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WA consumers hearing the call to 'buy local'

Latest research shows more than two thirds of Western Australians are hearing the ‘buy local’ message and increasingly supporting the State’s important agriculture, food and beverage industries.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Buy West Eat Best (BWEB) food and beverage labelling program has championed the benefits of buying local since 2008.

The program is unique to the state of Western Australia, enabling consumers to confidently identify ingredients and grocery products that are grown, farmed, fished and processed right here in WA.

Independent consumer research undertaken in February this year showed almost 8 out of 10 shoppers (79 per cent) are now familiar with the BWEB brand, an increase of 13 per cent since 2017.

Of this, more than 90 per cent of respondents believed BWEB was important to the WA economy and to local farmers, producers, agrifood businesses and communities.

Department Food Industry Development Manager Deborah Pett said it was fantastic to see so many West Australians recognising the benefits of buying local, seasonally fresh produce and supporting our important food and beverage industries and businesses.

“Interestingly, the consumer research showed nearly half of all West Australians are buying more local produce following the challenges presented over the past year, and a third are cooking more at home,” Ms Pett said.

‘We have seen similar trends overseas, and it is important that we support local businesses to optimise these opportunities, through programs such as Buy West Eat Best.”

When asked about the Good choice, WA campaign, 76 per cent of grocery shoppers said they were aware of the advertising campaign.

Ms Pett said the Good choice, WA campaign was first introduced to consumers in 2017 as a call to action for shoppers to think local, buy local and dine out local.

“WA food and beverage businesses and industry groups are also seeing the benefits of being affiliated with the Good choice, WA campaign and the distinctive BWEB logo,” Ms Pett said.

 “The BWEB program currently has 186 members, including producers, processors, retailers, restaurants and distributors spread out across the State.”

Milne AgriGroup Head of Marketing Nikki Atack said as a WA family owned-and-operated business, Milne considers Buy West Eat Best to be an important industry partner for their local free-range meat brands Mt Barker Chicken and Plantagenet Pork.

“BWEB’s Good choice, WA campaign has been extremely effective in highlighting the importance of local provenance and supporting WA producers,” Ms Atack said.

“BWEB continues to have a positive impact on our business and brand salience, providing a trusted platform to communicate our core values and ethical farming philosophy.

“Particularly in this COVID era, WA’s farming community needs more support than ever.”

Sweeter Banana Co-operative Business Manager Doriana Mangili echoed the need for business to continue to support the campaign.

“BWEB aligns with our broader business vision and brand, and Carnarvon Sweeter Banana has significantly invested to support delivery of the Good choice, WA campaign,” Ms Mangili said.

“The strong brand awareness of the distinctive bite mark logo is essential to maintain. For many grocery shoppers, it is a simple yet highly effective cue to support our local producers.

“All rural and regional communities, including us here in the Gascoyne region, benefit by supporting Buy West Eat Best and there is recognition and greater understanding of the critical need to support WA’s food and beverage sector which is more important now than ever.”

West Australians will have the opportunity to sample some of the State’s best produce in June as part of BWEB’s Plating Up WA month. For more information visit platingupwa.com.au

For more information on the program visit buywesteatbest.org.au

Photo caption: More than two thirds of Western Australians are hearing the buy local message and recognising the benefits of buying local produce.

Media contact:

Katrina Bowers/Megan Broad, media liaison, +61 (0)8 9368 3937/9368 3789