Buying Local has been a thing since the federation of Australia when advocated in Federal Parliament. In the 1930’s chambers of manufacturers championed and actively advocated with the public to buy local and in 1961 launched a campaign called Operation Boomerang which encouraged consumers to buy locally made goods.
Despite globalisation and all the benefits enjoyed by consumers, attempts have been made at many levels to encourage consumers to buy local. In 1986 the Australian Government launched Australian Made whose logo is now recognised by 98.8% of Australian consumers. Individual companies too have made their own attempts to pull at the patriotic heart strings of consumers. Possibly the best known is Dick Smith Foods which launched in 1999 to offer Australian produced and owned food products amid the ever-increasing offshore ownership of much-loved grocery lines.
Moves have also been made at state (eg; SA Made) and local levels as well. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated product shortages has made people assess their brand allegiances and buying local is enjoying a resurgence. Most councils have developed campaigns supporting buying locally and the challenge has been set for businesses to take advantage of and maintain growing consumer support.
Buying local offers consumers numerous advantages that cross various themes including freshness and authenticity (eg; known provenance), local economic stimulation (eg; keeping money and employment local), environmental and ethical (eg; less packaging, low food miles), community (eg; relationships with producers) and others.
Selling locally bring producers and manufacturers many advantages as well. There is potential to cut supply chain and distribution costs for greater margins but possibly the greatest advantage is being closer to customers. Real customer relationships deliver benefits in spades including better understanding of customer needs and what they value the most, ability to receive market feedback, better opportunities to educate your customers and increased ability to develop valuable brand allegiances.