10 GOOD REASONS WHY LOCAL FOOD IS IMPORTANT
1. Freshness and flavour: We have many local farmers and producers in the area, passionate about the quality and integrity of their food, resulting in delicious produce which is full of flavour.
2. Seasonality: Much easier to know what is in season if food is locally produced. Connects people with the environment and nature.
3. Enhancing ‘the character of place’: Benefits the well-being of local people and draws visitors to the area by keeping the countryside in production and local produce with its fresh, rich flavours in local outlets.
4. Traceability and accountability: With a short supply chain it becomes much easier to meet and talk to the producer – ask questions about how the food and drink has been produced, how plants and animals have been grown or reared and what has gone into made products.
5. Increasing the vitality of the local economy: Keeping money circulating in the local area, i.e. local producers and outlets support local businesses and services.
6. Increasing employment and self-employment locally… ….and providing inspiration and opportunities for young people.
7. Food security: For us, our children and future generations. Unpredictable political and economic conditions internationally, increasing world population, increased demand for a ‘Western’ diet, energy security issues and climate change all threaten food security.
8. Self-sufficiency: Only just over half the food we consume is produced in UK now compared with 75% in the 1990s. The UK is very fertile and NFU says we could produce more of our own food. Let’s ensure that UK farmers can stay in business and that the knowledge and skills needed to produce our food are not lost.
9. What about closing the trade gap? 2015 trade figures show a UK food, feed and drink deficit of £19.7bn. The largest trade deficit is due to fruit and veg imports, with only 23% being UK produced. Cheaper prices of some imported food and the taste for exotic foods contribute to this deficit.
10. Transport emissions: Just think of all the greenhouse gas emissions shifting all this food and drink vast distances around the world to get it to our table (much of it not reflected in official figures). It would seem to make very good sense to eat more of what grows well close to home.