Friday, March 28, 2008

"Don't Buy Australian" ???

Having recently stumbled across a discussion amongst a group of Aussies who were agreeing that Aussies shouldn't buy Aussie made and grown products, I was a tad confused and horrified.

The argument was that Aussies buying Aussie-made simply artificially supports a badly made/produced product which should be allowed to be superseded by cheaper foreign imports, thus allowing the "true" global market place to expand.

Do some of these people actually know under what conditions overseas products are grown/made?
Do they really want to support sweat-shop conditions, underpaid and overworked employment sectors which support a relatively few wealthy owners/investors?

Fish grown and caught in raw sewerage, fruit and vegies grown in human sewerage, sprayed with chemicals banned in most Western countries, stored in less than clean surroundings, the list goes on and on.

Some think that, for example, that imported orange juice concentrate is only imported into Australia when there isn't enough Aussie grown citrus to meet industry demand and Aussie citrus growers should "meet demand or get out of the business".
Perhaps they should take a good hard look at the millions of tonnes of Aussie grown fruit and vegies that are being ploughed into the soil simply because cheap foreign imports are flooding the Australian market.
These cheap foreign imports are, in the main, from countries where the govts subsidise the farmers/ growers and they are able to slash the price of their goods to undercut Aussie-grown produce.
And when our farmers go to the wall after the public prefers inferior imported products to our home-grown healthy foods, the ripples are ever-lasting on the Australian economy well beyond the hip pocket and the global market place.

Were the Aussie Federal Govt to raise the duty on imported goods, slash the export on our home-grown products and start to subsidise our farmers like their overseas counterparts, then it might approach a level playing field.

But this attitude of "don't buy Australian" is totally ludicrous, ill-informed and shows how uneducated a large section of the general public really has become.
The idiots are reigning supreme at the check-out!

8 comments:

Brian Hughes said...

"Fish grown and caught in raw sewerage, fruit and vegies grown in human sewerage..."

I see you've been to our local cafe then.

Andrew said...

What about rice? Should it be grown in Australia? Well, in the areas where it is grown. I only buy Thai rice.

Jayne said...

Sure you're not confusing the cafe with Gordon Ramsey's potty mouth ? :P

I agree, Andrew, that rice is certainly not suited to be grown in Australia - and growing produce like lettuce in sweltering areas like Swan Hill/Mildura is plain silly - but rejecting all Aussie produce/products for cheap foreign imports simply because it doesn't help the global market is just plain stupid.

baby~amore' said...

I was a bit confused too - I read that thread on Aussie Bloggers.
ewww on todays meal btw.
I try to buy Australian where possible.
I am trying to grow some of my own vegies too but I hope by marinating them in worm poo that hey are still okay.

LiD said...

AHHHHHHHHH! I just don't understand people with an unexamined worship of globalisation.

You have made so many good points Jayne. I couldn't agree more.

I think it comes down to penny wise, pound poor. Just let them wait until the 2 big supermarkets start jacking up their overseas produced "homebrand" prices once all the competition has been strangled out of the market place.

A country that cannot supply its own basic requirements is in a very vulnerable position. Oh and the health issues that will come from eating food produced in scandalously unregulated workplaces, in very poor countries where the conditions for the worker is still appalling, desperate and seemingly - thanks to the comfortable jargon of globalisation - unlamented.

When all that comes home to roost who will be sorry then?

I agree rice and lettuce don't really suit our growing conditions and cotton is definitely a big, massive no no. Smarter, sustainable, subsidised, home grown produce is the way to go.

Colin Campbell said...

I think that this is a very important issue that is trivialised by many. Have you been to many parts of the supermarkets, where the Australian content is diminishing by the week.

One of the great things that I enjoyed when I first came to Australia was the degree of Australian content in food. Not something to lose without a fight.

Jayne said...

Worm poo is good stuff Trish ;)

Exactly LiD!

I agree Colin; with the 2 big supermarkets flexing their buying power our Aussie content is an endangered species.
One scary example is Aussie gluten-free food has the strictest gluten-free standards world wide. USA and UK allow a tiny % of gluten into food they package as gluten-free, which can be dangerous for coeliacs/people who are gluten intolerant, whereas Aussie gluten-free is 100% gluten-free. Not something our health industry alone can afford to lose off the shelves!

Bettina said...

I'm stunned! Some people are stupid.

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