An ongoing debate over the future of manufacturing in Australia has thrown up questions about the long-term impact of offshoring on Australia’s manufacturing base.
There is an increasing tendency to send food production offshore, which is driven by short-term market and financial considerations. If manufacturing is being off-shored because of cheap labour in places such as Vietnam, would Australia be able to re-build its manufacturing base if the labour cost differential changes in 10 or 15 years?
Global transport costs have dramatically dropped in recent decades with a corresponding surge in storage technologies, making it more practical to produce food in areas with cheap costs and transport it half-way around the world. But when the pace of such advances or even fuel cost changes this equation, Australia could become dependent on food suppliers from other regions.
The components that go into making Travelfare Packs are certainly subject to the pressures and opportunities of offshore production. But Travel Essentials is focussed on using locally manufactured/ produced components whenever possible.
Breakfast to Go breakfast packs for instance, use locally produced food and packaging. The only exceptions are items, which aren’t locally available such as the Danish pastry and the spoon/napkin set.
While Travelfare Packs won’t save an industry or be the deciding factor on a food producer re-locating, Travel Essentials’ decision to use locally-made products might be one of many factors keeping a local plant going.
It is important for Australia to retain a diverse and appropriate industry/ food production base for the sake of their long-term interests, enabling them to innovate for the future.