Prince Charles encourages Local Produce and Sustainability

After a joyous month of celebrating the Diamond Jubilee, Prince Charles returned last Friday to Carmarthenshire for the National Botanic Garden, to hold a speech encouraging the production of local food to boost our economy.

Image by C.Corner

Described as a “vital” process, local production can improve the economy and community by creating a sustainable cycle that can result in growing and buying locally. The event, where the Prince spoke at, was designed to support a new food strategy in Wales, while also looking at related topics such as its tourism, marketing and rural skills.
                                                                                                        Andrew Campbell has been working as a dairy and crop farmer for many years and has agreed that local produce is a very important step in developing our economy.
                                                                                                    “Producing and buying local foods from the economic standpoint means that you are supporting your own region, and the impact is greater as a result of the multiplier effect. Once local produce is bought, the producers can re-invest that money for other products and services.”

Through buying local foods, therefore, the stability of the economy is enforced; money is circulated in the region, and can help to strengthen our funds and capital.

“If you buy foreign products, although you are still purchasing from a farmer, profit is going to that region instead of your own. Essentially from my standpoint, buying local helps your neighbour,” concluded Andrew.

Evidently, local produce does not just improve the economy but also our health. The Earth Easy blog argues that buying local foods is far healthier: “Locally grown food, purchased soon after harvest, retains its nutrients.” Additionally you are buying foods free from harmful chemical and genetically modified seeds.

Since 2005, McDonald’s has also started to source ingredients such as pork, eggs and lettuce from farms around UK and Ireland.

Left: supermarket filled pasty, Right: local produced pasty. Image by C.Corner

Going green and local seems a very eco-friendly way to buy and eat, so why is there still the need to have to publicise local food? Local foods have already made their way into supermarkets, more available to those not near farms and villages.

Nathan Cookson, 23, Bar Manager from Brindle, explains how his lifestyle has changed his food habit.

“Growing up in a small village gave me the chance to eat home cooked food sourced from our local farmers. Having now moved to a larger city, the simplicity and speed of using these supermarkets almost completely cut out eating “home grown” food. I prefer fresh local food but the cost, even at supermarkets, is too expensive for me to buy daily.”

Supermarkets chains offer a wide variety of fresh food from around the UK. However, the competitive pricing of value food inclines more people to buy cheaper products regardless of their origin. This often boots local food “out the window” and promotes instead food from across the other side of the globe.

Raising the awareness of local food does not seem to be the problem, nor the awareness to buy it. However, the issue lies within cheap competing brands, offering similar products on a cheaper scale. Quality over price is not a leading factor, neither is the concern over a sustainable future for our country.