CHOICE membership

60 years of advocacy so far - What should we aim to achieve by 2030?

This week marks the 60-year anniversary since Consumers International (CI) was founded. CI is a membership body for consumer advocacy groups around the world, and CHOICE is proud to be an active member.

We also have a rich history spanning 60 years - the CHOICE story began when the first edition of CHOICE magazine was sent to 500 subscribers in April 1960. Since then, we’ve fought and won many battles on behalf of Australians, improving everything from product safety to improving our financial system, along with providing people helpful advice. Needless to say, our work is ongoing and we know there is plenty more to do.

With this in mind, we’re looking ahead and considering our role as advocates for the next decade and beyond. Here’s what @AlanKirkland had to say about Vision 2030, part of the Consumers International 60 Years event:

CI has distilled it’s own 2030 vision down to three key issues:

1. Sustainability

This decade is the determinant in our sustainability challenge – it is a decade of many transitions, many opportunities and many threats – and a celebration of community.”

Yasir Suliman, Secretary-General, Sudanese Consumer Protection Society

2. Digitalisation

“In the future, consumer advocacy should ensure greater protection in the Digital Economy, strong regulatory frameworks to protect consumers, a shrinking digital gap, and self -protection through digital literacy.”

Marimuthu Nadason, President, Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (FOMCA)

3. Inclusion

What will consumer advocacy have achieved by 2030 globally? Consumers in all countries will have equal access to essential products and services, including healthy food, healthcare and medication. The same goes for essential financial services (checking accounts, mortgage) and digital services.”

Sandra Molenaar, CEO, Consumentenbond (Netherlands)

More detail on the CI website.

So, what do you want to change and improve over the next 10 years of consumer advocacy? We'd love to hear your 2030 Vision, whether it is full of big ideas or addressing a problem big or small.

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Interesting and ambitious. I wish you well.

Depending on how typical you see the members of this forum in representing your membership and broader constituency there may be problems. That is you may be too far ahead.

Possums, let me put this is the words of Edna Everage, or maybe Puck.

These visions are so political and general. What’s it got to do with consumers I ask you? Your real business is testing vacuum cleaners and getting refunds from unprincipled merchants. That’s what my subscription is for. Every time somebody here starts on about sustainability (they really mean climate change) or inequality it gets all messy and I don’t want to read any more as I feel so uncomfortable. This lefty ideas stuff does my head in. I wish all this policy talk would just go away so I can read about laundry powder in peace.

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. I think going ahead discussions involving sustainability are important to any forum as I think this is the biggest problem we face as the human race . We have ruined this planet and must start addressing these issues . In the passed they say the " innocent " 1950’s the "swinging " 1960’s the "promiscuous ’ 1970’s the "violent " 1980’s . The "cyber " 1990’s ,

No one to my knowledge has come up with a catch phrase for the 2010 - 2020 period . Maybe the age of enlightenment where we start to see what our economies and what they involve in mining and manufacturing are basically ruining the planet and need addressing quickly and open our eyes to what is happening around us .

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Would that be the “fake news” period. The increase in disinformation has become prevalent this decade due to the Internet. It really is up to some reliable sources, like Choice, to actually test claims of product sellers, and to investigate and call out fakes.

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Choice over 60 years has enabled consumers to make better informed decisions.

I’d like to see Choice continue to expand it’s influence into some of the most significant areas of consumer concern. The biggest financial decisions in a consumers life include:

  • Accommodation (home purchasing, repairs and maintenance, or renting)
  • Transport (the cost of public, or vehicle purchasing and ownership)
  • Travel providers
  • Health care
  • Insurance
  • Superannuation
  • Aged care and disability support

Value for money, quality of product or deliverables, honesty/integrity/safety and reliability are all outcomes consumers might ask, of a stick blender or of a new home or …

Choice has shown a willingness to engage publicly in all these areas. The same strategies and skills Choice has developed in taking on retail, manufacturers and suppliers on everyday products are just as applicable when seeking to change how services are delivered through private businesses or public entities.

More of the same please. :+1:

P.S.
Please don’t forget the roots of the association in providing accurate and reliable product reviews. There is a rapid rate of innovation across all product categories. It may serve Choice to develop more ways to expand member involvement directly with product reviews. This could be through a formalised collection of feedback on recent products or constructive sharing of first hand experience and expertise. The Choice Community and individual feedback on the Choice main web site reviews currently captures adhoc feedback.

The following might be narrower in interest than the best capsule coffee machines (for appartments).

  • How to buy the best residential waste water treatment system and a market survey,
  • a more comprehensive and up to date take on ride on lawn mowers,
  • or the best battery powered garden tools (line trimmers to pole pruners)

These would all rate highly around our household. Obviously an appartment with a large lawn, or lots of acres to maintain? :wink:

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I think 2. Digitisation should be split into two, because they are actually seperate issues.
Firstly, there is increasing consumer protection with strong regulatory frameworks and I would suggest adding in: that are actually enforced (including overseas based businesses operationg in Australia), and
Secondly, shrinking the digital gap, increasing digital literacy, bringing Australia up to first world digital standards.

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