What are the benefits from buying local?



Although similar assurances are available in other countries, there are added benefits to changing your attitude and buying local.

cliff view

Economy

We’re all aware of the economic uncertainty that the UK has faced in the past few years or so, but despite a recent improvement in figures – many are unaware of just how badly people in some areas are struggling.

That’s where you come in! Simply supporting local products like cheese, wines, beer or cider could give your region the edge it needs to grow.

You see, the more we invest in our local economies by buying products, the less subsidies are needed and the more jobs can be created. Who knew eating Lancashire cheese, or Melton Mowbray pork pies could be so beneficial (and delicious!).

Environmentalism

But even though the economic benefits of buying local are clear, environmentalism remains one of – if not the most – popular reasons for people to choose nearby suppliers for their foods rather than foreign companies.

As has been well documented in recent years, flying goods from one end of the planet to the other is terrible for the environment and has been implicated in recent spikes in global warming and climate change.

But that’s not all the bad news that comes when products are being moved from continent to continent. Shipping over long distances requires the use of tonnes and tonnes of plastics, which cannot be easily recycled. What are the benefits of buying local?

These days we’re all becoming more and more aware of the quality of our food. No longer is that slop from the chippy down the road acceptable – such has been the rise of gourmet dining in the UK.

But despite the rise of the celebrity chef, gastro pub and posh burger, most of us are simply clueless as to where our food comes from.

Sure, we see that our strawberries sometimes come from the Netherlands and that our coffee comes from Ethiopia – but beyond that, are we really any the wiser about what processes went into making our ingredients?

Local

That’s the magic of buying local. Fact is, in the UK, we’re pretty good about animal safety and have some of the strictest guidelines around in terms of animal welfare.

Take the Red Tractor badge, for example, which tells consumers that the supply chain involved to produce the food you’re buying is above board, environmental and fair to animals.

This is a massive waste of money and reinforces just how much better it is if you end up buying that shampoo from a fellow called Steve down in Devon rather than a faceless chemical and cosmetic company based in northern Italy.

Expensive?

But while the benefits of buying local are clear, there has always been the argument from the uninitiated that it is expensive and leaves household budgets looking emptier than a glass of Pimms in the summer.

This might have been true in the past, but with the recent move of supermarkets to the world wide web, there are more bargains on offer than ever before.

Take the Ethical Superstore, for example, which offers fantastic products made in the UK at rock-bottom prices that even larger chains in retail parks across the country can’t compete with.

Staying at home on your laptop has never been so environmentally friendly!

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