Struggles Of Local Australian Cleaning Products Manufacturers
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2019Updated on Thursday, May 21, 2020
ASC has always held a strong belief in supporting what is Australian made.
We have continuously tried using local manufacturers and suppliers at every possible opportunity. Our aim is to provide the Australian industry with high-quality sweeper & scrubber parts made locally, rather than relying on imports.
Additionally, this also benefits in keeping Australian workers employed, keeps money in the country and boosts the local businesses.
As a matter of fact, ASC itself used to produce approximately 67% of its own sweepers & scrubber brushes from a rural shed in Victoria’s rural outer western suburb of Melton. The company was known as The Sweeper Brush Company. The company used to manufacture the brushes using the traditional labour-intensive hard work that went from back-braking, twisting & pulling of bristles to re-bristle the old tubular brushes. We also manufactured side brooms from biodegradable and environmentally friendly marine ply timbers turning it into beautiful side brooms.
Our production process was to use tried and proven techniques that were perfected way back in the early 1930s. The work was hard, dusty and dirty. Most of our employees were semi retirees needing extra income as the younger generation were not into too much hard work.
The Sweeper Brush Company was well known and revered in Australia and it serviced hundreds of industrial users, big and small.
Unfortunately for the Sweeper Brush Company, times changed, and since then, with ever-upgrading machines, our traditional manufacturing process became too cost-prohibitive and restrictive. We found ourselves in a situation where Australian companies demanded cheaper products and quicker turn around times.
As it turned out, over time, the Sweeper Brush Company could no longer cost-efficiently procure bristle, timber moulds, and rivets at the right price and attract the right labour to remain competitive.
The result was that we were forced to shut down our manufacturing operations and that was the end of an Australian Icon known as the Sweeper Brush Company.
With that, we were forced to turn to imports to meet market demands.
Recently, the ABC featured a television report on the Millet Broom Factory’s challenges. For readers who don’t know, this is a small company based in NSW regional town of Tumut and owned by Mr Wortes and Mr Richards. It is an iconic quality handmade Australian straw broom used by generations of Australian households. You too may have one in your shed or may have used one in your younger years sweeping the backyard.
Click the link to read the full story and judge for yourself the challenges the Australian manufacturing sectors are facing.
We applaud the Millet Broom Company for their contribution to the Australian broom industry and the millions of brooms they have produced over the years.