Why Choose Local Food?

Our food systems play into many of the world's major issues, such as air and water pollution, habitat loss, species loss, climate change, economy, animal cruelty, slavery, soil depletion, litter/landfill and declining public health. By choosing locally-produced food, you choose:

  • Less pollution, thanks to the food not having travelled a long way by road, ship or plane.
  • A smaller carbon footprint and less congestion on the roads, also thanks to the food not having travelled far and not needing to be in refrigerated storage for a long time. It is estimated that if all foods were sourced from within 20km of where they were consumed, the country would save £2.1 billion in environmental and congestion costs.
  • Less packaging. Extra packaging is used to protect food that needs to travel a long way.
  • Freshness. Food which has travelled a long distance is inevitably less fresh, and may have been treated with chemicals to help preserve it during transit. Since fresh food loses nutrients with time, it will also be less nutritious, and fresh food tastes better too!
  • Local economy. Buying local keeps your money in the local area and in the country, supporting a strong local and national economy.
  • Traceability. It is hard to monitor production, welfare and environmental standards when food is produced the other side of the world, and small companies are generally more likely to use organic principles, traditional methods and good ethics (though they're less likely to be able to afford organic certification). But if you're not sure, it's much easier to ask the producer about their standards when you buy from local producers!
  • Food security and food sovereignty. Relying on food from far away erodes our food security and makes us less resilient to disruptive national and global events. Relying from food from big businesses gives a small handful of corporations control over a huge proportion of the production, processing, distribution and marketing of our food, enabling them to wipe out competition and dictate tough terms, which can force farmers and consumers into poverty and hunger.