The Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth has released its report – Pivot: Diversifying Australia's Trade and Investment Profile. The report examines how the Government can support Australian businesses to diversify our trade markets and foreign investment sources, including the ability to pivot at short notice, opening new export markets, supporting sustainable economic growth and support for domestic manufacturing. CMA is proud to say that many of the objectives cited in the report are already major priorities for Australia's complementary medicines industry.
Pivoting to meet the needs of Australia
South Australia based natural health company, Brauer, which operates a TGA-licensed manufacturing facility operates in accordance with the principles of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) out of the Barossa Valley.
The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation created significant shortages of hand sanitiser, so Brauer worked collaboratively with several South Australian manufacturers to produce hand sanitiser to WHO standard. Brauer’s first shipment of 30,000 units left for Services Australia, the Federal Government agency that supplies Centrelink.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for our advanced manufacturing sector to not only diversify their supply but produce incredibly important products for Australia in its time of need, said Carl Gibson, CEO of CMA.
“We’re in a unique position to manufacture essential products – with the required federal licences, access to raw materials and critical expertise,” he added.
New export markets, trade, and investment opportunities
CMA strongly supports the growing number of free trade agreements and continued trade liberalisation with Australia; they present significant opportunities for the Australian complementary medicines industry.
One opportunity is India which has a long history of traditional medicine use. India is experiencing a rise in demand for nutritional supplements resulting from a rise in lifestyle diseases and a focus on health and nutrition. Higher disposable incomes, access to information, and the strong reputation of Australian products being high quality, 'clean and green' facilitate a growing interest among consumers for Australian health supplements, vitamins and minerals, and sports foods. Further, Australian businesses can access other free-trade agreements with China, Japan, Korea, and Indonesia.
Supporting long-term sustainable economic growth
As the world turns to make more ethical choices, our industry is committed to effectively integrating environmental, economic, and social responsibility.
Our industry is making important decisions regarding ethical and sustainable practices for present and future planning. The industry actively measures and manages the elements that matter in sustainable development, which begins with truly understanding, assessing, and addressing risks across the supply chain.
Research suggests that there will be a greater convergence of consumer trends and sustainability solutions for carbon sequestration – for example, plant-based diets. We are also likely to see the transformation of energy markets supporting the transition to renewables and more robust dialogue about climate change resilience and biodiversity impacts leading to positive change.
“Consumers are very focused on companies taking responsibility for their impact and giving greater transparency about products. Our industry is taking the challenge seriously,” says Carl Gibson.
Australia's complementary medicines industry has continued to buck national manufacturing employment trends by recording an increase in job numbers over the past 10 years.
"Australia's complementary medicines industry is a $1.1 billion[i] export success story, and with diversified international and local demand continuing to grow, it's pleasing to see that local manufacturing is holding its own. Our great reputation for producing high-quality complementary medicines is one of the reasons why official exports rose 15% pre- COVID and why an increasing number of Australian jobs rely on our ongoing success," explains Carl Gibson.
Made in Australia
CMA has strongly advocated for medicines manufactured in Australian facilities regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to use the Made in Australia logo.
"The ability to use Made in Australia claims for complementary medicines manufactured in Australia to the highest standards in the world has become a significant competitive advantage for Australian companies. Our reputation for quality and safety means that our products are recognised and sought after globally. We are proud that consumers around the world look to and trust these Australian credentials," ends Carl Gibson.
[i] Austrade, 2020. Australian Complementary Medicines Export Statistics 2016-2019, Canberra