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Aussie made creates Aussie jobs -it's that simple Mr Smith!

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M E D IA RELEASE Wednesday, 21 July 1999


Aussie Made Creates Aussie Jobs - It's That Simple Mr Smith!

The continued attack on foreign owned Australian manufacturers, as seen on A Current Affair last night featuring Dick Smith, is misleading -and denigrating the value of Australian jobs in Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, according to the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

Mr Mitchell H Hooke, Executive Director, AFGC, die peak representative body for Australia’s food and grocery product manufacturers said, “the investment, value added jobs equation is really quite simple. Investment in Australian made foods means Australian jobs and exports which means more value adding in Australia of Australian farm products and more jobs.

“Exports to other countries means imports to Australia — that's the trade equation. Australia’s population won’t sustain growth in food manufacturing — we need export access. If Australia wants access to other markets, both m terms of exports and investment opportunities, then it cannot expect to lock up its own markets.

“Thankfully our export markets don’t run the same Line that Mr Smith does — $11 billion of processed food exports per year bears testament to that.

“Australia's food and drink manufacturing industry represents a mixture of foreign and Australian owned companies investing in Australia’s food industry. They use Australian ingredients, Australian goods and services and provide Australian jobs. Consumers and the

economy benefit.

“Australia’s largest food company is Australian owned. Complementing Australian investment is foreign investment filling the void left by Australian investors looking elsewhere for returns on capital and by Australia’s poor savings and investment record-“All companies in Australia whether foreign or Australian owned are required by Australian law

to pay taxes and to suggest otherwise is grossly misleading. One foreign owned company alone injects in excess o f $1 billion per annum into the Australian economy.

“Australian manufacturers source in excess of 90% of their ingredients ftom Australian agnculture. Imported ingredients Ell the gap where they are not produced in Australian, make up a shortfall or are of superior quality'.

“Australia has shifted from being a net importer to a net exporter of foods, adding value to Australian agricultural commodities, realising substantial benefits to die Australian economy, providing jobs, and in fact, improving Australia’s balance o f trade, not reducing it as implied by

A Current Affair.

“It :s wrong to claim that repackaged unported products could be sold under Australian rnatk labels. Thu would be illegal under Australian law.

“Country of origin labelling laws provide for products to be differentiated on the basis of source of origin, where the value-added occurred and sources o f major ingredients.

“A great proportion o f the 185,000 Australians employed m the food manufactunng industry arc engaged by foreign owned Australian manufacturers — let alone the thousands employed in supplying goods and services.

“At the end of the day consumers vote with their feet. Brands whether they ire Australian or foreign owned arc only icons because they deliver value for money. If that value is added here in Australia it is a fillip for Australian investment, Australian value adding and Australian jobs,” Mr Hooke said.


Contact: Mr M itchell H H ooke or Lina Melero Ph 02 6273 1466 or 0417 667 169