We all know that shopping local is great for our economy and environment, but who’s got time to read the fine print on every tin and jar to find out where our groceries come from? Thankfully, now we don’t need to.
New tags on supermarket shelves will let you see at a glance which products are local – no label reading required. It’s part of a new Brand South Australia campaign to make it as easy as possible for all South Aussie shoppers – even the super busy ones – to support local businesses without the hassle.
The ‘Buy SA. For SA.’ campaign
Brand SA’s ‘Buy SA. For SA.’ campaign aims to get us to switch at least $1 in every $20 we spend on shopping, away from interstate and overseas products to local goods made right here in the nation’s best foodie state, and home of Tasting Australia.
It might not sound like a lot, but according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, South Australians spend around $10 billion each year in supermarkets and grocery stores. So, if we just spent an extra five per cent of our shopping budget on local products, it would provide hundreds of millions of dollars more for South Aussie producers and businesses. Sweet, huh?
Brand South Australia advisory board member and director of Sprout cooking school Callum Hann says this shouldn’t be too hard.
“We know that South Australians love to support other South Australians, people, businesses, and frankly, the quality of the produce we’ve got here is some of the best you’ll find anywhere in the world, Callum says. “So this campaign is all about encouraging sales rates and not only buy South Australian but understand what is South Australian.”
Brand SA’s ‘Buy SA. For SA’ campaign is all about four simple ways you can shop local more often and more easily. It’s not about completely changing the way you shop (unless you want to!), but just providing you with some easy hacks for increasing how much of your hard-earned cash stays in the state.
- Look for the State logo
If your shopping is solely supermarket-based, this one’s for you. Brand SA has worked with supermarket retailers to make sure local products can now be easily identified by shoppers at a glance. Just look for the bright red ’Buy SA. For SA.’ tags on supermarket shelves marking where to find groceries made locally, plus on the products themselves.
- Shop at our fresh produce and fashion markets
When you’ve got the time, shopping at one of SA’s markets is not just good for the economy, but also can be good fun. Callum says it’s not only the place to get the best produce, but also the best service from the widest range of sellers.
As well as all the food and farmers markets, there are a growing number of markets where you can buy everything from locally-made clothes and ear bling to Christmas and birthday gifts. And let’s face it – telling your friends you’re wearing an SA designer is so much cooler than admitting your outfit’s from Amazon.
Want more? Listen to this week’s episode of Hot Topics! Matt, Anna, and Tim consider their favourite South Aussie brands and talk about the reasons we can all feel good about switching some of our spend toward products grown and made in our home state.
- Choose an SA-owned supermarket when you can
If you’re struggling during the cost-of-living crisis to make ends meet and you need to choose your supermarkets based on price and accessibility alone, we totally understand – do what you need to do. But if your circumstances permit, choosing SA-owned stores, such as Foodland, Drakes, Tony & Marks and local independent grocers means more of your money goes back into the local economy.
- Support South Australian small businesses
You don’t need to have witnessed the epic queues for the Port Elliot Bakery to know SA is home to some seriously good local bakeries, butchers and fruit and veg shops that are worthy of your support.
Callum says it can also be cheaper to shop locally – especially when it comes to fresh produce. “When you think about almost any economical thing in the world, generally we expect that higher quality equals higher price,” he says.
“But when it comes to fruit and veg … when you’re buying the strawberries in the middle of winter, you’re paying for the additional travel costs or the additional challenges in growing that product.
“So actually, if you ask your local fruit and veg shop … and you’re buying local and seasonal … normally it’s more convenient and you save yourself money.”
How buying local makes a difference
As well as giving you warm fuzzies for supporting your fellow South Australians, buying local really helps drive the state’s economy.
Callum Hann says buying from an SA business has a knock-on effect for the state’s economy.
“When you buy a local product it’s not just that business who probably employs someone that you know anyway, it’s also the truck driver, the freight company, the logistics, the packaging, all the other businesses that you’re supporting by making that local purchase,” Callum says.
If the campaign succeeds in inspiring us to switch just one in every $20 of our grocery spending to local sources, then our economy will be up to $2 billion better off. That amount of money could mean a heap of new jobs.
To put it in perspective, South Australia’s food and beverage sector accounts for about 30 per cent of jobs in the manufacturing industry. Exports of finished SA foods totalled $1.86 billion in 2020-21 – that’s 12 per cent of the State’s total export value. We obviously grow and produce a whole lot of tasty stuff the world wants to eat, so why shouldn’t we enjoy it ourselves?
Good news for the environment
Callum says it’s no secret that buying local helps the environment. Choosing local and eating what’s in season means you get produce that’s travelled less, reducing the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions.
“When we ship food from the other side of the world or the other side of the country, there’s a huge carbon footprint involved with that,” he says.
“When you’re buying an orange from the Riverland or strawberry from the Adelaide Hills, there’s next to no food miles with that, so you’re not only supporting a South Australian business, but you can feel great about the environment too.”
The same goes for items in your pantry. San Remo pasta is made in Windsor Gardens and Bickfords are manufactured a little further down the road, in Salisbury.
Due to the size of the country and volume of production, Australia is the second largest exporter of food transport emissions in the world. Thankfully cutting down on food transport emissions really is as simple as buying local. This also cuts down on food waste because the distribution chain is so much shorter.
So if you want to do your bit for SA’s economy and the world’s environment, then look for the red state logo next time you’re at the shops. If you know someone who runs a South Australian business, you can also encourage them to apply to use the state logo so they can benefit from the campaign. To learn more about Buy SA. For SA, click here.
SA businesses who currently use the State brand can download everything they need to spread the campaign message through their social media channels here.