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Buying local results in numerous benefits for families, communities and the environment.
By supporting local farmers today, you are creating demand and opportunities for producers in the future through development, succession and new farmers. This is crucial for food security, especially given our current reliance on importing food we are capable of growing at home.
Support for local farmers
Buying local food provides income to farmers to maintain and develop their farms and help produce affordable, nutritious, high-quality food for the future. While vegetables and fruit tend to be seasonal, many vegetables are locally produced and available year round. Local farmers take their responsibility to consumers seriously – supporting a local producer who is providing a safe, quality product is mutually beneficial.
Produce is susceptible to nutrient loss once it’s harvested; therefore, the shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely nutrients will be lost. Importing food from outside of the province requires travel on trucks and boats, resulting in more time between harvest and consumption. Buying local enables consumers to regain that nutrition back into their diets and aid in improving overall health.
Better Value for your Dollar
Food produced close to home gives you more value for your dollar. When you buy from a local producer, the product is harvested within hours or days of your purchase, maintaining its nutrients and freshness. In addition, preserving local produce during peak harvest seasons through canning and freezing enables you to eat local year round, while maintaining a high level of nutrition and flavor.
The closer to home food is produced, the fresher and tastier it will be. The Newfoundland and Labrador eggs you buy at the store come from a local farm, and it only takes days for eggs to ship from farm to grocery store. When you buy from a local vegetable producer, that produce was most likely harvested on the morning of your purchase.
Food produced here is allowed to ripen naturally and is not harvested until it is ready. Our province’s growing season with its cool nights gives our produce a certain sweetness that is our unique taste of place.
Contribution to Local Economy
Choosing fresh and delicious local food helps create jobs and supports our economy. Farmers are using other local businesses such as hardware stores, gas stations, mechanics, and more; the money you spend locally is passed on through other businesses in the area.
Local food is picked at peak season, allowed to ripen naturally, travels less distance, and may be consumed within hours of harvesting. Given all those conditions, buying local results in a much better quality when you purchase.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s farmers take pride in being good stewards of the land, helping to preserve it for future generations. Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture programming, such as Environmental Farm Planning, enables farmers to be good stewards of the land. Having our food travel less distance provides us with a better product to feed our families and contributes to improving our carbon footprint.
Creating Entrepreneurs and Jobs
Although more than 400 farms in Newfoundland and Labrador contribute $138.6 million to the local economy, the province is currently only 10 per cent self-sufficient, which means there is immense opportunity to grow and generate more food, more farms and more jobs. Agriculture helps support local businesses, create new businesses, employ residents so they can work at home, and create opportunities and stability in rural communities.