Rob Greenland has an interesting post on The Social Business asking whether Sainsbury's should be allowed to call some of its stores "Local" when they are sourcing their produce from all over the world. He contrasts this with the Farmer's market he goes to which is genuinely local.
Thursday, 30 July 2009
To be fair to Sainsbury's I suspect that the naming convention originated from the fact that these sorts of stores are smaller than their superstores and more "locally" based. However in a environmentally conscious age I am sure they are quite happy to allow the slightly ambiguous name to remain!
It is worth asking though how local the produce in these shops is. I do think wherever possible shops should source local produce. It serves a number of purposes, reducing embodied energy, helping the local economy of an area, reducing the need for preservatives as the food does not need to travel so far etc. It does seem to me that all too often, the bulk supply nature of the supermarket (both large and small outlets) militate against local produce. You only have to look at some of the labels to see this.
Having said all that, the predictability and convenience of supermarkets is very seductive and I am as guilty as anyone else in this area. I do try and shop locally but time constraints make it difficult for me.
Perhaps Rob's post will help me to redouble my efforts in this (local) area!
PS: Here seems an appropriate place to plug a free software tool and associated website my company (Southfacing Services) has produced called "Ripe About Now" which helps you see what fruit and veg are currently in season.