The proportion of Australians over 14 who are more likely to
buy food labelled ‘Made in Australia’ has risen to 88 per cent from 85 per cent
two years ago, according to the latest research.
The survey by Roy Morgan Research also found that 6 per cent
of Australians over 14 prefer food marked ‘Made in China’, compared to 5 per
cent two years ago.
Those who prefer the goods ‘Made in China’ tend to be
younger (under 35) and less concerned about whether their food is fattening,
genetically modified, or additive-free. And they are more likely to buy frozen
or chilled ready-made meals, takeaway food, and to avoid dairy products when
“Among the small percentage of Australians who are more
likely to buy food if it’s labelled ‘Made in China’, certain attitudes towards
food stand out. These same attitudes – from ‘I often buy takeaway food to eat
at home’ to ‘I avoid dairy foods wherever possible’ – are also more widespread
among Aussies aged under 35 than those aged 35+,” said Michele Levine, CEO, Roy
In addition, Australians from an Asian background are more likely
to prefer goods ‘Made in China’. However, those from this group are still much
more likely to prefer food labelled ‘Made in Australia’.
Meanwhile, the Australian Made Campaign has welcomed the
Government’s decision to consult with stakeholders and undertake consumer
research into its proposal to introduce a mandatory ‘Australian content’ symbol
for all locally produced food products.
“The Australian Made
Campaign applauds the Ministers for Agriculture and Industry making
country-of-origin branding a priority and looks forward to working closely with
the Government on the introduction of the new system,” Australian Made Campaign
Chief Executive, Ian Harrison said in a statement.
It is believed the Ministers will be submitting further
recommendations to Cabinet in August on changes to the current labelling laws,
and what the proposed new symbol will look like.
The rules for using the logo on food products are more
stringent than the rules for making country-of-origin claims under Australian
Consumer Law. The Australian Made Campaign has been lobbying for that gap to be
closed, and an education program to be rolled out to help increase
understanding of country-of-origin claims and the value proposition of buying
Australian made and Australian grown products.