came from that day.  If it's not fresh they don't have it.  I have done so for years since Coles/Woolworths were importing oranges while those around Mildura were being buried as those 2 wouldn't buy them
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Justapassenger, steer clear of BD Farms milk and products, they’re now owned by the Longtable Group, the same people that will slowly kill the Maggie Beer label in food.

Better than Fleurieu Milk, an even better source is Alexandrina Cheese/dairy. Their local ‘gouda’ is one I will cheerfully eat.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I haven't bought from them in over two years, not since FMC started working to make their products more widely available. I didn't know about the 2017 takeover, but glad to know it now.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Buy Australian or Australian Owned? AFAIK most Australian manufacturers are no longer Australian owned.

For example, micro-breweries excluded, the only Australian owned brewery is Coopers, Regency Park SA.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
That’s why I get through so much of their product Graham4405, I work with one of the Cooper girls, and I am taking some of their product to Europe in a couple of weeks introduce to the family and friends there.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
That’s why I get through so much of their product Graham4405, I work with one of the Cooper girls, and I am taking some of their product to Europe in a couple of weeks introduce to the family and friends there.
Aaron
Whilst Coopers beer is drinkable, I prefer other beers. NZ beer is pretty good, I guess that's almost Australian! Wink
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I don't think really that these days you would find much in a supermarket that was not classified as junk type food that is wholly Australian anymore. You might find some things but it might not be exactly what you want to buy though. Just as an instance of this you buy some lollies as a treat to your self so you buy some Natural Confectionery Company fruit chews then you look on the back in small print you can hardly see and it says Made in Thailand". The company though is an Australian company. So in those circumstances you really have to give up buying Australian unless you want to starve. There are plenty of other companies doing this as well so the above company is not alone.
DJPeters
They used to be made in Prahran VIC, I think they traded off some of that Australian-made good will for profits.
Tools etc I have not seen a made in Australia label on a product in a long time as most comes from overseas now , TV's, fridges, radios, computers, phones, and thousands of more things are now all imported. So good luck buying Australian.
DJPeters
The plummeting Australian dollar will eventually bring some things back on-shore, it briefly touched US$0.66 the other day and I think if this China/USA thing intensifies we'll probably see it sub-$0.50 where it probably belongs. The only thing that's been holding it relatively high is furiously digging up and exporting everything we possibly can - there's nothing at all in our 'top ten' exports that's value-added apart from selling visas to Indians and Chinese to move here and drive our Ubers and taxis (AKA: "education")
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
That’s why I get through so much of their product Graham4405, I work with one of the Cooper girls, and I am taking some of their product to Europe in a couple of weeks introduce to the family and friends there.
Whilst Coopers beer is drinkable, I prefer other beers. NZ beer is pretty good, I guess that's almost Australian! Wink
Graham4405
Coopers and other more 'traditional' brands like West End and Carlton have all been falling in sales; Coopers just completed a large expansion of their brewery at Regency Park only to start losing market share for the first time in 24 years. The answer is smaller players like "Brew Brothers" - ironically only a stone's throw from Coopers on Regency Road - are getting a lot more interest from consumers.

People don't want to drink the same thing that everyone else drinks - and especially not the same beer that your old man always drank! Asashi recently bought Carlton but I'm not sure if they'll have any success in turning around this long term loss of brand loyalty.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Let me join Aaron in appreciation of the Central Market! It's the #1 place in Adelaide to take any American or English guest we have, usually introduced along the lines of 'just picking up a few things on the way home' with every intention of finding somewhere to have lunch or tea there.
justapassenger
I too shop at the Central Markets when-ever I can, usually once a week. I've taken interstate visitors there who are amazed at how much better it is than similar offerings around Australia.

Has any local SA poster tried Foodland Pasadena - it was recently voted best supermarket in the world (yes you read that right) and it's really something that deserves a visit if you are in that area. It has five licensed bars and it stocks even more local SA produce than the Central Markets do, something I didn't think was possible but the olive oil range (for example) is just incredible, lots of smaller local producers I'd never even heard of. It's so good that Woolies have tried to copy the format at their store in Brighton.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
That’s why I get through so much of their product Graham4405, I work with one of the Cooper girls, and I am taking some of their product to Europe in a couple of weeks introduce to the family and friends there.
Whilst Coopers beer is drinkable, I prefer other beers. NZ beer is pretty good, I guess that's almost Australian! Wink
Coopers and other more 'traditional' brands like West End and Carlton have all been falling in sales; Coopers just completed a large expansion of their brewery at Regency Park only to start losing market share for the first time in 24 years. The answer is smaller players like "Brew Brothers" - ironically only a stone's throw from Coopers on Regency Road - are getting a lot more interest from consumers.

People don't want to drink the same thing that everyone else drinks - and especially not the same beer that your old man always drank! Asashi recently bought Carlton but I'm not sure if they'll have any success in turning around this long term loss of brand loyalty.
don_dunstan

The expansion at the brewery was actually a new in house malting plant, big enough I think to supply other brewers.

Sort of an each way bet = people still gonna drink Smile
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Many US brand name products are now made in places like Indonesia and Thailand. Grocery items one would expect to be made here are imported from UK, Italy and Mexico. The Japanese ute is made in Thailand. It's unlikely these will be substituted with Australian made products even if the dollar drops to 50c US.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Yeah the Coopers expansion was to their malting plant. It’s more than capable of national supply, including exports to Asia and the US (and probably others), and a great many small scale Aussie brewers (and myself, a teeny tiny brewer) source malt from there.

I understood Cargill closed in SA, but now I am not so sure, because it seems to be still in function.

I make some of my own beer, because then I make it exactly as I want, but still buy Coopers Sparkling, Pale, Dark ales and stout, not to mention their new and superb XPA. I am not a fan of the so called craft (aka hipster) beers, because all too often I go to a bar spend too much buying beers that sound good but taste terrible to eventually find one I like and the next time I go there it’s not available and I have to go through the process of eliminating smeg beers all over again. At least with Coopers product I know what I am going to get every time and I never feel cheated of money.

I once went to an event at a hipster brewery and was served a beer that clearly had a lacto infection, you could taste it. When I complained to the of course bearded brewers they even admitted it had a lacto infection, but their response was ‘it would take us weeks to rebrew and we liked the taste anyway, so we decided to serve it anyway’. Yeah, way to go guys, charging me nearly $10 a pint for a beer you knew was infected - Dr Tim wouldn’t stand for that.

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