Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Buy Australian, or else

We have consciously been focusing on buying more Australian food products, except for rice which I don't believe should be grown in Australia. OK, maybe tropical Darwin environs might be ok, but they tried and the magpie geese ate all the rice.

R uses cans of tomatoes often enough when cooking. We were buying cheapish ones and upon reading the label, we realised that they were imported from Italy. We are now buying Australian canned tomatoes and pay maybe 70 cents more. I can't understand the economics of growing tomatoes in Italy, canning them and sending them by ship to Australia and they are seventy cents cheaper on our shelves than ones we grow and can ourselves.

I make an exception for NZ and buy their cheaper powered skim milk. They are almost us. I am Closer Economic Relating. Even so, the cheaper price still doesn't make much sense.

We try to only buy Australian oils for cooking with. Malaysian oil is cheaper, but are we are buying Australian oil. We use peanut oil, olive oil and canola oil and a little sesame oil. You can't get Aussie sesame oil.

Olive oil is an interesting one. A huge amount of imported olive oil is muck and not virgin as it is labelled. There are efforts to clean the industry up, with a certification scheme possibly operating by now, but we will only buy Australian olive oil now. Australia is the ideal country to grow olives.

The argument over no brand name against brand name was lost for us a couple of decades ago when one of those tabloid current affair shows counted the number of baked beans in a brand name tin, as against a no name tin. There were many beans less in the no name. Every so often we give something a try, and it is not as good and often imported. I was buying no brand name sugar, still Australian though, until one lot had black bits in it and we have reverted to CSR sugar.

We have only bought free range eggs for a long time now. We now only buy free range pork and we are looking to only buy free range chicken soon.

I do get importing luxury food items. Aussie caviar is never going to take the world by storm, let alone us, but why do we need to import basic foodstuffs that grow well here in Australia? You whistle and I will point to Woolworths, Coles and latterly Aldi and Costco.


  1. We buy as much Aussie stuffs as we can when we shop too. The kids are learning to support Aussie products this way. Yes, it is more expensive.
    A friend of mine was working as an electrician overseas. It was at a plant that processed sugar from Australia. The sugar was used to produce ice cream, that was mixed with other overseas products, and sent back to Australia. The price of all this exporting and importing of our own product reflected in the lack of coinage in customer's pockets. I dunno, can't understand all of this.
    Free range eggs are what we buy. Soon we will get our own chooks. Our own veggie garden is in the making. So far we eat La Ionica chooks (spell check help me!).

  2. You have a very interesting blog here.
    Sydney - City and Suburbs

  3. We should be eating the magpie geese (Mmmm...roast goose).

    Btw...I can't read your blog through my regular web browser anymore (Safari)...it keeps crashing ;-(

  4. Food labelling laws on country of origin is a joke.
    Example - a large frozen foods company closed its business in Tassie to move offshore to NZ (cheaper) where NZ shares the same labelling laws with us so the bajillions of vegies/foods labelled 'made in nz' or 'product of nz' is actually imported from China, cleaned, cooked, snap frozen and packaged in NZ and then flogged here in Oz.
    Substitute 'made in nz' for 'made in oz' and it's allllll the same.

  5. Cazzie, I think there are quite a number of products that go overseas for processing and then return to Australia. I have seen that brand of chicken. Will try it. Chooks are great for kids.

    Thanks J Bar. I have enjoyed having a click through yours. Added it to my photo blog list.

    AR, I don't think I have ever eaten goose. Was the problem just this morning. I was making alterations to layout.

    That is bad Jayne. Why is it so hard to get labelling laws right for consumers. Who cares what business wants.

  6. Even on a pension, I'd still rather buy more expensive 'made in Australia' food than imported. That said, try buying toothpaste that isn't made in Thailand, India or New Zealand.

  7. Anonymous12:05 am

    Nationalism? - its a bit late, folks. You lot been asleep for the last 20 years.....

  8. Anonymous10:02 am

    Won't be long before they can do away with the labelling system cause nothing will be made in Australia. Profits before nationalism.

  9. Jahteh, not checked out toothpaste. Seems something machines could do very easily, so labour costs can't be a good reason.

    Well Michael, never too late, but I fear it is.

    Sad but perhaps true Anon. I still want to know what is in what I buy. I only want the best quality flavourings, colours and additives.

  10. I have been a long time member of Ausbuy found here http://ausbuy.com.au Don joined us up years ago - he was passionate about buying Australian made way back in the mid 1980's and we tried our best to do that - it got harder and harder - if only our own Federal Government could show some nowce and refuse to sell off anymore mines, and land to non Australian companies and individuals -

    I think in Japan you can not buy land unless you are jamanese...

  11. Good site MC. I did not know it. Most countries have restrictions of foreign ownership of property than Aus does. I heard today an auction in one of our posh suburbs was conducted in Chinese.