How much does supporting Australian businesses matter to you vs getting a good end product?
This thought was spurred after booking flights with Virgin. Qantas subsidiary Jetstar would have been my Australian owned option. I didn’t think twice on that one, Jetstar has been so shonky in my past experiences I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. And yet normally Australian owned would have been important to me.
Companies that were once Aussie have been quietly bought by foreign interests who have consciously avoided press as best they could as long as they could, and then just blended in as a matter of fact. If the local product (or service) is approximately equal or better and the ‘Australia tax’ not much I try to prefer local, but in many cases I find ‘Australian’ is directly or indirectly foreign owned or they demand a premium price for an ordinary or inferior product. Like the US before us modern business is rolling out products that tinker around the edges rather than establish new ground, and often just finding new bits to charge for.
Since so much of our manufactured product is imported product differential is becoming more about the smiling faces selling it, the prices they set and where it is shipped from. As for payroll, a domestically owned and a foreign owned company both hire staff; profits figuratively buy yachts for the owners, and do I care if James Packer, Clive Palmer, Dick Smith, Jeff Bezos, or Jack Ma (et al) add some more zeros to their accounts - none to very few of them will (or could if they wanted to) spend more of their wealth than they do so it becomes all about account balances. Therein lies one of the problems.
Our desires, or ability to preferentially support Australian business could be a very worthwhile discussion. The discussion point of the value delivered, in respect of the quality of the outcome is potentially broad. In some other ways it is more than simply about the physical product or service. EG Return to the Nation might be important too?
In the context of comparing and commenting on whether Jetstar or Virgin or Qantas offer better service, better value or better outcome for the Nation. Does the nature of the example (one large enterprise option vs choice of another, optionally nationally owned vs foreign) also suggest this deserves a new or different topic?
From @PhilT comments, it may be useful to consider where will this lead? It is a complex and vexing subject given the obscurity of ownership and scope of financial interests/benefits. Unclear in many ways from the retailer or last point of sale and all those linked in some way along the distribution chain.
It appears a very different discussion to the original scope of this topic which related the competitive pressure and costs to stay in business for a small local business, to the benefits to the local customers of choosing or loosing?
See the main thing is the concept of keeping money in the economy. Even if the people at the top are rich either way, shareholders in Australia are much more likely to be spending their profits at local business, continuing the cycle and strengthening the economy.
A locally owned (viz. Australia) company selling products predominately Australian products/services)
A local company selling predominately imported products/services.
A foreign company selling predominately Australian products/services
A foreign company selling predominately imported products/services.
When I make purchase decisions, this is principally the hierarchy I use. The other factors are quality of the products and also cost (in that order after 1-4).
Australian products generally have a higher quality than imported ones (they generally have to be to meet various standards/code and also to be able to compete in the world market)…however, there are occasions when one has no choice but to buy imported products (such as electronics, vehicles etc) as Australia no longer produces these.
I believe that Australian food products are vastly superior to imported ones and we search for these and are willing to pay more to ensure that we buy Australian ones from mostly Australian owned businesses, but again some of these there are not Australin options (like Asian sauces, spices etc).
We avoid businesses like Aldi, Daiso etc where predominantly most of their products are imported and the businesses themselves are foreign owned,
Having children makes one realise that their future is based on a prosperous economy and local job opportunities. This is always at the back of our mind when choosing where and what to purchase.
I’ll take stat a step further, a prosperous economy and GOOD WELL PAYING jobs and their opportunities. Without demeaning workers or jobs, a society that revolves around nought but selling insurance to each other, making coffees, being on reality shows, being a shop assistant, and primarily having few work options above rote semi/unskilled roles is not the future I hope for my children. How would full employment where 99% are on minimum wage go? Engineering and most other high level professional jobs have already migrated offshore, and one political party has done a workmanlike job of castrating our national lab, CSIRO.
My point is it is far beyond where we shop and what we buy and who we buy from. It is national character and its aspirations. Ask a clever young American his goals - the answer will usually be making a new product or company, dominating the market, and buying up the competitors. A similar Aussie would be making a new product or starting a company to sell to a multinational, and that is what they do more often than become true heavy weights in their own right, although there are a few exceptions.
I agree, becoming a service based economy is almost akin to modern servitude with no hope of rising beyond that service. It could even perhaps be likened to slavery in the nature of the who holds the reins and thus the power to influence us.
In spite of Domino’s Australia being The Large franchisee, Domino’s is an American company and they own the look and feel and business model. Such arrangements further muddy ‘buying local’ discussions.
Supporting Australian businesses? An old saw is asking a young American what his ambitions are. Answer, Start a company, buy the competitors and be a world force in the market. Ask an Aussie and the answer is start a company and sell it to a multinational.
At some point we will each have to pay resident-rent to a foreign entity just to live here they way it is going.
Another sad/sickening day in Sellsville Australia. If the Govt can see a quick buck to offset some of a stagnating Balance of Trade deficiency they seem to allow the FIRB to rubber stamp it with no Ministerial input and call it “It’s independent and we shouldn’t interfere”. Want to get a refugee here and it passes the Immigration test see how fast a Minister can sign to revoke that approval and say “It was because it was in the National interest” or see how fast they get a Visa for a babysitter from some foreign soil (like there aren’t any qualified here to do the job).
Cauliflower rice is a great alternative to the carb and calorie dense rice you would ordinarily use in fried rice or similar dishes. To make it you really need a fresh cauli, moreover they can be expensive at times. I decided to buy frozen cauliflower, with carrot and broccoli, as this was all Woolworths had a the time. It’s a good product and it all worked well. However, the Edgell brand stated that the produce was a ‘Product of Spain’. We are told that Australia produces 75% more food than it consumes. I’m staggered that there is a need to import this (no doubt highly subsidised produce) from the other side of the world. Moreover it may well be produce of Spain but it may be grown somewhere else. Surely we have enough vegetables to produce this product here, and if we haven’t got the smarts in Australia to manufacture a machine to chop the vegetables, then I’m sure manufacturers could consider buying one from overseas. I would have at a guess that there would be a reasonable market for this produce. Edgell is a US multinational and couldn’t care less about anything except profit I guess, much less Australia. In these times, and with the Chinese trying to destroy agriculture in this country, I hope that a manufacturer (locally owned with local produce) can enter that market.
Cutting vegetables into similar sized products would ge done by hand for products like cauliflower and broccoli (possibly not carrots) The labour cost in Australia is significantly more than Spain hence the Spanish product may be a lot cheaper. As most Australian consumers are driven by price when making purchase decisions, the supermarkets (all of then) need to try and find products which are cheap to purchase so the product is also cheap for the consumer to purchase.
Cauliflower and broccoli are a seasonal products and Australia is not a huge grower all year round. Most is sold fresh rather than frozen. As a result, to meet the demand for frozen using Australian vegetables could be difficult 365 days each year.
While Australia produces more food than it consumes, this is a general statement rather than appling to a specific Australian grown product. The 75% would also be a net between imports and exports.
Cauliflower to make the rice is done in a blender type apparatus, it is fast and can be easily done in bulk as can the broccoli rice. The fresh vegetable rice products are mostly from Australian supplies, if not then NZ product.
Thanks for your response. Yes, I agree that both the average and minimum wages in Spain are significantly lower than in Australia. I am not sure how much the Spanish welfare state mitigates the cost of living however. I would anticipate that much of their farm and processing labour is sourced from Africa and Eastern Europe and the cost of production is lower as a result. Fresh cauliflower and broccoli are available all year round in Australia, albeit they are ordinarily seasonal of course. In periods of excess production, the the rice product could be produced and frozen. You can certainly buy frozen cauliflower and broccoli now.
It is debatable that people will just simply be driven by price and buy the lowest cost, regardless of country of origin. We’ve all had a big wake up in the 8 months and a lot of people now look at the country of origin before purchase.
Thanks grahroll. I agree it’s simple enough to do on a blender. Don’t have a blender - need a mezzanine floor for kitchen appliances now. I use a Bamix, with marginal success. Its messy and the bits dont come out that very even. Thought I would try the easy way out, and the packet stuff wasn’t a ridiculous price.
Ahh sorry meant that in commercial production it is done with a blender type apparatus (big size). Though yes we make our own with a blender, sometimes even adding other flavours to make it more “mexican” or “asian” stylish.
It is and is grown in the north when cold is the south, and south when it is hot in the north. The amount grown is generally to supply fresh supply…with some is peak season for other sectors (frozen, soups etc). Australia is fortunate that growing areas can be used based on the season and the suitability of growing conditions.
This happens with a range of agricultural products to either extend the season (stonefruit, mangoes etc) or allow fresh supply all year round.