Western Australia has every reason to get serious – truly serious – about promoting and selling WA products to West Australians. It is timely to crank-up a fresh, long-term campaign.
A sustained project would involve state and local government, producers, businesses, employers, unions, advertising and marketing, media and social media plus regional organisations.
Western Australia, undeniably, has the entrepreneurial spirit, the produce, the producers, and a proven willingness to excel.
Every sector of the State has a vested interest in promoting home-grown products: profits, jobs, growth, security and futures for our kids and grandkids.
Key issues are prices, labelling and supermarket involvement but it seems a “crime” to be buying butter from Ireland, milk from Victoria and jars of fruit from Europe.
At the supermarket, prices rule over State loyalty and nationalism. What taxes and levies on WA’s production and distribution process could be eased?
How and where can we upgrade machinery and equipment to improve production and transport and lower prices?
What super-profits and taxes from the bountiful resources and financial sectors could help underwrite our struggling producers. Western Australia has the people, the land and the incentives to expand.
Our primary industry sectors produce and export seafood, dairy, fruit, vegetables, meat, livestock, aquaculture, grains, pulses, oilseeds, honey, processed foods, wines and beverages.
How many of these top-quality WA products have you bought in the past year? Do you look at labels to see where they are sourced?
Our trade boffins proclaim: “WA produces some of the finest, most sought after and ecologically sustainable seafood in the world, offering a wide range of fish, western rock lobster, prawns, abalone, octopus and seaweed.”
We supply 30 countries with cereal grains, edible oil seeds and plant oil, pulses, wheat, barley, oats, canola and other grains.
WA is a world leader in animal exports and producer of premium fresh meat products, including beef, lamb, pork, poultry and goat, as well as some of Australia’s highest quality milk and dairy products including cheeses.
Overseas markets snap-up our processed meats, olive oils, native honey varieties, preserves, dips, bush and indigenous foods, craft beers, gin and spirits and kombucha (fermented tea).
WA, with 71 million hectares of agricultural land and five diverse climate zones, is one of the most pest-free and disease-free agricultural production areas in the world.
WA exports of agriculture and food products are worth about $10 billion with top products including wheat, canola and barley. Our state exports around 80 per cent of its agricultural production.
About 70 per cent of the State’s agrifood exports went to Asia, with China, Indonesia and Vietnam among our largest markets.
WA’s near-independence stance during the pandemic proved we can stand on our feet (if there were any doubts). The mood is right for a parochial push.
Last year, the State Government launched its Buy Local Policy “designed to ensure that businesses and workers in regional WA benefit from the State Government’s significant annual spend on goods, services and works.”
The government spends $27 billion spends yearly on goods, services and works.
The policy was “all about ensuring that local businesses are given every opportunity to carry out work for the State Government in their local area.” The primary focus was on small and medium enterprises which make up at least 97 per cent of WA businesses.
A far wider public campaign, along the lines of “Look Local” or “Buy Local” would slot-in well. Powerful, prominent and colourful “Buy WA” labelling is required.
Buying imported goods is not a crime but it makes sense on all fronts to choose home-grown.
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