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6 December, 2020

OPINION - Buy Buy Australia.

Last week we heard the good news that Bega Cheese would be buying back Dairy Farmers milk in a deal that is worth over half a billion dollars.

By Phil Brandel

Buy Buy Australia.

Last week we heard the good news that Bega Cheese would be buying back Dairy Farmers milk in a deal that is worth over half a billion dollars.

Not only does Bega pick up Dairy Farmers but also Pura Milk, Daily Juice, Big M flavoured milk and Dare iced coffee. 

Last year these brands were going to be sold to the Chinese owned Mengniu Dairy. The sale was approved and recommended by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, then at the last moment, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg halted the sale citing a conflict with national interests.

The sale of Dairy farmers back in Australian hands follows a slight trend. In October of this year, Australian mining magnate Twiggy Forest bought iconic bootmaker RM Williams for a reported $190m.

Bega cheese also bought back Vegemite from overseas interests in 2017 for around $460m.

This means that some of Australia’s biggest brands are returning home, it also means we now have to support them. The reason the above brands were sold in the first place was because they couldn’t compete with overseas manufacturing.  If you want to support your local dairy farmer and keep the Dairy Farmers brand back in Australian hands, we all are going to have to forfeit the cheap supermarket brand milk and pay a little extra for Dairy Farmers Milk.

Same goes with Vegemite and RM Williams.  

Australia Made chief executive Ben Lazzaro said the coronavirus pandemic had created demand for goods that would support Australian jobs — despite the extra cost of buying Australian-made products.

Research by Roy Morgan in July found 90 per cent of Australians surveyed wanted more products produced locally, up from 88 per cent in January.

The most common reason given was the pandemic had "highlighted Australia's reliance on other countries", the second was new employment opportunities needed to be created in Australia.

Some of our most beloved brands are actually owned by overseas multinationals, brands like Speedo, Arnott's, Uncle Tobys, Bushells, Golden Circle, Bundaberg Sugar and Milo.

At the moment Australia and China are having a spat over a number of issues that has led to Australian wine, sugar, seafood and produce either sitting on a Chinese dock going off in the sun or being priced out of the market due to ridiculous tariffs.

We have put all our eggs in the Chinese basket which is a curse as well as an opportunity for all Australians

If we want to keep Australian products in Australian hands then we need to buy Australian. Due to our wages and living conditions Australian milk, clothing, win and produce is going to cost more.

So next time you’re at the supermarket do you support an overseas multinational? or are you willing to pay a little more and help Australia wean itself off our reliance on countries like China. The choice is ours.

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