Research from Roy Morgan found that nine in 10 (89 per cent) Australians believe Australia should be producing more products locally following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The preference for Australian-made products was already high before the pandemic, with Roy Morgan research in January finding 88 per cent of Australians were more likely to buy products made in Australia.
But since the pandemic, more than half of Australians (52 per cent) said they now have an even higher preference for Australian-made products.
As for key motivations for businesses to manufacture locally, reducing Australia’s reliance on other countries topped the list (38 per cent), followed by creating jobs (26 per cent), supporting Australian business and industry (26 per cent), safeguarding vulnerable international supply chains (20 per cent) and strengthening Australia’s economy (16 per cent).
Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said the impact of COVID-19 on Australians is unprecedented in so many ways, not least of which is our shopping behaviour.
“More Australians are now organising delivery of products; doing online research prior to making a purchase; shopping online, both in stores they would usually visit and different stores,” Ms Levine said.
“And critically since COVID-19, Australians have an ever-greater preference for Australian Made products.”
Australian Made chief executive Ben Lazzaro said Australia’s over-reliance on imported products has been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This research indicates that Australians are placing priority on manufacturing self-sufficiency and job creation, along with a renewed appetite to address the imbalance between locally made and imported products, to ensure Australia’s long-term prosperity,” Mr Lazzaro said.
The research comes following the launch of a federal government-funded campaign led by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) urging Australians to “Go Local First” when they are purchasing products and services to help the small-business sector get back on its feet.
Commenting on the launch, Minister for Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said, now more than ever, Australian small businesses need local communities to back them and support their recovery by choosing to shop with them either in person or online.