Eating local, a winning choice
More and more consumers look for food that didn’t travel thousands of miles before arriving at their table. That’s the case for Sophie, who shares her tips to buy local products: "At the grocery store, I favour Quebec products. It's getting easier to find them even when it comes to big brands.” She also receives a local fruit and vegetable basket that she’s ordered every week for more than three years. Sophie looks forward to discovering its contents each week: "The products are great, varied and they come from my home region, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu! Even though I am now based in Montreal, I feel like I'm helping my home community."
Sophie's purchasing habits have a direct economic impact on local producers. This is one of the advantages of buying locally, but it’s not the only one. Here’s an overview of why you should opt for local purchases as well.
For the Sake of the Economy
Eating what is produced or processed in your area is a way to support local businesses and, as a result, boost the local economy. To meet demand, food producers and processors increase production and create new jobs, which stimulates economic activity in Quebec’s regions. While it is difficult to quantify the effects of local purchasing, the benefits are real. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec (MAPAQ), we would inject an additional one billion dollars into the province’s economy in only five years if each consumer bought $30 of Quebec-based products every year.
For the Sake of Community
Sophie also appreciates the great relationship she developed with the producers she buys local products from directly. Sophie says, "In addition to fruits and vegetables, he also provides me with fresh meat. I can learn about his farming practices and I know how his animals are treated, a quite important point on my part.” This reinforces Sophie’s trust in her supplier, and she can be confident that the products she buys are well-thought-out, manufactured, and processed right here in Quebec, which adds to the pride of consuming them.
This direct contact with those who feed us also makes it more possible to obtain a wider variety of products. This has an impact on the diversity of cultures, the know-how of farmers, and the preservation of agricultural heritage. A greater variety of food also contributes to the global health of the population.
For the Sake of the Environment
Transporting food over shorter distances reduces negative impacts on the environment. Fewer gas emissions results in less pollution to get the food on your table, which benefits both human health and climate change in general. Eating locally also means less packaging, so less waste ends up in landfills. In short, everyone wins!