How do you keep local sourcing local?

23 November 2009

As local sourcing becomes increasingly popular, local producers will have to boost their production to meet demand.

But according to a few Welsh chefs at the moment, getting hold of local lobster, crab, cockles and mussels is difficult because of their popularity elsewhere. Fishermen say that 90 per cent of Welsh shellfish is put direct onto lorries and delivered to France and Spain.

This brings into focus the difficulty both governments and buyers will have to face in the future in trying to balance “sustainable” sourcing with a healthy economy. If the aim is for local communities and organisations to do their buying “locally”, there has to be an assumption that products and items will be available to buy in the first place. But at the same time “protecting” goods and services for local consumption could significantly damage a country’s international competitiveness.

The solution could be to inject money into local companies and industry, but where is the cash going to come from? And who will make the decision where the money is directed? Could it be buyers?

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