Thursday, June 19, 2014

The survey says: Local products are worth the money!

Earlier this month we asked if you would be willing to pay more for local products. Here are the results:

The survey says:  Local products are worth the money!


  • Local and organic!
  • Imported supermarket food is often absurdly cheap anyway, and the low prices mean that we have very little feeling for the value of food, and feel disconnected from it and its production, buying, eating and wasting far too much of it. Paying a little more not only often means you're getting a 'better' product, but you also value and appreciate it more, and are more imaginative and careful with how you use it.
  • I usually don't pay more because it's local - I pay more because it's better quality.
  • If they were still of a similar quality/caliber to other non-local products.
  • There are several things that I am willing to pay more for because they are local, like produce. But there is a tipping point where it's just not economically an option.
  • I already do pay more by shopping locally, but when that balances out with the farmer's market where some foods are less expensive it. It just makes sense to buy locally.
  • I seem to live in an area where only a few local products are sold but where I can I always buy British or try to grow my own
  • There are some countries where I will avoid buying.
  • I pay more for local food products because I like fresh food.Fresh food tastes so much better than food that has traveled across the country or across the Atlantic. I also like the idea of conserving energy and gasoline by buying local food.
  • AT the moment I'm lucky enough to be part of a food cooperative that provides very inexpensive local produce, but when certain items are not available I shop at the local farmer's market. The prices are a little higher, but it's worth it to know that I'm buying from and supporting nearby farms. JC
  • It depends on both the product and the producer. I'm not going to buy from someone who's a jack-ass for example, just like I wouldn't patronize a local restaurant if the food or service was poor. BUT if the product is comparable in quality to a national or regional brand, I'd definitely give it more consideration.
  • I do and will pay more for local, but sometimes it is cheaper. My eggs come from my next door neighbor, better price than at any store for organic..and I know they are fresh.
  • I already do! I'm more than happy to take my money to the farmer's market and load up on local produce from people I know--it's higher quality, fresher, tastier and I can always ask about growing practices if I need to! Plus, it's fun to follow the seasons. I also don't mind paying more for handmade/organic/locally produced foods and body care products.
  • Though I'm a bit loose with the definition of locally. First, I will always pay to buy something produced in the US (my home country). Then, whenever possible, I do like to drill down to items produced closer to home: in my state (Washington), then in my region (Western WA). I grow a lot of my own food, but love my neighborhood Farmers Market. When it comes time to buy gifts, I shop at the local retail district (lots of small, locally-owned shops).
  • Depends on How much more...

Are you surprised at the results?

It's thrilling to see so many "yes" answers. I am especially excited by the idea that we want more from the products we buy. Not only must products serve their intended purpose, they must offer us greater value:

  • We look for high quality which translates into a longer life cycle or, in the case of food, better flavor, freshness, and nutrition. That often means that we reduce waste. And, interestingly, over the long run we might actually find that the overall cost is less than buying mass-produced, non-local products.

  • We want a connection to both the product and the manufacturer. Talking to the farmer who grew our food gives us an appreciation for how products went from the field to our table. Learning how an artisan makes a piece of furniture, and seeing the care which goes into each creation, ties us to the process and the artist. Buying local gives us those connections to our community ... relationships and friendships which enhance our lives.

  • We want products which support our local economy. Buying local means that our money stays in the community. We can see it at work when our favorite farmer can afford to buy new equipment after a successful harvest or when a local restaurant expands because business has been good. On a more personal level, perhaps contributing to a healthy local economy is rewarded by higher personal income, giving meaning to the phrase "what goes around, comes around".

When we consider all that buying local can do for us and the world around us, paying a bit more seems like a great deal!