The feedback has been overwhelming. Many people want to buy local. Many people want to support local farmers. They just don’t always know how and the choices aren’t always easy for them. Wearing my consumer hat, I am one of those people.
Recently I discovered a documentary today called “Broken Limbs”, highlighting the plight of apple growers in Washington State and how a change in thinking and farming styles provided a glimmer of hope. During the making of this film, the filmmakers Guy Evans and Jamie Howell discovered that their own purchasing and eating habits were transformed. They discovered that shopping habits formed over a lifetime are not changed overnight, but one small purchase, one meal at a time.
They put out a challenge……….. this challenge was that “During the course of your normal shopping in the next week, try to buy three products of local or regional origin.”
So I am going to take up that challenge, and taking their advice, turn it into three simple tasks when I go shopping.
1. Buy at least three local items each time I go shopping.
Sometimes the labels aren’t as obvious as this pear etched with the South Australian map! Understanding labels is a challenge. So I am going to make the effort to really look hard on 3 items each shop. If I can’t be sure, I will pick another product.
I will make the effort that each time I shop I pick three different items to check out. If I do this every time I shop, it won’t be long before my complete shopping selection will be effortlessly filled with local produce.
2. If I can’t find a local choice or am not sure about something, I will ask for it.
A produce manager or shop keeper will listen to what the consumers want, but they need to know what we are thinking. If enough of us ask the same question, change will happen.
3. Support, share and remember the local labels I get to know and love.
When I find a local product that I enjoy, I will make sure I remember the brand and look for it the next time I shop. Once I have made that first choice, the next time should be easy. But more than that, I will spread the word about that brand. I will let them know what it is about their product that I enjoy, I will share my experience with my friends and networks and help others make that choice.
That is my challenge that I am taking up and I will share my ride with you as I go.
Only 3 simple tasks! I’d love it if you would join me.