Local means high quality

NOTHING beats home-grown produce for quality and goodness, according to one woman who is on a crusade to encourage people to buy Australian.

The NSW Country Women's Association (CWA) state agriculture and environment officer Joy Beames spoke to the Macquarie Region CWA members as part of its International Day celebrations.

Mrs Beames told members her role was to promote the wellbeing of country women and their families by using local produce, which included food and dairy.

As part of her role she chairs a committee of eight people who write to relevant ministers.

They also had a good relationship with the NSW Farmers Association.

The farmers write to her expressing their concerns, she said, and she does everything in her power to help them.

Mrs Beames gave one example of why she was passionate and determined to support buying Australian produce.

"I went to the supermarket one time to buy condensed milk and I realised it was the product of Ukraine," she said.

"I got really upset and thought, 'Why on earth does it come from there and not Australia?'"

Mrs Beames said Australia had enough produce to sustain itself and there was no need to import food as we had it abundantly available in our backyard.

Every day she asked herself why Australia had so much produce and it wasn't used.

She said she could not understand why Australia accepted importing so much frozen food from China and other countries.

If there was a food crisis in a few years' time, she said, Australia would not be able to sustain itself.

"We need to start looking after our Australian grocers and farmers and realise if we don't support them we will lose them," she said.

Mrs Beames said Australia was in a lucky position as it had prime farming land, a great supply of fruit, vegetables and meat and the experience of farmers.

The CWA have been proactive in generating homegrown sales by issuing Product of the Week.

"When we had Verity prunes promoted there was a 700 per cent increase in sales," she said.

"The producer in Young wrote to the association and said what a real difference we have made."

Mrs Beames said she bought Australian products whenever possible even if it was more expensive.

Buying Australian produce meant Dubbo residents had safe and quality products at their fingertips.

"Just because a product looks the same doesn't mean it is," she said.

"You don't know what they use of chemicals or fertilisers overseas."

Mrs Beames encouraged residents to buy Australian produce to support local farmers and growers.

"We need to look after our own country and if we don't no-one will," she said.

The Daily Liberal will run Product of the Week this week.

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