“Buy Local” or “Shop Local” is the most searched and talked about phrase that is being shared on social media today (over 3.8 million posts every hour, phew). It is no coincidence that these words are being highlighted on billboards, seen on grocery store display shelves, featured on restaurant menus and popping up all across the country at farmer’s markets. The importance and understanding of local food has moved far beyond a foodie movement to becoming an established mainstream idea. Sourcing fresh, local ingredients is now a consumer lifestyle choice and preference for a large number of Canadians.
And the financial numbers don’t lie either: for every $100 spent with a local business, $63 is re-circulated back into our economy (vs $14 by multinational corporations). Yep, that is not a typo, there is approximately a 4.5x multiplier effect when you support and shop local!
As we follow the stories of how it has struck such a cord with people, we find there are 4 major reasons why the world is shopping local now more than ever:
1) Reduced “Food Miles” –
People have stepped up to the plate, (pun intended) and are paying more attention to how their grocery habits impact the environment. People realize they have a say and want to contribute to solve the current climate emergency. It all starts with distance and how many miles the food has to travel from where it is being grown, farmed and packed to when it reaches your plate. In a survey, over 80% Canadians say they believe shopping local is indeed better for the environment.
(Maple Ridge – British Columbia)
Westpoint Naturals consciously sources over 100 different kinds of Canadian products and are always looking to work with local businesses and companies to support the shop local movement! For all those excited to support the local economy, email us what you are looking to buy and we will do our best to help.
2) Sustainable Growing and Consumption –
Organic farming works best when it is in harmony with nature. It endeavors to achieve crop growth without harming the natural environment or the people who live and work in it. One of the principles of organic farming is to strive for equitable relationships between those who live and work on the land and the sea. It is this strong bond of community-driven, responsible harvesting of produce that has people all across Canada even more excited to be part of this change.
We are always excited to share stories of how some of our Canadian products are harvested, like our Organic Dulse Flakes which are harvested and handpicked from Atlantic Canada in the Grand Manan Archipelago of New Brunswick. Harvesters travel to the remote shoreline locations by dory boat to select and diligently hand pick fresh wet dulse. The local harvesters have knowledge of the land and harvest the seabed responsibly so that they regenerate naturally. Once harvested, the dulse are then dried on the beach rocks and the air suddenly fills up with that beautiful sulfury, sea shore aroma and fresh ocean mist. (We can almost smell the ocean, can you?)
3) Supporting the Local Economy and Community –
When we buy Canadian, we impact our economy in positive ways. Every dollar we spend in Canada has a ripple effect that far exceeds the simple profits made by businesses. Regardless of what sectors and industries we work in, we are all part of this cycle. And let’s not forget: when Canadian businesses are successful, they are in a position to give back to the communities they serve by supporting local charities and other businesses.
(Saskatoon – Saskatchewan)
Being a female-led and socially-aware company, we love to support charities that make meaningful contributions to our community, especially those in British Columbia. Such as the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, the Westside Family Place, A Loving Spoonful, the Good Soup Truck, the Vancouver Humane Society, and Nature Trust British Columbia among many others.
4) Taste, Health & Safety –
The food and beverage industry in Canada is one of the most regulated sectors in the country. There are rules on businesses environmental emissions, quality assurance practices and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) guidelines to ensure you have the latest and updated traceability records of all your ingredients. When we buy local, we know these products have met our country’s high health and safety standards.
(Steinbach – Manitoba)
Some studies also show that locally grown produce sometimes has tastier flavour profiles and because they are harvested closer to peak ripeness, they contain more nutrients because they are allowed to ripen naturally. That is one of the reasons why we prefer to source our grains and flours locally, to have that authentic Canadian taste, texture and flavour.
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When we buy Canadian products, we also help reduce our carbon footprint by almost 1/3 of what it would otherwise have been which equates to a much lighter environmental footprint. And we are always happy to connect you with your local store that carries our products to help you be a part of the movement as well. All you need to do is give us a call, send us an email or reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest and we will get back to you as soon as we can.