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Woman's extensive visual list of Australian products praised by shoppers

A NSW woman has been praised for compiling a rather patriotic visual list – which could prove to be very helpful next time you do the grocery shopping.

In the last six months, Fiona Robinson says she has been conscious about purchasing Australian made products when she goes grocery shopping.

“I have in the past, I’ve definitely looked at labels, but it’s so confusing,” Ms Robinson told Yahoo News Australia.

While in isolation, Ms Robinson compiled a comprehensive list of products to streamline shopping, saving herself and others from pouring over labels trying to determine if a product is Australian made and owned.

Ms Robinson’s “Aussie Owned & Made Visual Shopping Guide May 2020 Edition” can be viewed on the Australian Visual Shopping Guides Facebook page, and the photos on the post will be regularly updated.

“I believe in shopping local as much as you can, with local brands” Ms Robinson said, adding she hopes the guide can help other people.

Initially, Ms Robinson shared the post on her personal Facebook page, and later decided to move the guide to the new public page after she was inundated with interest.

“There's bound to be omissions, errors, change of ownership – let me know and I will update every few months. Share Away,” Ms Robinson wrote on the page.

A shopper seen look at product labels in Coles.
The shopping guide aims to help Australians purchase Australian made and owned products while doing their grocery shopping. Source: Getty Images

There were a few reasons Ms Robinson was compelled to make the list, she says. Other social media pages discussing the issue inspired her, as did the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent loss of jobs and knowing Australian made and owned brands mean more jobs for Australians.

“Because of what‘s been happening and because there’s been loss of jobs and all that sort of stuff, that’s what inspired me to create [the guide] and be more mindful about buying Australian made,” she said.

Before the pandemic, Australia was ravaged by bushfires, and Ms Robinson isn’t the only Australian seeking out domestically owned products according to Ben Lazzaro, Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive.

“Australian consumers have always had a preference for buying Australian product, this has been heightened in recent months,” Mr Lazzaro told Yahoo News Australia.

The Australian Made Campaign helps Australians buy Australian made, owned and produced items. Source: Australian Made Campaign Facebook
The Australian Made Campaign helps Australians buy Australian made, owned and produced items. Source: Australian Made Campaign Facebook

And there are benefits to both consumers and the Australian economy when Australian made and owned products are bought.

“When you buy Aussie made and grown products, you know what you are getting—products grown in our clean, green environment and made to the highest of manufacturing standards,” Mr Lazzaro said.

“At the same time, you are pumping money back into the economy, which helps to keep Aussie jobs, strengthen local industries and supports local communities.”

Australian Made is best known for their iconic yellow and green kangaroo logo, the certification logo is trusted by 88 per cent of Australians, and certification trademark offers many descriptors which help consumers understand what they are buying.

Country of origin labels are required by the Federal Government under the Country of Origin Food Labelling Standard 2016, however Australian Made is not responsible for administering the label, that responsibility falls on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The new labels that became mandatory in 2018. Source: AMCL
The new labels that became mandatory in 2018. Source: AMCL

While compiling her list, Ms Robinson used an ethical consumer guide, Shop Ethical, which has guides for clothing, beauty items and appliances.

She said the visual guide took her about “three nights” to compile and the updates take her a couple of hours here and there.

She said the beauty of the list is it is relatively easy to swap out items for their Australian made and owned counterparts.

Back in April, Mr Lazzaro pointed out the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the nation’s reliance on imported goods, and called for change.

“Let’s take a long-term view and increase our level of manufacturing self-sufficiency,” Mr Lazzaro said.

“While there will always be a requirement for imports, it’s important we get the balance right between local and offshore manufacturing, to ensure Australia’s long-term prosperity.”

Many of the Facebook users who have joined the Australian Visual Shopping Guide page have been thankful for Ms Robinson’s work.

“I have quite a few of these products - so pretty proud of myself - plenty more to go - thank you for this wonderful visual list,” one person commented.

There are now more than 1250 people in the group since it was created on May 6.

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