Recently, Australia has experienced extreme weather patterns, from catastrophic bushfires to storms and flooding.
Many communities and local business have been severely impacted by these events.
In true blue Aussie style, Aussies are realising how important it is to be buying locally and supporting local businesses, big and small.
This is incredible to see and something to be proud of.
With the timing of these events then followed by the outbreak of Covid-19, international travel is plummeting. For countries, like Fiji, who rely on Australian and other tourists to support their economy, this is having more of an impact than anticipated.
Fiji's tourism sector is the countries biggest-grossing industry, with the majority of its tourists coming from Australia and New Zealand.
In Fiji, hotels are running at very low capacities. One of our customers normally operates at a room capacity of 85%, yet in February 2020, they are looking at a capacity of 45%. This is a drop of 40%, which is not normally experienced at this time of year. This drop has caused a significant reduction in dollars spent all together, let alone how much money is being redistributed back into the local communities.
However, buying local increases monetary investment in local communities by 15%. In Fiji, if the tourism industry changed from importing produce to buying local fruits and vegetable, this would be the equivalent of putting $4.5m back into the local economy every year.
Buying local has multifaceted benefits. It boosts local economies, supports local communities (who do not have access to international markets) and it reduces the environmental impact from reduced food miles.
Aggie Global is supporting the ‘buy local’ craze, in order to support remote communities in boosting their income and create a virtuous food supply chain. Now it is more crucial than ever for businesses to buy locally and ensure the country can continue to thrive, despite disruptions in supply and tourism.
Although it is making business difficult at the moment, we see it as an opportunity to adapt and try something new. While Covid-19 limits travel, we will be reaching out to our Australian network to get Australian farmers online and encourage the procurement of local produce.
For Aggie Gifts, 2021 was a year for growth and change, including a massive rebrand from Aggie Global to Aggie Gifts to visually show this change. We found our voice, our impact and passion and how to pass this onto others through our products. Despite lockdowns, and working in 2 countries, we managed to double our Indigenous supplier network and connect with many more like minded and influential people within the First Nation (Bush) Food industry and within Agricultural Development. Read more to see how this growth has created further positive social impact.