Australian consumers are becoming more and more conscientious—what this means is that they want to buy goods and services from companies that are not only ethically-minded but are also ethically run.
A 2014 study of Australian consumerism has shown that Australians are becoming more and more demanding shoppers:
- The bad reputation of company or a brand has influenced well over half of Australian consumers against buying that brand
- More than half of Australian consumers have been willing choose a brands with better ethics, even if it means paying more
- Compared with their past behavior, more Australian consumers are now actively buying brands with a positive reputation
An even more recent study from 2016, shows that this conscientiousness has gone deeper in food consumption:
- Australian consumers grocery shop with a specific diet in mind
- They want more product information to make better and informed purchase decisions—particularly because the current labels on food packaging can be confusing
- As a result, many would consider switching brands if they found a competing product listed more detailed product information, particularly one that they could understand and more so if they had access to this information through digital channels.
What this all means is that a good reputation and transparency is good for business. It means businesses need to be transparent and honest about their products. This also means holding themselves accountable for what goes into each product, how each are made, and where each ingredient comes from. Furthermore, being honest and transparent also means holding the businesses that support the production of each and every product and service that they offer to their consumers—this means finding partners who hold the same values as theirs.
Why is transparency important?
Public safety and product integrity are just some of the important reasons why transparency in the food business is important. In the wine industry, for example, the national and state government uphold strict standards and imposes rigorous reporting guidelines to parties in the wine industry. This is why the industry is supported by a sizeable software industry that allows vineyards and wineries to track the grapes from seed to shelves.
The Australian agriculture and food industry imposes similar strict standards—in fact we have one of the most stringent in the world. Unfortunately, a few years ago, it was found that foreign produce arrived in Australia using a loophole in the system. Frozen goods from China entered New Zealand where it was repackaged or modified in some way, and then sent to Australia under the labeling law ‘Made in New Zealand from local and imported ingredients.” Many of these products or ingredients, however, were grown in conditions that would not be permitted in Australia.
This is sad for the food business—and bad news for all Australian consumers. Businesses and consumers can help this situation and work towards greater transparency by understanding where their food comes from. This is where having access to the right data and understanding the small details count.
This is especially important today, when many consumers demand detailed information about the goods and services that they purchase. Traditional labels no longer suffice—they want detailed information that they can understand. We all need data that allows us to trace where our food comes from—when and how it is planted and grown, harvested, processed and arrives at the shelves.
And this is one of the reasons why we designed eFarmers. Knowing where your food comes from is not only essential, but it’s good business practice. Data and details are essential in keeping transparency and maintaining a good reputation—it’s good for businesses and it is good for consumers.