Buying local is not just a trend or fad in the consumer world. Several studies by various universities* have revealed a multitude of reasons why supporting local farms and businesses are beneficial to communities. Here is a brief summary of the top three findings:
1) Local products support local people and build community.
While there are certainly some local farmers who contract for large agricultural companies, a lot of them are independent producers striving to hold their own in a competitive market. Contract farmers receive a low percentage of the total profit from their products, thus making it hard to sustain their own farm and family needs. By buying local, farmers receive the full retail price for their products, thus helping them stay in business.
2) Buying local creates and sustains more jobs.
Independently owned and operated businesses created approximately 2 million of the private-sector j0bs generated in 2014.** Buying local maintains job stability and keeps money recirculating within the community, as many local businesses also buy from and support other local businesses.
3) Buying local helps sustain diversity of product.
Independent farmers have the freedom to pursue heirloom varieties of crops, heritage breeds of livestock, and to create their own unique mark on local markets. Additionally, there is no fear of breaching seed patent laws. Independent farmers have the freedom to save seeds from their best crops, which improves plant hardiness to local microclimates and soil types and helps to preserve heirloom varieties. This is far different from farmers who contract with large agricultural companies, as they are typically required to grow a select variety of products selected for shelf-life and ability to sustain large-scale harvesting practices, which limits genetic diversity. We’re taking local one step farther: we’re putting the tools in people’s hands to produce for themselves.
Our Mission for Organics:
As New Country Organics continues to move forward in the organic agricultural industry, we are striving to bring ourselves closer to the source of our organic grains, thereby supporting independent organic farmers and reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting grains. The ecological benefits of local are not our only concern, however. As organic agriculture is still a growing industry, we are constantly looking for more organic farmers. We are committed to buying only North American grains because we want to know where our grains come from and ensure that our farmers meet organic certification standards. Quality organic products are greatly important to New Country Organics. We are committed to developing organics in North America. We want to live where the organic products we use are being grown and developed right here. We want to develop organics at home, not import it from unknown and questionable sources.
Our Challenge to You:
Demand for organic products is continuously rising. This is exciting, as it shows that consumers are becoming more aware of healthy food products and want the best for their family and livestock. Organic agriculture is more than just a fad; it is a way of life. Organics is vital for the preservation of our farmland and natural resources. So here is our challenge to you: are you willing to help us take back the food chain? We need more people like you to pursue organic agriculture. Let us help you get there!
*The University of Vermont: https://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/factsheets/buylocal.html
*Michigan State University: http://www.ced.msu.edu/upload/reports/why%20buy%20local.pdf
*Michigan State University Extension: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/7_benefits_of_eating_local_foods
*Utah State University Extension Sustainability: https://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/Sustainability_2012-09pr.pdf
**U.S. Small Business Administration: https://www.sba.gov/blogs/small-businesses-create-2-million-jobs