Having a locally-born and bred international business showcasing its region’s resources, produce and industry is a big boost for local producers.
Much of it is built over the course of decades, so current residents, policy makers and entrepreneurs have the benefit of big names putting their region on the map.
However, companies breaking into international markets from rural locations can often forget about their bush roots, and break away from their communities.
Moving jobs to the city, downgrading regional services and expanding hubs to other areas means a regional brand can often become diluted after years of investing on national and international expansion.
The MIA’s local produce was on the national stage at a SunRice event at Parliament House last week.
It was a solid opportunity for the company to celebrate the Australian rice industry going from strength-to-strength, providing a burgeoning international brand, while also opening opportunities for local growers.
SunRice representatives do so, and also marked the occasion as an opportunity to highlight the federal government’s ‘ongoing support’ for SunRice to expand into new markets.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Member for Farrer Sussan Ley were among those in attendance.
It’s an interesting call from SunRice, which despite its pride in the MIA, has a different consensus to local growers on how well state and federal governments are supporting their industry.
The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists advocates the environmental health of the Murray Darling Basin, and made some damning accusations against the NSW and Victorian state government over water management on Monday.
MIA rice grower Debbie Buller was scathing in her condemnation of the comments, while also remaining a consistent skeptic of the federal government’s Murray Darling Basin Plan.
While their opinions on water use differ, both condemn both the state and federal governments’ handling of Murray-Darling Basin water in unison. SunRice sung the praises of the federal government this week - hopefully they also had some fruitful conversations with Minister Joyce and Ms Ley about some of the issues having MIA growers begging for their own ‘ongoing support’ from the government.