Buying local delivers more than just feel good factor

What difference does choosing local actually make, and why is country of origin so important? Sid Takla, COO at Asaleo Care, explains.

We live in a world of globalised trade. Still, many of us would prefer to purchase locally made goods if that option exists.  But what difference does choosing local actually make, and why is country of origin so important? Sid Takla COO at Asaleo Care, which manufactures hygiene products for Tork and Purex at its Kawerau Facility in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, explains.

Why choose local?

Supporting local economy

The impact of choosing to buy locally made products – be that food, packaging, construction goods, and even toilet paper and hand towels, is much broader than it may first seem. The support of local jobs is a crucial factor, however, people often fail to appreciate the host of other benefits in their decision to buy local.

Studies prove that when people buy locally, double the amount of money stays within the community because of a local economic multiplier effect. Money spent on locally manufactured product largely flows to local goods and services, like parts and supplies, employment, utilities and so on, purchased to support the manufacturing and the employees within the community who make the products. And so the cycle continues.

Further to this, local spending actually increases the velocity of money through the economy – the more money that passes through more hands gives more people the ability to enjoy the benefit of that money.

Supporting local employment

The benefits to local employment are also multiplied. Purchasing local product supports not only the jobs of those who manufacture and market the product, but also has a halo effect on the broader community in which that business operates.

For example, many other local businesses sell their products and services to that manufacturer, such as cleaning services, office supplies and energy. Plus employees spend their earnings locally on food, housing, education and more – therefore supporting other local businesses along the way.

Benefits to local government

Put simply, companies who generate sales and profit in New Zealand, pay tax in New Zealand. These taxes are then spent by the Government in local communities on critical initiatives such as new infrastructure, services and other important initiatives for our country. You simply don’t get these benefits when choosing imported products.

Environmental benefits

The sustainability credentials of a given country tend to increase with wealth as measured by GDP per capital.  As an advanced Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nation, New Zealand ranks high on this parameter, and has strong environmental controls.

Furthermore, the Social Progress Index ranked New Zealand 10th in the world across a range of measures including environmental sustainability. Those purchasing a New Zealand-made product can be confident, that in most cases, world-leading environmental standards are implemented during its manufacture.

Social benefits

Local businesses reinvest in the local economy at a higher rate than other businesses from overseas. Local business often supports and contributes to community events, fundraising, sponsorship and local organisations such as schools, sporting clubs, and charitable organisations.

Supporting the New Zealand cleaning industry

In the cleaning industry, one product category that provides a local manufacturing option is tissue, such as toilet paper and hand towel for bathrooms.

The decision to support a local manufacturer and employer for your toilet paper and hand towel requirements is an easy one with the Tork manufacturing plant located right here in the North Island of New Zealand. Our Tork and Purex brands are the only tissue products fully made and converted in New Zealand. We bring more than 200 jobs to the community with many of our employees living and investing in the community.

By choosing Tork, our customers also enjoy many other benefits – including leading Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) across key product lines, active support of the local Maori Iwi and ongoing investment in quality improvements at our Kawerau mill. Not to mention the environmental benefit introduced by using locally abundant geothermal steam to power the tissue manufacturing process. It’s a great story.

The additional benefits of choosing locally manufactured Tork products:

  • Leading full life cycle environmental reporting: Key Tork tissue products have recently undergone full life cycle analysis by third party independent experts, resulting in an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for each product. Tork Professional Hygiene products have become the first hygiene products in Australasia to publish EPD’s.
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions by 46 per cent: The shift from using non-renewal gas to abundant geothermal steam throughout the tissue manufacturing process has delivered a significant reduction in carbon emissions.
  • Support of local Maori Iwi: Geothermal steam is purchased from Maori Ngati Tuwharetoa Geothermal Assets (NGTA), a substantial yearly spend running to millions of dollars. All profits from the NGTA go to improving the social, economic and cultural well-being of the local Maori.

There are plenty of reasons to feel good about buying local.

Tork is a Gold Sponsor of the BSCNZ’s Cleaning for a Brighter Future conference on 6-7 September, 2017. Delegates will visit the Tork Manufacturing Plant during the conference on 7 September. For more information visit,

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