Industry Capability Network (Vic) has appointed Louis Ziras to spearhead its 'Buy Local' campaign throughout Victoria. The campaign is targeting the food industry among others, and particularly those companies with a turnover exceeding $20 million.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage the industry to stop importing machinery and components that could be made by local manufacturing companies.
Mr Ziras said: "The Victorian food industry is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in Victoria. With some 37,000 food producers and approximately 2000 food manufacturers employing around 47,000 people supported by service sectors including packaging, transport, logistics and equipment, it is a vital part of the state's economy and social fabric.
"We are keen to work with the food industry to find out more about the fabric, the components and the machinery the industry uses. What types of products are currently being imported? What imported products could be replaced with locally made products? What companies can provide those locally made products?" he added.
One of the first steps in the campaign is to ensure that local companies register their products onto Industry Capability Network's free database. Once registered, ICN is then able to mix and match suppliers with companies looking to buy in products.
"ICN's experience is that while industry often wants to buy locally, it is unaware of what is available in its own backyard," he added.
"The ... campaign is aimed at alerting companies to the extensive capability that exists in Australia," he said.
Mr Ziras encourages food companies to contact ICN to ascertain what local capabilities and products are available to them.
"We are able to source local capabilities for industry through our extensive database," he advised.
ICN, formerly known as Industrial Supplies Office, is managed by industry and funded by the Victorian government to assist local industry replace imports and generate opportunities for local industry to compete in the global market.