Unpacking ‘Australian Made’ as shoppers are urged to buy local this Christmas

The Land Down Under dessert, topped with a realistic chocolate stencil of Australia and an edible Australian Made logo

Nicola Dowse

Posted December 16, 2022

Victorians are being urged to buy local this Christmas and support local businesses by keeping an eye out for presents stamped with the iconic ‘Australian Made’ logo.

Australians spend approximately $60 billion in the six weeks leading to Christmas according to Roy Morgan research, a number that represents a three per cent increase on last year. 

As more and more Australians keep a close eye on where their dollars are going with increased cost of living pressures, the Australian Made Campaign – the organisation behind the country’s iconic gold kangaroo in a green triangle logo – is encouraging shoppers to save money by buying locally made products, and supporting local businesses.

Chief Executive for the Australian Made Campaign, Ben Lazzaro, says that Australian made products are a good choice not only for your community, but the environment and for the loved one receiving your gift.  

“When you buy a product certified with the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo, you are not only purchasing a product made to some of the highest safety and manufacturing standards or grown in our clean, green environment, you are also having a direct economic impact on the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Australians across the supply chain,” he said.

“We are lucky to have such a fantastic range of great Aussie gifts made right here in our backyard.” 

But while you’re almost certainly familiar with the Australian Made logo, you might not quite understand what it means, or the strict rules around who can use it. 


A person holding an 'Australian Made and Owned' logo up against a product

Non-edible products must apply and pay a fee to use the Australian Made logo. Photo: Australian Made Campaign.

The origins of Australian Made

First launched in 1986, the logo was created to allow the average shopper to easily identify Australian products and support local manufacturers. The now globally-famous logo has a Victorian connection as well, with the symbol fashioned by Melbourne graphic designer Ken Cato.  

“Created to help consumers identify where products are made and grown, the Australian Made logo is Australia’s most trusted, recognised and widely used country of origin symbol,” says Lazzaro.

These days the symbol has almost universal recognition within Australia, with consumer surveys showing 98.8 per cent of Australians recognise the logo, and that 93 per cent prefer to buy Australian Made where possible. 

“The logo has a proven 35-year track record in making the ‘Australian connection’ both here and overseas and is the most effective way to identify genuine Aussie products,” Lazzaro says.

To earn the Australian Made logo (or described as “made in Australia”) a product has to be ‘substantially transformed’ within Australia – the ingredients or components that went into making it do not have to originate from the country as well.  

“Packaging and assembling are not considered substantial transformations. Neither are simple processes like mixing or blending,” Lazzaro says.

For instance, a dollhouse described as “Made in Australia” could legally be made from imported timber, but constructed in Australia. 

You can see the logo on both edible and non-edible products sold throughout Australia (and overseas too) but there’s a key difference between the two, especially when it comes to regulation and usage. 

“There is a stringent compliance regime around the use of the Australian Made, Australian Grown kangaroo logo because it is a certification trademark,” Lazzaro says. “The logo can only be used on Australian-made and grown products that meet the criteria set out in the Australian Consumer Law and the Australian Made Logo Code of Practice.” 

Since 2018, it has been mandatory for most edible products sold in Australia to label where they were grown, made or produced. In this context, the Australian Made logo is free to use but also must identify what percentage of ingredients that went into its creation also came from Australia.

In this instance, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) oversees the use of the logo. 

Two packets of biscuits for example might both have the Australian Made logo, but one might have 80 per cent of its ingredients sourced from Australia, while the other only has 10 per cent. 

For non-edible retail products, businesses must apply to the Australian Made Campaign to use the logo, then pay a license fee if accepted.


The Australian Made logo on a wooden chopping board

Products that say 'Australian Made' must have been significantly transformed within Australia. Photo: Australian Made Campaign.

Different shades of ‘Australian Made’

If you take a stroll through the supermarket and check out the packaging on the products, you’ll begin to notice variation of ‘Australian Made’. In fact, there’s seven different iterations, each with their own meaning:

Australian Made only means that the product was substantially transformed in Australia, while Product of Australia means that all of the significant components or ingredients in a product come from Australia but also that it was primarily or entirely manufactured in Australia too.

Australian Grown likewise means all ingredients were grown in Australia, plus all or nearly all of the processing was also down in country. Cape Schanck Olive Estate, who supplies to RACV Cape Schanck Resort, could describe their oil as Australian Grown. Australian Seafood means the same as Australian Grown, but is specifically for seafood products. 

A logo simply with the word Australian is only used in the export market if it fits one of the aforementioned labels, and signifies to overseas consumers that the product is genuinely Australian.

The logo with a bar graph underneath is the Australian Food Labelling logo, with the graph indicating what percentage of ingredients are Australian.

Finally, there’s the Australian Made & Owned logo and label, which depending on the product, might say Australian Grown & Owned. This label simply identifies that the company is also Australian, in addition to the product meeting one of the above requirements.


Cape Schanck Olive Estate supplies its acclaimed olive oil to RACV Cape Schanck resort

Australian Made on the menu

Down on the Mornington Peninsula, special guests at the elegant Cape restaurant at RACV Cape Schanck Resort are occasionally treated to a very fancy dessert the exemplifies the Australian Made ethos. 

Topped with a delicate chocolate in the shape of the nation itself, The Land Down Under is an unmistakably Australian-inspired treat. 

Featuring a wattle seed sable breton (French shortbread) base, locally-made dark chocolate crémeux, cocoa marshmallow, finger lime gel, and macadamia ice cream, the dessert showcases the bounty of ingredients available in Australia. The dessert, of course, comes complete with an edible version of the Made in Australia logo – just in case the dish’s roots weren’t crystal clear.

Bhuvan Ravishankar, Chef de Cuisine at RACV Cape Schanck Resort, created the dessert for the same reasons Australians are being encouraged to shop Australian this Christmas: to showcase the quality of local products and support local businesses.

"I wanted to showcase local chocolate,” says Ravishankar, who used Melbourne-based Good Boy’s bean-to-bar chocolate for the dessert.

“The guy who made the chocolate that I used in this dessert...he started this business in his apartment as an experiment during COVID.”

“His business has taken off now and he supplies to farmers’ markets, he’s setup a factory, employs people and gives employment opportunities for so many locals.” 

Treat yourself to the best locally grown produce.
Discover the menu at RACV Club restaurants →