The Herald editorial:
A buy-Australian campaign in two Australian supermarket chains is a sobering lesson for the Green Party and anyone else in New Zealand who advocates the same thing here. The unfairness to suppliers from this country is exactly the effect a buy-New Zealand campaign has in other countries, though the scale of our market diminishes the impact on most of them and increases the damage to us.
Exactly. Its hypocritical to relentlessly claim we should only purchase from NZ suppliers, and then complain when Australian supermarkets promote Australian food over NZ food.
The best thing we can do is to focus on quality of product and price, not country of origin.
Ultimately the best response of excluded suppliers is to make their products doubly attractive and competitive on the same market. Quality, taste, price and brand reputations can trump the country of origin in consumers’ decisions. But it takes a sustained marketing effort, preferably before a threat of this sort comes along.
You can’t take export markets for granted.
The campaign will pass, of course. As soon as the supermarkets sense consumers going elsewhere for familiar items they no longer stock, the non-Australian brands will be quietly restored. But the lessons should not be forgotten when we are urged to buy on country-of-origin labels. Compulsory labelling is a fine principle of consumer information but if the labels are used for an exclusive purpose, fair competitors somewhere will suffer.
Also correct me if I am wrong, but the Australian supermarkets have not banned any NZ food. They have made a decision to only use Australian sourced food for their in-house brands. There is a considerable difference.