Can a product be "made in Australia" from imported ingredients?
The short answer is yes. The Made in Australia logo is widely respected, and more and more Australians want to support local makers knowing that the products they choose are "made in Australia." But when it comes to Australia's complementary medicine industry, this isn't always straightforward.
Specific growing conditions
It isn't always possible to grow all the herbs here in Australia. For example, alpine plants are adapted to harsh conditions such as low temperatures, dryness, ultraviolet radiation, wind, drought, and poor nutritional soil. They may also have a short growing season.
Another example is peonies which also come from cool temperatures in mountain regions in the northern hemisphere, including parts of China; they need cold winters, mild summers and deep, rich, moisture-retentive soils.
The popular herb Withania, or ashwagandha, grows best in well-drained, sandy or light soils, which the Indian state of Rajasthan provides and is said to produce some of the best quality herbs. And in some instances, generations of growers have developed in-depth knowledge of the best cultivation practices. Thus, the intricate and individual growing conditions make it impossible to grow every ingredient in natural medicines here in Australia.
Strictly controlled, tested and regulated
When ingredients are imported from overseas, they are strictly controlled and tested for authenticity by Australia's complementary medicines industry according to the highest standards in the world. In an industry that is more highly regulated than any other complementary medicines in the world. And it is an Australian success story.
Growing the economy, securing jobs
Australian complementary medicine provides around AUD$1.8 billion to the economy yearly. Continued positive growth will grow our advanced manufacturing sector, boost Australian jobs and stimulate scientific evaluation and research.
Complementary medicines include vitamins, mineral and nutritional supplements, homeopathic, aromatherapy products and herbal medicines, plus traditional medicines, including traditional Chinese medicines, Ayurvedic, Australian Indigenous and Western herbal medicines. These are regulated in Australia as medicines under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.
Certifying products as being made here in Australia is a robust sales and marketing asset. It is only awarded if the company meets the criteria set out in Australian Consumer Law and the Australian Made Logo code of practice. This powerful emblem sends a clear message to consumers that the product is an authentic Australian alternative product made for Australians and discerning consumers overseas.
Australian Made, Australian Grown
The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo certifies a product is totally or mostly manufactured, processed or transformed in Australia. The logo tells your consumers that your product is genuinely made in Australia and positively impacts the Australian economy. A 2019 press release by Roy Morgan Research shows that 90% of Australians over fourteen are more likely to buy locally-made products.
Several kinds of "made in Australia" certifications are printed with the Australian Made logo. The customer can thus clearly see how or to what extent a product was made in Australia. For example, if a product is made in Australia from imported ingredients, it must meet specific criteria.
Made-in-Australia symbols explained
The product is significantly transformed in Australia, even if its components are from international suppliers. Yes, it can be made in Australia from imported ingredients!
Transforming the ingredients into the product is still beneficial to the local industry.
Local farmers grow all of the significant ingredients in the product here in Australia. Additionally, all or nearly all of the processing occurs in Australia.
Product of Australia
All of the significant ingredients in the product come from around Australia. Additionally, the components are totally or mostly manufactured or processed in Australia; this differs from "Australian Grown" because those "ingredients" might not be crops or produce, for example.
The benefits of buying Made in Australia
In a few words, buying products made in Australia benefits consumers and the country. Each dollar can make a change since it directs resources to local businesses, local communities, and local families. You're buying products that are certified as safer, higher quality, and more trustworthy due to Australia's strict regulations. There's no downside to supporting local industry.