While ownership isn’t regulated under COO laws, part of the problem is that the law broadly covers all consumer products. Current legislation governing use of the “Made in Australia” claim refers to a process, whereas qualified claims usually refers to ingredients or components. This can be confusing when it comes to food.
CHOICE member Roslyn Gibson sent us a sample of the Big Sister Glacé Cherries packaging that she found confusing. The front of the packaging bears the outline of Australia with the statement, “Australian Made and Owned”. At the back, however, it says the product is “Made in Australia from imported and local products”. Big Sister Foods confirmed to CHOICE that the company is Australian-owned. “The statements are all true and not at all contradictory,” says CEO John Roy. “The cherries are imported but are substantially transformed here in the glacé process so it qualifies for Australian-made.”
AUSTRALIAN MADE, AUSTRALIAN GROWN (AMAG)
This logo was launched by the Hawke government in 1986 and is a registered trademark approved by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, IP Australia and the ACCC. AMAG’s emphasis is on products being made here. Logo use
It can only be used on products that are actually made or grown in Australia (and cannot be used on services). About 1700 businesses are licensed to use the logo on more than 10,000 products, which can be found on its website’s searchable directory
AMAG is a not-for-profit organisation but provides annual reports to the government. It also works closely with the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) to promote locally made products overseas.Application process
Representatives of a company must complete an application form, sign a statutory declaration that their products comply with the legislation and describe how it does so, and agree to be bound by a code of practice. An AMAG representative will often visit the business to ensure entries are accurate before the business submits the form. Companies pay an annual fee to use the logo.Compliance/audit process
AMAG conducts annual random sampling of one per cent of licensees for on-site independent auditing. If the auditor or ACCC discover products do not meet the criteria,the company’s licence is cancelled.
Launched in 1991 by the Australian Companies Institute (ACI), Ausbuy’s main emphasis is on ownership. “Ownership means that we keep the decisions, profits and jobs here and that has a multiplier effect on our economy,” says CEO Lynne Wilkinson. Both AMAG and Ausbuy endorse local producers and manufacturers.Logo use
Majority (more than 51%) Australian-owned companies that source and produce here can use the Ausbuy logo. Franchises with no marketing input from foreign parents can join provided they source, produce and supply within Australia. The companies and brands licensed to use its logo, along with other Australian-owned and foreign-owned companies, are listed in the Ausbuy Guide, which is available for $2.95 at most supermarkets.Governance
AUSBUY is run by the ACI, a not-for-profit organisation.Application process
Representatives of a company must undergo a review, complete an application form and agree to abide by Ausbuy’s strict rules governing the use of its certification marks. Companies pay an annual fee to use the logo to use the logo.Compliance/audit process
Ownership of businesses using the Ausbuy logo is reviewed by the ACI. There is no formal compliance process. “The integrity of our members is such that if one of their products is majority sourced offshore even it is made here, they do not use our logo,” says Wilkinson. “We also have a wide network of Friends of Ausbuy across Australia who are our advocates and undertake surveys of products and prices for us.”
Businesses that promote Australian-made and/or Australian-owned products include Only Oz, an online grocery business that stocks and delivers only Australian goods to your home anywhere in Australia via courier (or via airmail to anywhere else in the world). Their shopping catalogue tells you exactly what is Australian-made and/or owned. There’s also FightBack for Australia, an online and print publication that lists locally made and owned brands and products stocked by its sponsor, IGA. They promise to “expose the dominance of Coles and Woolworths” in the daily lives of everyday Australians and the negative effects of fewer Australian-owned and made products on our economy. The website has a searchable database of goods that producers and shoppers can update.