I feel that only a certain percentage of consumers would pay a premium for local food. I believe that this amount is increasing but is still relatively small. The public is being told to ‘Buy Local.’ This local food campaign is growing and is tapping into a larger consumer base, but at the same time it is not telling the public that a premium could be a result of purchasing these products. I think that the local food produced in this country is of excellent quality and can be compared globally, and that this should come at a price. Maybe the population is suffering from the state of our economy, but people still need to eat. The farmers who produce what the public eats still needs to get something for their hard work and quality products at the end of the day as well.
I believe that consumers need to be educated more about where their food comes from before they would pay a premium. This education is increasing but not on a large enough scale. If the public learnt about where their food really comes from and how it was produced they would defiantly pay a premium for it. I know personally through our family’s country store, that the general public does not have a clue where their food comes from, how it’s produced, and what the real benefit is from buying local products. The determining factor in allowing the local food movement to survive and grow is to ask for a premium for local products, and I see that educating the public is the only solution to have them pay this premium.
Contributed by Chris Budd