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Australian Made’s history wasn’t all rosy. It was started as a government funded initiative in 1986 until its cash was pulled by the John Howard government a decade later. After going into liquidation, it eventually resurfaced as a not for profit organization managed within the private sector, but with its compliance rules overseen by the federal government.

“Australian Grown” and “Australian Seafood” logos were recently added.

“Fortunately for Australians by and large our standards are high, our healthy, clean, green environment is very desirable, particularly into Asia,” said Australian Made CEO Ian Harrison.

“So products and more importantly produce from this country are highly regarded, which means you’ll get a premium in the marketplace for it in competition with cheaper alternatives.”

Harrison had some tips for Flaherty and the federal government, which he shared with The Canadian Press:

1. Don’t run the campaign out of the national capital

Harrison was part of Australian Made’s move from the national capital Canberra to the country’s second largest city Melbourne in 2004.

“If you operate in a capital city like Canberra, I presume Ottawa’s not dissimilar, then the focus is politics and the process of government and governance. I see this, and you guys should see this, as a commercial activity. We’re not for profit, but we sure aren’t for loss.”

2. Don’t talk about it as a trade measure

“It is a branding device, it’s not a trade policy, it’s not an import restriction, it’s not anything that gets in the way of industry or trade policy per se. What it does, it enables business to easily promote the fact that their products or produce are Australian.”

3. Make sure the business community is in the driver’s seat

“This needs to be seen as an initiative that industry has a close relationship with. The administration of that symbol should not reside in government at all. Government should be supportive of the program, but the business community is where it should reside because it’s a device for business to clearly identify their products.”

4. But make sure the federal government controls the compliance rules

“It’s a very exacting process, and I said that framework’s important because it clearly establishes the legal identity of the symbol, and establishes automatic legal recourse in the event companies or individuals or whatever don’t comply with the rules.”
heeled uggs Feds look to Australia for pointers on Made