Local support needed to save cookie manufacturer

Australian biscuit manufacturer, Kooka’s Country Cookies is facing an uncertain future as the company struggles to combat dwindling sales in the face of increased availability of cheaper export.

The company manufacturers and sells filled shortbread biscuits to leading supermarket chains and food distributors throughout Australia.

Kooka’s Country Cookies manager Graeme Harris has spoken out about the company’s business woes and has called for local consumer support to help aid the country’s declining food manufacturing industry, the Bendigo Advertiser has reported.

“We are right on the edge. This has been a gradual decline for years, but it has escalated of late,” Harris said.

In recent years, the company has almost halved its production from $4.5 million a year to $2.5 million a year and culled staff numbers from 25 to 12, according to the report.

However, Kooka’s Country Cookies struggles are not unique. The last 12 months has seen major food manufacturers including Heinz and Clyne Foods battle to keep manufacturing lines at its Girgarre and Warracknabeal factories operating, respectively.

The result has also has a significant effect on the local agricultural industry which processes and supplies the ingredients for Australian and Australian-based food manufacturers.

Harris told the Bendigo Advertiser that campaigns like Dick Smith’s buy Australian push will help encourage consumers to buy more locally produced products. In turn, it would lead to more “big supermarket” support for local food manufacturers.

“They buy a lot of product and they are prompt payers,” he said.

Kooka’s Country Cookies counts Coles-Myer and Woolworth as among its local and regional suppliers.

The company is also a contract packer for leading brands and bakes private label cookies for retail chain stores.

The company was established in 1992. Its base is in Donald, Victoria.

To view Kooka’s Country Cookies product range, click here.

Image: Kooka’s Country Cookies