Aussies believe buying local is the way of the future

Aussies believe buying local is the way of the future

It is little wonder why the Australian Made Campaign continues to experience huge demand from both consumers and local manufacturers, with nine in ten Australians now believing that Australia should produce more products locally, according to a recent Roy Morgan survey. The Australian Made Campaign is now experiencing a ‘new normal’ of interest from consumers, as well as suppliers wanting to apply for Australian Made compliance, Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive Officer, Ben Lazzaro said recently.

Just on 97 per cent of Australian consumers now associate the Australian Made logo with supporting local jobs and employment opportunities, according to the Roy Morgan survey, with 92 per cent of consumers saying they trust products carrying the Australian Made logo are made locally. These are statistics that any brand would kill for and also why the logo is such a valuable asset to independent hardware businesses, Mr Lazzaro said.

“There is a very big, pro-Australian sentiment in the market place at the moment, which is wonderful and there certainly is a great acknowledgement from consumers of the benefits of buying Australian Made products. We still have very high levels of applications for use of the logo. We also have very strong engagement and interaction via our digital platforms, from social media to our web site, and through the consumer group ‘The Aussie Made Club’ who receive a monthly newsletter about all things Aussie. We are in a good position with a lot of patriotism out there right now,” Mr Lazzaro said.

“We now average around 150,000 hits on the website per month, whereas before the pandemic this was sitting at around 100,000. We have gone from 100,000 hits, peaked at 250,000 and now we are settled at 150,000 on the website. When looking at our licenses, at the height of the pandemic around July, we saw a 400 per cent increase in applications. This is still 150 to 200 per cent up on normal ‘business as usual’ application numbers. We still have so much to do and many businesses to license so ultimately we can get the famous green and gold kangaroo on more products,” he said.

Despite the excellent consumer response to the Australian Made Campaign throughout 2020, Mr Lazzaro said the team will continue to push the campaign so that purchasing decisions are continually influenced both here and overseas. 

“This is largely about keeping the logo and the messaging front and centre. We do a lot of this online these days and of course, by partnering with our retail partners who always do a great job,” he said.

“There is a huge advantage for retailers to offer an Australian Made product at the moment. Consumers have told us that this is what they are interested in and what they have a preference for. It makes sense that, firstly, the brand tells the consumer that the product is Australian Made through the logo and that retailers offer these products for sale, whether this is via bricks and mortar and on the online platform as well. Consumers are also now shifting to certain sectors of retailing, including the ecommerce space, and this has only accelerated as a result of COVID,” Mr Lazzaro said.

While the Australian Made Campaign team continues to keep up with the demand of policing compliance of Australian Made products nationally, Mr Lazzaro said this is an issue that is often strongly addressed at the beginning of the product compliance process.

“Every product that carries the Australian Made logo is assessed by our compliance team, so there is a lot of hard work that goes in at the front end. This process is then complemented by an auditing process. Out in the market place we also have an obligation to follow up on all complaints regarding misuse of the logo. Consumers and competitors are the best policemen in the marketplace and their efforts complement our own efforts when we are scouring the ecommerce platforms, as well as the bricks and mortar shops.”

“Together we are pretty good at detecting infringement and rectifying them. We start with an education approach at first because a lot of the misuse is a genuine misunderstanding. Then for the more intentional misuse, we are supported by a legal team here and with our partners overseas,” Mr Lazzaro said.

While the current upswing in support for Australian Made products is positive news for the Australian Made Campaign, Mr Lazzaro said the challenge to continually encourage consumers to support Australian Made is on-going.

“There will always be multiple factors at play when consumers make purchasing decisions and its country of origin is only one attribute a consumer looks at when they purchase a product. This differs from sector to sector. It also depends on the personal circumstance of the consumer making the purchase. Some will be more inclined to think more deeply about where products come from while others are motivated by other issues,” he said.

“Price is always a variable that comes into play in purchasing decisions, however we do believe we are now seeing a bit more of a switch to the value proposition. While Australian Made products are not always more expensive, if they are, consumers realize that while they pay a bit more, they are purchasing a product that is made to some of the highest standards in the word both from a quality and safety point of view. They are also far more aware of the impact that decision has on local jobs and on economic activity. All of us know someone who has either lost their job or reduced hours during this difficult time and this has shocked a lot of consumers into stopping and thinking about the impact of their purchasing decisions.”

“Our work will never be done. It will always be challenging and there will always be obstacles for people to buy Aussie but it has certainly been a period where the issue of buying Australian Made is firmly in the spotlight. While we are in this spotlight, we are making sure we make the most of the opportunity to try and influence our consumer’s buying habits. During difficult times like these is often where a positive impact can be made and where you see change,” he said.

Independent retailers also need to be aware of the advantages of offering Australian Made products to customers, particularly if they want to gain some attention within the hardware industry, Mr Lazzaro said.

“Historically the hardware industry has been dominated by imported products. Despite Australia making some wonderful hardware products, whether it be hand tools, drill bits or crow bars, we encourage retailers of any kind to stock genuine Aussie products and particularly those that carry the Australian Made logo,” he said.

“Currently there are a lot of locally made building products and materials being licenced under Australian Made throughout the pandemic, including wardrobes, kitchens, doors, door fittings, pool locks and latches, as well as tool belts, drill bits.”

“For a long time, Mumme Tools has also manufactured a huge range of Aussie made crow bars. Mumme Tools is well known for both its quality and also its safety aspects. Often the big mining sites will opt for Mumme Tools as I understand. While safety is paramount on any work site, the quality aspects means that sledgehammer heads will not fly off while in use, and they will not spark as well, which is huge for the mining industry. Apex and Sutton Tools also make incredible, locally made hand tools,” Mr Lazzaro said.

Keeping up with the increased rate of applications to use the Australian Made logo is a good challenge to have, according to Mr Lazzaro, who said, for now, they are enjoying the rush.

“The challenge will always be to ensure Australian Made products are front of mind, both from a consumer and a business point of view. Our next challenge will be similar to what businesses are also facing, which is what the next six to 12 months hold for everyone.”

“We have already seen first-hand that the pandemic, and the affect it has had on the economy – it is an ever moving and ever-changing thing. We all have to navigate this as best we can. The fact is we are doing something we think is positive and useful and has multiple knock-on effects, which is great. The team at Australian Made will continue to work hard to make a positive impact on Australia for many years to come,” Mr Lazzaro said.

HBT supports Aussie Made

Supply chains have been a major focus for the hardware industry since COVID first hit, with the potential of running out of product a new reality for retailers, according to HBT General Manager for Buying, Jody Vella. 

No one would have ever thought this would be a concern until now and because of this, there has been an undercurrent, or ground swell, in regard to the popularity of Australian Made products and Australian manufacturing, he said.

Local consumers are gravitating to Australian Made logos, more than ever before, according to HBT General Manager for Buying, Jody Vella.

“In the hardware and industrial space, we are seeing this ground swell from two perspectives. We are seeing it from a member perspective, just in regards to the queries that are coming in asking for Australian suppliers of certain products and this is widespread across the industry.”

“We are also seeing this when some suppliers talk to us about how they have a manufacturing footprint overseas, for example. But now they have begun exploring the possibility of bringing either some or all of this manufacturing back to Australia. If they are already manufacturing in Australia, they have gone back and reviewed the level of Australian sourced and produced ingredients currently being used to produce their goods and in a lot of instances have increased this. In some instances, this has resulted in a higher cost for the supplier. They absorb this purely so their products are Australian Made.”

“When I chat to those suppliers who are manufacturing in Australia and have done so for a while, they are seeing exceptional growth, above and beyond what others are,” Mr Vella said.

Local consumers are gravitating to Australian Made logos, now than ever before, Mr Vella said.

“I think the logo now resonates with a lot more members of the community because people are continually seeking it out. The number of suppliers I have spoken to that have ended up discussing this topic is huge. It is actively being sought after and there is a ground swell. I think that if everyone plays their cards right, we could see an increase in the level of Australian manufacturing because I believe consumers are prepared to pay a bit more for Australian Made. Not only for its quality but to bring support back to local manufacturers,” he said.

“This new trend is definitely here to stay, particularly when you read about the current state of affairs between Australia and China, and all of the ramifications from this. I think a lot of Australians are thinking we are good enough and smart enough to be self-sufficient. Maybe it is time to re-set the dial and head back to the self-sufficiency stage instead of relying on other markets to support us and give us what we need,” Mr Vella said.

The upswing in support for Australian Made products also comes from consumers understanding the importance of supporting local businesses and keeping these businesses afloat during, and post lockdown, Mr Vella said.

“This support for local businesses was not just evident in Victoria where lockdowns were extensive. I can name members based on the Sunshine Coast or regional New South Wales who did not go through anywhere near what Victorians did, but they are also seeing this support. In the past, potential customers may have driven past their business literally hundreds of times, to go a Bunnings, Coles and Woolies, and these customers are now supporting their independent hardware stores and supermarkets. They are now choosing to shop at their local independent instead.”

“This is because consumers wanted to stay local during COVID. They have walked into these stores and realised they can buy whatever they like, they are greeted and treated as a customer should, the prices are the same if not better and when they have gone back a second time, they are remembered and attended to. They just do not get this service at the big box,” he said.

Mr Vella agreed that independents are more of an ideal retailer to push Australian Made products because, “the big corporates have their overseas sourcing and indent programs that they manage and then implement in-store”.

“Bunnings have a lot of control brands which they source themselves from overseas. They have got the infrastructure to do this, which allows their buyers to go to many areas and source any type of product,” he said.

“Whereas independent retailers need to carve out a niche for themselves. Independents are continually looking for ways to differentiate their product mix from that of their competitors and supporting local suppliers is an effective strategy that many implement in an effort to offer their customers an excellent product that is made locally.”

“HBT members are very well positioned to showcase local suppliers. Many of them are happy to promote local, Australian owned and made products and give them pride of place. This is not to say they are doing this at the expense of the bigger brands but compared to a corporately owned store, an independent can put what they want where they want. It comes back to being nimble and agile and, in many ways, commercially astute and in tune to what your customer wants.”

“Remember Bunnings is a corporate and the store manager does not have the authorisation to put a floor stack or an end where they choose. They are told what to do, when to do it and how long it needs to remain in place before being replaced with the next lot of programmed merchandise displays” Mr Vella said.

Remaining nimble is another reason why Mr Vella believes the HBT group continues to go from strength to strength, which is a testament to the hard work of its members and the infrastructure put in place from a support office perspective. 

“HBT continually reinvests in its buying team to form relationships with suppliers to strategically partner with them and implement strategies that will deliver growth to members. If our members grow, the category grows and so does the supplier. Sales momentum follows and we then end up in a virtuous loop. The challenge for 2021 is to not become complacent and continue to grow off some already exceptional highs,” Mr Vella said. 

Aussie greenlife sees record sales 

One Australian Made product that has grown exponentially throughout the COVID crisis is greenlife, with a significant uplift in sales experienced across all garden categories since March, according to Independent Hardware Group’s (IHG) Category Manager for Greenlife, Décor, Dirts and Fertilisers, Scott Sullivan.

Greenlife has become particularly strong as home owners considered plants to be an easy way to improve their surrounds while in lockdown, according to IHG’s Category Manager for Greenlife, Décor, Dirts and Fertilisers, Scott Sullivan.

Greenlife became particularly strong as consumers spent more time at home and plants were considered an easy way for home owners to improve their surrounds while in lockdown, Mr Sullivan said. 

“At a wholesale level, we have maintained an average 60 per cent growth across the category. Some areas, such as edible plants and seeds have experienced an extraordinary 300 per cent growth as our members strove to keep up with the demand from their local customers. This growth has been sustained for the majority of the year.”

“Due to the extreme demand for greenlife experienced in autumn, winter sales also saw much higher than average results as consumers continued to garden despite the cool weather. Indoor plants were obviously a large proportion of these sales. As the weather began to warm up, the demand moved back into the traditional areas as winter varietals were harvested and spring varietals were also being planted,” he said.

Future greenlife sales are looking promising, according to Mr Sullivan, who said those customers who had become re-engaged with gardening in 2020, are expected to continually enjoy the benefits of what they had started.

“While we probably will not see the peak demand we experienced in the earlier months of 2020, we are expecting sustained growth in the greenlife category over the coming twelve months. There is definitely a renewed enthusiasm for gardening across the country and it is wonderful to see. Some of our members, who have previously only dabbled in a small greenlife department in their store, now have a new confidence to take on the category and attract new customers to their store over the coming year,” Mr Sullivan said.  

While the collective IHG network sources products from over 400 suppliers of greenlife, its stores focus primarily on supporting local communities and growers where they can, Mr Sullivan said.

“We do have some larger key partners in each state such as Oasis Horticulture, Pohlmans Nursery, Benara Nursery, Tibballs Nursery and Westlands Nursery, but overall, our greenlife product is grown locally so it is hardened to the Australian climate variations,” he said.

It seems that the significant sales uplift has also now placed pressure on consistency of supply as greenlife is not a product that can simply be produced, Mr Sullivan said. The increased demand early in the year has also shifted back some growing schedules, he said.

“We are also finding that the larger and more mature products are still in short supply as growers sell the younger versions just to keep up with the increased demand. Our stores have been really proactive at keeping close to growers in their area to ensure they can fill gaps and maintain products for their customers,” he said.

“Due to the increased demand over the past six months, the industry is still very much in catch-up mode. Australia is also experiencing La Nina this summer, which has made conditions ideal and our growers have increased production with the confidence that the demand will continue well into 2021.”

“2020 has had very different climatic conditions than 2019, so that in itself has led to purchasing shifts. Increases in rainfall and reduction of water restrictions have allowed customers to move away from water saving varieties like natives. The pandemic has also prompted a more significant focus on self-sustaining gardening, so edible varieties have been extremely popular, even those that may take years to produce fruit,” Mr Sullivan said,

The greenlife category continues to grow and evolve with new varieties being added to the category every day, according to Mr Sullivan, and many growers have focused on finding their niche that helps keep the market strong. 

“I believe consumers will continue to shop where they can find really good quality, healthy plants and also where they are able to get the expert service to help guide them in their gardening journey,” he said.

Australian Made and overseas markets

The Australian Made Campaign recently announced that its widely recognised green-and-gold kangaroo Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo is now a registered trademark in the European Union, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, according to a recent Manufacturers’ Monthly report.

The registration of the symbol ensures that the iconic logo is legally protected under local EU, UK and UAE law, with only certified Australian makers and growers allowed to use it.

For over 34 years, the iconic green-and-gold kangaroo logo has identified Australian goods in export markets, while almost half of all Australian Made licensees use the logo on exported products.

Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive Officer, Ben Lazzaro said, in the Manufacturers’ Monthly report, that the logo is central to export strategies of Australian businesses taking their goods abroad.

“The EU, UK and UAE present a huge opportunity for Aussie makers and growers. The formal registration of the logo in these regions provides an essential legal framework which exporters can rely upon if the logo is copied or used without proper authority,” he said.

Australia exported $20,535 million worth of merchandise to the EU during the 2018-19 financial year, $7,897 million to the UK and A$4,176 million to the UAE, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The registration was timely as Australia negotiates Free Trade Agreements with the UK and the European Union, Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner UK, Ireland and the Nordics, Jennifer Mackinlay said in the report.

“The Australian Made logo is a powerful marketing asset for authentic Australian brands and supports Australian businesses to differentiate their products and grow their exports,” she said.

Recent Horizon Consumer Science research reported that 85 per cent of consumers in the UK and UAE found products carrying the logo are genuinely Australian and 83 per cent in France, with the biggest motivations to buy Australian products to be quality, reputation and ethical standards, according to the Manufacturers’ Monthly report.

The formal registration of the AMAG logo in the EU, UK and UAE follows its registration in other key export markets including the USA, China, South Korea, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Limiting products to Australian Made would burden customers – Wesfarmers

Wesfarmers bosses recently defended the purchase of Chinese retail goods and other imported products, amid a push for Australian-made products, saying limiting countries they purchase from would only burden Australian families, according to a recent Sydney Morning Herald report.

Chairman Michael Chaney and Chief Executive Rob Scott faced questions from shareholders at the company’s virtual AGM recently, over why subsidiaries including Kmart, Bunnings and Officeworks did not sell more Australian-made products in their stores. Concerns were also raised on Wesfarmers’ reliance on Chinese suppliers and how ethical the supply chains are.

Daria Nipot /

Mr Scott said Bunnings sources between 35 and 40 per cent of its products from Australia, but Wesfarmers’ wider retail businesses source between 20 and 70 per cent of products from China, depending on the category, because sourcing products from outside Australia benefitted Australian consumers, according to the Sydney Morning Herald report.

Families benefit from having access to products from all over the world and if we limit our options it would result in significant increases in prices that are at a substantial burden on many Australian families, Mr Scott said.

Mr Chaney defended low-wage manufacturing jobs, which he said had helped bring billions of people out of poverty.

“We have a factory auditing program. Last year we audited 2600 factories and, by the way, we have 37,000 suppliers across our group where we take supplies, not from China but from over 20 different countries. Those low wages that were referred to there are the lifeblood for those people in those factories. It is the production of goods in those developing nations that has taken billions, literally billions, of people out of poverty over the years and the continuation of that relies on consumers in the developed world,” Mr Chaney said in the Sydney Morning Herald report.

Due to the increasing demand and importance of supporting Australian Made products, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the government would pump $1.5 billion into a manufacturing strategy to bolster Australia’s economy through the COVID recovery in the 2020-21 Federal Budget, aimed at advanced manufacturing endeavours, rather than focusing on competing with low-cost manufacturing countries.

‘Made in Australia’ – It is what makes Australia great

“Do we really want to be a nation of dirty traders? No. Do we want just about everything we buy to be made in China or somewhere else far away from here? No.”

The Ampfibian team go above and beyond for their customers to maintain a high level of trust in its Australian Made products.

Ask Oliver Kratzer about what ‘Made in Australia’ means and you will soon understand it is not just something he is enthusiastic about – it is a very personal, passionate and ongoing mission for Oliver.

Oliver is a Director of Ampfibian, manufacturer of electrical safety products based in Ballina in Northern NSW. Oliver considers himself and his business as an all too rare, if not endangered species, of Australian manufacturers.

In 2005, Ampfibian identified a gap in the market for electrical safety products for caravans. Having designed Australia’s first 15 Amp to 10 Amp adaptor for safely connecting caravans to standard domestic power, sourcing an offshore manufacturer might have seemed the logical next step. However, David Betterridge, Ampfibian’s Founding Director, and Oliver were determined to keep their business in Australia.

“Of course, it is about creating local employment, developing local skills bases and keeping salaries and taxes in Australia. Everyone knows why those things are so important. But it is so much more than that. We are all very proud of what we have achieved,” Oliver said.

Today, Ampfibian is number one in Australia for caravan electrical safety and its range of products has been recognised with a number of industry awards for design and innovation. 

David says that it is not just he and Oliver who get a thrill from seeing their products being used around Australia, it is a pride shared by all their team in Ballina. 

“Made in Australia takes on even more significance when you see that people have invested their money and their trust in a product we have put together with our own hands. We are all chuffed about that,” David says.

Oliver adds that maintaining that trust is something that inspires everyone in the Ampfibian team to go above and beyond for customers and make sure nothing is left to chance. 

“We cannot blame a mistake at an overseas factory. Everyone works hard to make sure our products are manufactured and distributed to the highest standards every time. Pride is something that everyone can own,” Oliver said.

Being made in Australia also ensures that Ampfibian products are made for Australia. 

“Because we work so closely with our customers and retailers, often it is the same people who design the products who answer the phone or respond to emails. With this immediate and direct feedback, we are always working to improve our products and our quality far exceeds anything similar we’ve seen from overseas.”

For the Ampfibian team, the COVID lockdowns of 2020 only highlighted the advantages of being a local manufacturer not not just an importer. As customers began to dream about their next getaway or were using caravans as an extra room or backyard office, demand for products surged. Without reliance on international supply chains, Ampfibian was able to respond promptly to customer needs. 

“People tend to forget that it is not just our team that benefits. Our roots go deep into our local community and through our business networks,” he said.

“What we do helps support income and jobs for other businesses too – component suppliers and manufacturers, printers, carton makers, IT support and more. That is why Australian Made is so good for all Australians,” Oliver said.

Australia’s first family of paint proudly local and here to help

One of the guiding principles of the iconic Haymes Paint is an ongoing commitment to remaining 100 per cent Australian owned and made. The family-owned business has built its exceptional reputation on its products and service, never taking shortcuts on either.

As the only remaining major paint manufacturer that is Australian made and owned, Haymes Paint produces high quality, award winning products that are tailored to Australian conditions, meeting the needs of trade painters as well as everyday Aussies.

Founded in Ballarat by Henry J Haymes in 1935, Haymes Paint is now in its 86th year of operation and family ownership. Third generation business owner and Haymes Paint Director, Matt Haymes, fondly remembers a childhood growing up around the Ballarat headquarters of the business, even picking up shifts in the warehouses on school holidays.

This early immersion into the family business allowed Matt and his siblings to learn from the incredible people who had worked at Haymes for a lifetime, passing down decades of knowledge and experience. This hands-on family approach separates Haymes Paint from its competitors, with siblings Matt Haymes, Tim Haymes, Belinda Haymes and brother-in-law Rod Walton all involved in the day-to-day operations of the business today.

As an Australian business themselves, Haymes Paint is dedicated to supporting other Australian owned and operated family businesses that specialise in and support the paint and coatings industry across retail, trade and commercial applications, in accordance with the founding philosophy of the business.

These ongoing partnerships with independent retailers around Australia support the community and encourage customers to shop local. In an unprecedented year which saw so many Australians face hardship, Haymes Paint saw consumers resonate with their Australian made and owned heritage like never before. This reflects a growing demand in the market for Australian-made paint, made to withstand Australian conditions.

As a brand renowned for its quality, Haymes Paint has been awarded the Canstar Blue award for Most Satisfied Customers three years in a row. Their customers rated them number one in the paint category with perfect scores for quality of finish, durability, value for money, range/variety and of course, overall satisfaction. This quality assurance is guaranteed by the Haymes family’s commitment to sourcing the highest quality materials and manufacturing them in their Ballarat factory.

Haymes Paint has been loved by Australians for 86 years because it is innovative and progressive. The brand is constantly evolving, crafting new products – and colour palettes – to stay ahead of trends and ever-changing consumer preferences. The annual release of its Colour Library forecasts upcoming colour trends and influences interior design, recognising that as the world changes so too do the colours that shape it.

This year’s colour library ‘Embrace’ was inspired by the concept of embracing the ever-changing and unexpected challenges of the current world to find solace within the home space through colour. Colours such as ‘bush eucalyptus’ and ‘gum leaf green’ were the direct result of a holiday Haymes Paint’s Colour and Concept Manager took through the Australian outback with her family before the COVID pandemic.

Haymes Paint values its customers, their families and communities, with over 40 independently owned shops across the country. Next month, the Helping Hands initiative will see Haymes Paint Shops give over 100 community groups, charities or businesses around Australia the opportunity to repaint their premises after a difficult year.

In a market that is now 90 per cent foreign owned, Haymes Paint remains the only major Australian made and owned paint manufacturer left in Australia. It has committed to remaining Australian Made and owned for as long as its customer, partners and team want them to be.

Reflecting on the brand’s rich and colourful history, Director Matt Haymes says, “my wife describes it best – it is the magic of family business that separates us from our competitors. It is not about shareholder value, profit, productivity and return on interest, it is about people, families, communities and doing good things. COVID has reminded us why these things are so important.”

Mumme Tools – leader in forged hand tools since 1936

The Mumme family has been hand crafting tools in South Australia since 1936 and the company they founded is now Australia’s leading forged hand tool manufacturer. Chris Mumme, second generation, is still a vital part of its product development team, whilst Matt Mumme, third generation, is Mumme Tools’ Production Manager in Lonsdale, South Australia. 

The Mumme family has been hand crafting tools in South Australia since 1936 and the company they founded is now Australia’s leading forged hand tool manufacturer.

The Mumme Tools range consists of a variety of hand tools including hammers, wrecking bars, digging tools and specialised mining equipment, such as scaling bars and steel ladders. Mumme Tools even provides tailor made solutions to ensure tricky jobs become a breeze. 

Supporting local

Today, Mumme Tools produce over 500 items in its workshop located in Lonsdale, South Australia which is currently operated by 21 skilled craftspeople who all take pride in the products they produce.

The Mumme Tools team understand the importance of keeping jobs right here in Australia. Unlike its competitors who continue to move offshore, Mumme Tools is always looking to grow its local team of skilled employees. Safety also remains of utmost importance to the team and its customers. By continuing to manufacture in Australia, the Mumme Tools team maintains confidence in the durability and safety of its products. Mumme Tools also prides itself on using the best quality, premium grade materials. Where possible, it sources from local suppliers in South Australia. 

“We find it is beneficial to work with neighbouring suppliers as we are able to work together face-to-face to ensure we have the right materials at the right time,” a Mumme Tools spokesperson said.

Mumme Fibreglass Rubber Handles feature a 20-millimetre steel core that runs the length of the handle, a fibreglass inner layer and a comfortable rubber grip exterior. Heads are pinned through the steel core with a roll pin. 

Normalised ‘soft’ hammers

Normalising is a process of heat-treating steel, much like annealing, to lower the hardness of the product. Normalising also refines the grain structure and produces more uniform mechanical properties, according Mumme Tools.

“Normalised ‘soft’ Mumme hammer heads are softened below 20 HRC (Hardness, Rockwell C Scale) through heat treatment, and are designed to mushroom and distort with use, rather than chip. The lowering of the hardness will result in a product that is less likely to chip when striking other hardened objects such as pins or shackles,” a spokesperson said. 

“Regular sledge hammers can chip, potentially leading to projectiles flying off the hammer head at a high velocity under impact which may cause injury to the operator. Even if a chip is generated from a normalised hammer, it will come off at a much slower and safer speed, making Mumme’s normalised ‘soft’ hammers the obvious choice for a safer worksite,” he said.

Mumme’s fibreglass handles also feature a 20-millimetre steel core that runs the length of the handle. Its hammer heads are secured through the steel core with a roll pin, meaning that should the head and handle begin to separate, the pin will secure the head and although it may wobble – indicating it should be replaced – it will not actually come off.

Mumme’s normalised ‘soft’ hammer heads are painted light blue and are stamped ‘SOFT’ so users know this hammer is safe. 

Australian Made

Mumme Tools’ Normalised Hammers are made in its manufacturing facility located in Lonsdale, South Australia. 

The Australian Made logo remains of high importance to Mumme Tools. The company continues to use the Australian Made logo because after more than 80 years in business, it still manufactures its products in South Australia where it all started. The Australian Made logo means that customers are not only supporting local jobs, but also buying quality products that are reliable and safe as all products are made to withstand Australia’s toughest requirements. 

Copper body tap an Aussie favourite

HIC International, better known for brand names FIX-A-TAP, FIX-A-LOO, and BOSTON, was founded in Sydney in 1972 as a small plumbing and general hardware wholesale supplier. Today the company has grown to an international scale, however one thing remains the same – its famous copper body tap valves are still manufactured and packaged in Australia.

HIC International is also well-known for its large range. The company reported that different tap valves suit different people, depending on how they use their taps, so its range has expanded over the years to complement their diverse customer base.

HIC International’s best-selling FIX-A-TAP tap valve is still the Soft Turn valve, featuring a slightly rounded washer for an easier turn. This makes it suitable for general household use, particularly with families who have children.  

HIC International’s tap valves have expanded to complement a diverse customer base.

Also popular is the Delaware tap valve, which is more popular with tradies due to its long lasting, heavy duty washer. It also ensures that trades do not get any annoying call-backs. The range also features a Sealtite tap valve, with a soft rounded dome washer for an extremely easy turn – perfect for those with arthritis. Additional items in the range include the Duro tap valve with an industrial grade washer, the Aqua tap valve which has an integrated O-ring design, and the entry level Dexine tap valve, all proudly manufactured and packaged in Australia.

Other Australian made products HIC International is proud to produce is its range of drain cleaners, including the fast-acting caustic Drain Away, designed specifically for clearing stubborn blockages caused by hair or food stuff.

HIC International proudly produces its popular Drain Away products locally, with an eco-friendly option also available.

For those customers who would prefer an eco-friendlier option, Drain Refresh is also highly recommended, usable in septic tanks, and perfect for preventative maintenance to break down blockages and control bad odours, all whilst leaving a fresh Australian Eucalyptus scent.

For more information on any HIC International products, or to find out more about HIC International, visit:

Wobble-Tee’s water efficient sprinkler

Manufacturing in Australia has proven to be a tremendous advantage during the global pandemic, according to Wobble-Tee, after its products were supplied to its distributors without delay from its small workshop in a suburb just outside of Newcastle, called Wangi Wangi, in New South Wales. 

Tony and Kathy Holmes own and operate the successful Wobble-Tee business, designing and manufacturing the water efficient sprinklers for over 22 years. Today, the couple are very proud of their products and Wobble-Tee’s premium position in the marketplace.

“We cannot thank our customers and staff enough for their on-going support, particularly throughout 2020,” Mr Holmes said.

The Wobble-Tee line of products are highly regarded by consumers because they work extremely well on low water pressure. Water only needs to be applied slowly so it all soaks into the soil with no wasteful run-off. Wobble-Tee’s sprinklers also distribute a consistent droplet size which helps eliminate evaporation loss while the water is being dispersed and there is no misting. Each sprinkler is designed with a low angle of trajectory, reducing the droplet time in the air and minimising spray pattern distortion in light to medium wind conditions. The well-designed Clever Drop Sprinkler was also produced specifically to meet modern home building planning where houses are normally large, consuming most of the site, and the front yards are only a courtyard size.

“This is when we realised how difficult it was to water such a small area with a hose-end sprinkler,” Mr Holmes said.

“This is also where my experience in irrigation and Kathy’s knowledge of marketing and packaging helped to produce a new purpose designed sprinkler for that specific area. Our designs are patented in Australia and many other countries around the world. The Clever Drop Sprinkler also has pressure regulators and a large internal filter so it can operate from different water supplies at various water pressures. A combination of great development, exceptional design and marketing is now giving customers an Australian product for their home gardening projects,” he said.

For many years the Wobble-Tee business has been operating from an old fire station and the company now employs ten staff. 

“All our injection moulding tools were made in Adelaide, while all of our sprinkler components are moulded in Sydney and Adelaide and shipped to Wangi Wangi. Both the large area Wobble-Tee sprinkler and the small area Clever Drop Sprinkler are UV stabilised for the Australian climate. We are now developing a third sprinkler to be released next year called the RolaRain Sprinkler,” Mr Holmes said.

“Hopefully 2021 will bring good health and fortune to many and we are all just a little bit wiser from our 2020 experience,” he said.

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2020 presented global challenges for all 

RLA Polymers was not exempt from facing world-wide challenges during these challenging times. Sadly, most of us know that many businesses, including retail, manufacturing, trade and services, were not able to trade through the adversities of 2020.

Fortunately, RLA Polymers continued to manufacture quality products with minimal interruption to production and supply. RLA Polymers is proud of the efforts from all of its staff across the business, who worked tirelessly to ensure the company continued to manufacture and supply its extensive range of quality Australian Made products across the wider hardware, construction, plumbing and industrial sectors.

More recently, the company launched its new and interactive website that allows visitors to search, see and download product information, certifications, technical data and safety data sheets. Check out the ever-growing product range at:

The new website will soon be supported by the MYRLA app, to allow real time, in -store or on-site capability to access and download vital product information. The app will be available to download from February 2021 from on both Apple and Android devices. 

RLA Polymers has also managed to spend much of its time in lockdown updating and improving its packaging and corporate image. Keep an eye out for RLA Polymers’ ‘new look, same great products’ hitting the shelves in all good trade and retail outlets. 

In a year that changed the way we work, live and interact, the company remains thankful to its loyal customers and consumers for their continued business and support during 2020. This enabled RLA Polymers to achieve growth and increase market share during these unprecedented times. 

RLA Polymers has set a strong platform for what it believes to be another successful year in 2021. 

“We will continue to focus on developing new technologies and products to add to our extensive range. We are also committed to upgrading and increasing our manufacturing sites across Australia by continually investing in plants and equipment,” a company spokesperson said.

Daytek Australia’s award winning wheelbarrows

Daytek Australia manufactures award-winning wheelbarrows for both industrial and home use, from its manufacturing plant in Preston, Victoria. Its wide range of steel wheelbarrows are well known in the industry for their one-piece, deep-drawn, galavanised steel for corrosion protection. Today the extensive range of Daytek products include:

Homebuilder 70 litre – The Homebuilder is designed for those who require a reliable and sturdy wheelbarrow for renovating and general jobs around the home. The bowl is made from tough, corrosion resistant, galvanised steel, so it will usually outlast similar sized plastic or painted steel tray barrows. 

Homegardener 48 litre – The Homegardener is the perfect wheelbarrow for carrying any gardening material around the home or for handyman use. The bowl is also made from tough, corrosion resistant galvanised steel. 

Tradesman 100 litre – The Tradesman, with galvanised bowl is the ideal barrow for those who want to use a tough barrow that will last the distance. Perfectly suited for asphalters, concreters and bricklayers, this Australian made wheelbarrow is built to last. 

Homehandy 70 litre –  The Homehandy is an everyday helper around the house. Featuring a distinctive two-wheel design, the Homehandy is ideally suited for users who may have reduced mobility and balance. 

Contractor 100 litre – The Contractor is designed complete with a galvanised bowl and is the ideal barrow for those who want their barrows made tough. Perfectly suited for asphalters, concreters and bricklayers, it features double diagonal rear cross support for added
strength and stability, as well as a wide pneumatic tyre for improved maneuverability while moving over soft ground.

Daytek Australia is proud of its award-winning philosophy that is designed into every product and ensures durability and ease-of-use, while satisfying individual’s needs for styles and colours. When producing its award-winning products, Daytek understands that not every home is the same, which is why its wide range of products suit all requirements from apartment living, to town houses, traditional Australian back yards or major commercial projects. Innovative and functional, Daytek Australia’s range is always a pleasure to use.

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