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September 23, 2020

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Table of Contents

 

The Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo, is one of the most recognisable symbols in Australia. For more than 30 years the green and gold kangaroo emblem has represented products quintessentially Australian. Post-high school this logo is something I continually looked for when purchasing products. With so many Australian companies outsourcing international ingredients and labour for a cheaper price, this logo has helped identify products made 100% in Australia with 100% Australian ingredients. Or so I thought.

The Australian Made logo has fine print. Who knew?

Imagine my surprise when a month ago my husband pointed out the Australian Made logo on my purchased products featured fine print below the kangaroo that read, “Made in Australia from at least 80% or 90% Australian ingredients.” I couldn’t believe I never noticed it! So onto Google I went, and what a revelation I found.

First of all there is so much information available regarding this topic. I am blown away I wasn’t aware of the finer details of the logo and its specifications.

But more importantly…

The Australian Made logo does NOT necessarily mean made with 100% Australian ingredients.

Even when the logo doesn’t have the Australian ingredient percentage fine print. In fact, to meet the requirements for Australian Made the product must only use 50% Australian made ingredients. So when you think about it a logo advertising 90% Australian ingredients is actually pretty good. Only 10% internationally outsourced ingredients? That’s not a lot… right?

Well I’m conflicted about that statement. When I see Australian Made I think made in Australia with only Australian ingredients. So I took a poll to find out if other Australians agreed. Like me, all believed it meant products were completely manufactured in Australia, with most saying they thought all ingredients used were Australian. Some said they thought it meant all ingredients were home-grown but said they didn’t trust product branding. The rest believed it meant some ingredients were outsourced internationally but were unaware of the percentage necessary for an Australian Made classification.

Why use the Australian Made logo if a product is not 100% made with Australian ingredients?

Why not just say “This product is X amount manufactured in Australia with X amount of Australian components”? The answer is legal, but is it ethical?

Is it ethical to advertise products as Australian made knowing many Australians see the green and gold kangaroo and make the similar assumption I did? Am I to believe company’s branding their products with the logo are unaware that many Aussies believe the symbol means 100% made with Australian ingredients?

The logo has numerous variations based on its ingredients and manufacturing. Once I went down the rabbit hole of these variations I became more saddened by the representation, or misrepresentation occurring in my backyard.

I say misrepresentation because in spite of some logo’s clearly stating what percentage of a product is made in Australia, I can’t shake the fact of that green and yellow kangaroo emblem on display. The Australian Made website boasts the logo as a “powerful sales and marketing asset…”, and I agree. There is no denying the positive influence the symbol has on attracting consumers.  But, I can’t help but wonder how many people like me, never notice the fine print? How many people see the kangaroo and buy the product BECAUSE of that kangaroo, not knowing what it represents?

As mentioned, I am not disputing the legality of the logo’s usage. The Australian Made website itself explains the regulatory criteria the logo’s classification depends on. Namely, following the Australian Consumer Law and the AMAG Logo Code of Practice. Misuse of the logo (Misleading or incorrect labelling) is governed by the Australian Competitor and Consumer Commission (ACCC) who’s purpose is to make sure Australian businesses and individuals follow our fair trading and consumer protection laws.

All the legal bases are covered, but is it right?

## Australian Made Logo Variations

There are three main variations of the Australian Made logo based on what Australian elements are used in product manufacturing: Australian Made, Product of Australia and Australian Grown.

**Australian Made**: Majority of manufacturing occurs in Australia with at least 50% Australian ingredients

**Product of Australia** – All (or almost all) manufacturing occurs in Australia, and all significant ingredients are Australian

**Grown in Australia** – All (or almost all) manufacturing occurs in Australia with all significant ingredients being grown in Australia

But wait, there’s more!

While searching for Australian Made logo images I stumbled across a plethora of logo variations.

Photo courtesy of Business Daily
Photo courtesy of Evolve Brand Design

 

Since learning this information I have been studying my purchased products showing the logo. It’s become an obsession. I am dedicated to spreading awareness about the meaning behind the logo and its many variations. Not to attack it, but to ensure my fellow Aussies who support Australian made products made with Australian products, know what to look for.

To help create this awareness I’m giving our interested readers a challenge. Look at your household products and see what Australian Made logo variations they present. Upload a photo of any products you you were shocked were not made with 100% Australian ingredients to your Instagram with the hashtag #notsoaustralianmade.

Happy searching everyone. And as always, support Aussie products.

About the author 

Philipa

Philipa is a proud mother of two and University of the Sunshine Coast Communication student. Listening to music feeds her soul and she can't go to sleep without reading for at least 2 hours each night.

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