What is Local Produce?
Simply put, local produce is any food that has been grown, raised, cooked, baked or produced within your locality.
However to be considered as such, it is also expected that such produce will also have been raised, grown or produced under sympathetic conditions. Animals should be free to roam and fed on healthy, natural
foodstuffs. Vegetables and fruit should be grown as naturally as possible without any unnecessary artificial chemicals, colourings, additives or other suspect ingredients. Local produce may be anything ranging from
potatoes and other vegetables, through fruits, locally raised lamb, beef or pork, either as joints or as sausages etc., fish, bread, local wines, ales, ciders and perrys. Any food item that is produced locally and
sympathetically in line with generally accepted good practices.
So Why Buy Local Produce?
By buying local produce you benefit many people in your locality.
The local producers or farmers are often struggling to compete with major supermarket chains who dictate unrealistic
prices. By buying locally it benefits these producers directly and encourages them to reinvest and produce more produce.
The local community benefits, as buying locally is directly supporting local businesses, leading to employment, and
ensures that the money is kept within that local community and not contributing to the ever increasing profits of mega supermarkets.
By buying from your local producer, you will build-up a relationship with that producer. This will lead to a greater
understanding of the processes involved and may also lead to you being offered specially grown or raised products. At Orchard Old Spots, they produced some 'special order' sausages just for one client who was keen
to try something special.
Finally, the purchaser or consumer benefits as they are buying fresh, healthy produce that has not been picked raw,
packaged in plastic and then flown thousands of miles before sitting on a supermarket shelf. If you have never tasted locally produced food, then why not do what David did when he challenged the presenter and guests
at BBC Somerset to tell the difference between supermarket sausages and sausages he had bought from Orchard Old Spots, a local producer just 5 minutes away. Despite some confident approaches, everyone selected the
'Everyone is talking about 'Food Miles' which is the the distance the produce had had to
travel from production to sale. In a recent article David wrote for a women's magazine, he showed how a small shop of everyday items could have travelled over 70,000 food miles. If we are interested in reducing the
food miles our food has travelled, then by selecting local produce we can make a major contribution to reducing Food Miles.
95% of our food is over packaged using non-environmentally friendly plastic packaging
materials. Visit your local producer and simply compare the packaging they use. Whilst some foodstuffs need to be sealed and kept vacuum-packed, a large quantity is available to be selected by hand and then simply
placed in a paper bag. What could be more environmentally friendly?
Perhaps most importantly is that by buying local produce, you are selecting
to choose Local, Traceable, Eco-friendly and Natural food which is better for you, your family and the environment.