At a time when there’s a little flurry about the application for a trade mark for ‘MADE IN AUSTRALIA’, it’s interesting to see this little Parliamentary Library Research Note on the significance of Country of Origin labelling. As you might expect, it shows there is little research, but what there is suggests that country of origin does matter to Australians:

‘The Australian Made Campaign occasionally commissions surveys on consumer attitudes to country of origin issues and the Australian Made logo. Its most recent consumer survey was completed in 2003. The survey, based on consumers’ response to a set of four questions, showed that 45 per cent of surveyed consumers buy Australian made products whenever possible and that 1 in 3 of those surveyed specifically look for the ‘Made in Australia’ label.(10) The survey also found that ‘Product of Australia’ labelling has greater recognition and acceptance by consumers than ‘Made in Australia’:

The Campaign’s research findings are that almost 8 in 10 (79%) respondents correctly believed that the terms ‘Made in Australia’ and ‘Product of Australia’ have different meanings. Consumers generally understand ‘Product of Australia’ to be the higher claim, though this understanding is significantly lower amongst younger people than older people.