One of the simplest things we can do to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to reduce the transport of goods from around the World. Buy locally grown produce and you will not only be cutting down on food transport, but you will be supporting the local economy.

A lot of the time your locally grown produce will also be grown on a smaller scale, with a lower environmental impact to its surrounding area compared to the mass producers that supply the supermarkets.

Decrease food miles

“Food miles” refers to the distance food has travelled from its original source to your plate. This includes transport from the farm to distributors, from distributors to the shops, and shops to your home. The farther your food has travelled, the more emissions and harm to the environment.

Exotic fruits and vegetables, or produce that has been grown in different climates to provide us with out of season choice, have often travelled thousands of miles before reaching the shops. In addition to the fuel use from trucks and planes, a lot have short shelf lives and have to be refrigerated on route, using vast amounts of energy.

By choosing locally produced fruits and vegetables you significantly cut down the environmental impact through travel, and most seasonally grown items don’t require refrigeration for transport as they get to the shop shelves so quickly.

Think about where your food comes from – how many thousands of miles may it have travelled before it reaches your dinner table?

Support local farms and wildlife

Many small scale local farms struggle to compete with the bulk discounts supermarkets can offer on exotic imported produce. By buying local produce you are supporting local farms to help them be successful in a tough market. These farms are in turn providing a wide range of natural habitats.

Successful small scale farms protect the land from being sold for alternative uses such as industry or commercial use where habitats are more likely to be destroyed and local wildlife displaced.

Farming makes up a lot of Shropshire green landscape. Help support local farms and you will be protecting land from being developed for industry and commercial purposes.

Buy local produce and get fresher food

With less time needed for travel, local produce is often fresher than items transported from around the globe. A lot of imported foods often go bad before they are purchased, creating a huge amount of food waste. Buying local produce significantly reduces this waste.

Quality organic produce

Many small scale local producers rely heavily on reputation. They are more likely to produce quality produce and use organic farming methods. Giving you a healthier choice in fruit and vegetables and reducing the impact of farming methods on local land with the reduction of chemical use or run off.

Many local producers sell produce direct through farmers markets or onsite farm shops. Alongside this they may sell to other small businesses in the area. Supporting small local businesses helps support the local economy, giving numerous benefits compared to shopping in the large scale supermarkets.

Check out upcoming Farmers Markets in the What’s On guide.

Search for local produce in the Green Directory.

Do you regularly buy local produce? If so where would you recommend, we would love to help promote small local environmentally friendly businesses in your area. Get in touch here via email, or message us through any of our social media pages.

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Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot