2020, the year of Glen 20, has been a hell of a year so far. We’ve seen human reactions from opposite ends of the spectrum.
By Drakes Director John-Paul Drake.
The world banded together to support Australia during the worst of our bushfires, then very quickly countries were forced to close their borders and fend for themselves when COVID-19 hit. I have no doubt that as a country, we’ll band together and regroup. It’s what we do. It’s our spirit. It’s the Australian way.
I’ve been preaching from my milk crate (sorry, WH&S team) for years about supporting local. It’s something I’m truly passionate about. If there’s one good thing to come out of the COVID-19 situation, it’s that the greater community is realising how important it is to look after one another and ensure we’re supporting the local community first. It’s more critical now than ever before.
When I say supporting local, I mean your local fruit shop, butcher, cafe or supermarket. I mean the furniture store that makes their couch in Australia. I mean the tyre shop owned by a local family. I mean those businesses that pay their full taxes to pay for our roads, healthcare and education system. I mean those local, Aussie owned and operated businesses that reinvest their profits back into your suburb, state, territory or country.
That’s what supporting local means to me: keeping money in Australia and taking care of our community first. Is this selfish? Hell yes. Is this exactly what the rest of the world is doing? For sure. As a country, we have a responsibility to be self sustaining as much as possible. Ask yourself: what happens when all our milk becomes foreign owned – when we’re producing it, but can’t get fresh milk ourselves? Will the other countries keep some for Australia, or will they ship it to their home ground?
Since the panic buying and hoarding scenes of COVID-19 there’s been a large social media movement to support local businesses and Australian made and owned products. This is amazing but it makes you think: is this for consumer convenience because imported products are taking longer to reach our shelves, or is the supporting local message finally sinking in? I like to think it’s the latter, as I feel consumers are making more conscious decisions to support local and wanting more Australian made and owned products. I’ve been seeing it in our stores and hearing it from my customers. This movement is real and it excites me. The real test will be whether the movement will continue to grow once shelves are fully stocked and life goes to the new normal.
I’m a realist. I know we can’t manufacture everything in Australia, but when the option is available to choose a local product over an imported product, we need you to vote with your trolley. It’s time for us to stand together and realise how important it is to support local first, not only for our future but also our children’s future.
How do you support local? Ask me on any of my platforms below!
YouTube: jp drake
About John-Paul Drake
John-Paul Drake has retail in the blood. Starting out as the trolley boy and shelf stacker 30 years ago in the family business, his passion for retail is firmly solidified as the Director of Drakes Supermarkets. He’s a staunch supporter of supporting local and is not afraid to call it as he sees it.