A NATIONAL BRAND

FOR AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE:

WHY, WHAT, WHEN, AND HOW?


There is a huge degree of talk — and a bit of traction and action — focused on creating a unified, national brand for our produce.

Government stakeholder consultations — domestic and international — have shown "broad support for the concept of a national food brand".

However, there are already existing branding initiatives at various state and commodity levels. 

 

Are you a SUPPORTER OR A SCEPTIC? 

Understand the debate — as well as the progress — right here!


ARGUMENTS FOR & AGAINST

 
  • Australia's food attributes (quality, clean, safe, animal and environmental welfare) are valued in international markets.

  • Buyers may be willing to pay a premium for a recognised national brand, triggering benefits down the supply chain.

  • A brand that differentiates our products may assist Australian agriculture to remain competitive in commodity markets.

 
  • High cost and who would pay for it? 

  • Failure to uphold brand attributes — in a crisis or otherwise — could damage the entire industry.

  • Differences between sub-sectors — as well as between value-added and commodity products — render an all-encompassing brand ineffective.

  • Existing brands (e.g. state-based brands, Dairy Australia etc.) could suffer and consumers may be confused by different efforts.


 

Some commentary from some respected sources on opportunities and challenges of the national branding debate:

 

 

 

KEY OPPORTUNITIES

KEY CHALLENGES

  • "One of the major barriers to establishing a unified Australian agriculture brand is the conflicting interests and agendas of the many stakeholders in Australian agriculture." David Thompson (Winner, John Ralph Essay Competition, Australian Farm Institute), November 2014.

  • "The national brand must be backed up by actions, in the case of food safety, just one fault has the potential to lose significant brand equity quickly." Mitchell Hughes, John Ralph Essay Competition, Australian Farm Institute, November 2014.

  • "...the problem lies with the idea of an all-encompassing brand for Australian agriculture. Not only are there stark differences between each sub-sector, the agricultural sector is not in a position to even evaluate an effective brand for one of these sectors until it knows the overall strategy which sits behind any branding decisions." Peter Elliot (AEGIC), John Ralph Essay Competition, Australian Farm Institute), November 2014.

  • "Australia must tread carefully in an international market, and consider the 'guilt by association' aspects that may be transferred to other products if they were to be associated with a product failure." Ruth Ahchow (EY), John Ralph Essay Competition, Australian Farm Institute), November 2014.

  • "There are two key challenges associated with the concept that have yet to be tackled. The first is to develop the concept to a point where the inherent qualities of Australian farm produce are identified and clearly communicated to consumers. This is a major challenge, because despite the views held by some that simply sticking an Australian label on products makes them inherently more desirable, this is not always the case and certainly will not be over the longer-term. As has been pointed out in previous posts, there are plenty of positive characteristics of Australian produce that are eminently marketable, but they do need to be packaged into a coherent campaign, and the question of the need for any brand to be associated with accreditation standards (as is the case with the UK Red Tractor brand) needs to be addressed. The second challenge, of course, is funding. A campaign would require sufficient and sustained funding to generate real value, and this immediately raises the question of who should pay. There are a number of different models that have been proposed, ranging from complete funding by industry to complete funding by government. In the longer-term, it is likely that industry will need to bear a significant share of the funding burden, which will mean extensve industry discussion and debate. That discussion will be made all the more difficult in the absence of any concrete examples of what Brand Australia might look like and how it would work." (Mick Keogh, 'Is Australia about to get a new lease of life,' Australian Farm Institute, October 2014).

  • If Australia's various state governments could be convinced to pool their resources and work cooperatively on the development of a single national brand for Australian agricultural and food products, there might be some chance over the longer term of establishing and maintaining a premium for Australian products. As things stand at present, the main outcome of the efforts by various state governments is market confusion. (Mick Keogh, 'Brand Australia in a Bad State', Australian Farm Institute, 2014)


Want to find more out more?

Refer to the following sources for further information and commentary on national branding.

Austrade, the proponents of the Australian Unlimited Brand Australia (see below), have been appointed to deliver the national food brand. Click here for details of their strategy and research.

Austrade, the proponents of the Australian Unlimited Brand Australia (see below), have been appointed to deliver the national food brand. Click here for details of their strategy and research.

WHAT BRANDS ARE ALREADY ESTABLISHED IN THE MARKETPLACE?

WHAT BRANDS ARE ALREADY ESTABLISHED IN THE MARKETPLACE?

TRUE AUSSIE (2015)


What do you think about a national brand for Australian agriculture?

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