In many places you go, you see adverts encouraging you to “buy local”. However, one thing you are probably never really told is, what is in it for you.
Buying from local food producers gives you the opportunity to eat much healthier food, reduce the risk of contamination, save the environment and keep the money and the jobs within your community.
When you purchase foods produced by local farmers, you help create local jobs at their farms and you help keep their businesses thriving.
Imported food has to go through different hands before it gets to the consumer. However, local food does not need to go through many people before getting to your kitchen. This way, the risk of your food being contaminated is reduced.
The retail industry here in Ireland is mostly made up of small, family-owned, local businesses. When you support them, it is a vote of confidence; encouraging them to stay relevant and resilient, in the midst of the many international retailers competing with them in Ireland.
We all want our money and wealth to stay in the family. This is exactly what you do when you support local farmers and retailers.
The money you spend stays in the community. It stays close to home. It is often used to build more business and services, the kinds that make you truly proud to call it “home”.
International producers and retailers, have to make a lot of car journeys to get the produce to you. They also have to do more packaging, to preserve the produce for consumption. This impacts the environment negatively.
However, purchasing local reduces car journeys and fuel consumption. This, in turn, helps reduce your carbon footprint, as it would require less packaging and transportation.
Local businesses and producers are often better in employing the right staff, with a higher knowledge of the items they are selling.
Unlike many large-scale businesses, where most of the major decisions and the product choices are made from the head office, based on national figures; local businesses and producers tend to be more hyper-focused.
Local businesses are more in tune with the community and the way of life of the people in the local area.
Also, when it comes to local foods, they are usually a lot of fresher and healthier. This is because they are not produced at the scale at which international producers do.
They are home-grown, so there is very little need for preservatives and all those other things that hurt the food quality.
Local businesses are said to be more generous than their international competitors. Non-profits are said to receive around 250% more donations from local entrepreneurs than they do from large organisations.
Murphy’s Ice-cream is an artisan ice cream company in Dingle, Co. Kerry. They have been making ice cream, the natural and old fashioned way since the year 2000.
There are many more local food producers and retailers, doing great in our different communities around the country.
So, next time you are tempted not to buy local, just think of the things you love; your community, the environment and most importantly, your health. Those are the things you would be improving when you buy local.
How often do you buy your foodstuff from local producers?
Precious Olawuyi is a freelance journalist and digital media guru, based in Dublin, Ireland.
Though he lives and breathes Content and Design, he sometimes likes to have fun with video production and photography.
Having worked on over 200 projects within the space of 3 years in the digital media space, you won’t be gambling by trusting him with your work.
He holds an M.A in Journalism and Media Communications from Griffith College, Dublin and a LLB in Law From Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.
He thinks a lot of things in the corporate world are weird, including the fact that he has to write his bio in 3rd person, by himself.