A recent London Free Press Letter to the Editor has basically backed up what I have been stating for the past few weeks during meetings regarding the state of agriculture in Ontario. The common theme at the meetings has been promotion of "Buy Local". This has been an effective program by the government with the changes of their Foodland Ontario guidelines and the Savour Ontario branding.
It appears as though both non-ag and agricultural people have the thought that promoting the consumer to buy local will save agriculture. My comment has been - so which hog (beef) producers are being asked to leave the industry? We export a lot of produce. In Huron County the majority of what we produce is exported to other counties, provinces, and countries (my soybeans go to Europe for example).
My other comment has been: Who is going to explain to the 1000 people in Huron County that have lost their jobs in the past nine months that they are going to have to pay more for food? Spread that comment across all counties in Ontario because Ontario has been hit particularly hard with the job losses in manufacturing.
So on one hand I may be viewed as Mr. Negativity but I like to look at the bigger picture from outside the box. How is our request going to impact the bottom line at the end of the day - for all producers, big and small, established and beginning?
Local produce too costly
I am dreading the winter -- not because of the snow but because of the price and quality of produce.
I have used my gas to drive to rural areas and purchase produce from farmers. They need support. More times than not, I have found the quality lower and the price higher than my local grocer.
I went to a Garlic Festival this year, excited to buy fresh garlic. But not from China. They wanted $2 a clove! Where are we shipping the good stuff -- to China?
In the grocery store, there was a choice of yellow and red peppers from a local farmer for $4. Next to it, peppers from Mexico for much less.
I'm on a tight budget and can't buy vegetables that cost as much as the main course. The bad weather excuse can't be every year. Only the rich will be able to eat healthy soon.
That being said I think she brings up a more important question: "Only the rich will be able to eat healthy soon." I would add on to that - local or imported healthy food!
So how do we assist the people living in poverty to buy local healthy food?