From panic buying shelf-stable goods to mastering the art of sourdough, there’s no question that the pandemic has changed the world of food. For many, purchasing groceries was always something we didn’t have to think much about. But as the food supply and economy changed, many of us have been left to reflect on the food we purchase, and where we buy it from. As a result, one of the more amazing things to come from this year is the conscious choice to support more local businesses!
As everyone undoubtedly recalls, panic buying was definitely a thing in the early pandemic era. There’s no question that there was a shortage of paper goods (you all know which paper we’re referring to!). But empty food shelves were another common feature, with certain foods such as canned goods, pasta, flour, eggs, and frozen products in short supply for months on end.
With lockdown measures in place, coupled with supply chain disturbances and way too much hoarding, food security began to concern even the more wealthy citizens in our society earlier this year. Needless to say, this precipitated a greater interest in food, leaving many to reflect on how, and where, they get their food. In fact, recent Google Search Trends data reflect how our interests in food have been shaped by the pandemic. Consumers have expressed more interest in food preservation, grocery stores, food delivery, and perhaps the most common - sourcing local food.
With farmers markets, stores and restaurants forced to shut their doors for months on end, it’s clear that operating a local business hasn’t been an easy feat in 2020. People are becoming more aware of the fact that small, local businesses need our help more than ever, and ultimately we need them too!
While the need to help the independent business community has been made more obvious this year, the benefits of shopping locally extend beyond these times of crisis. Buying local is always a good idea, after all - you could quite literally be supporting your neighbour through your purchases. Take care of each other, even as the world begins to feel more ‘normal’!
Canadian Federation of Independent Business. (2020). Half of small firms report a drop in sales due to COVID-19, a quarter say they won’t survive a month with a big drop in income. Retrieved from:https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/media/half-small-firms-report-drop-sales-due-covid-19-quarter-say-they-wont-survive-month-big-drop
Civic Economics. (2013). Independent BC: Small business and the British Columbia economy. Retrieved from: https://ccednet-rcdec.ca/sites/ccednet-rcdec.ca/files/ccednet/pdfs/independant_bc_small_and_the_british_colombia_economy.pdf
Fennell, S. (2020). Local food solutions during the coronavirus crisis could have lasting benefits.University of Cambridge. Retrieved from:https://www.cam.ac.uk/stories/globaltolocal
Government of British Columbia. (2020). Buy BC and support local restaurants, farmers, and food producers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retrieved from:https://buybc.gov.bc.ca/learn-about-bc-food/support-local/
Schmidt, C. (2020). Google searches reveal changing consumer food sourcing in the COVID-19 pandemic.Journal of agriculture, food systems, and community development, 9(3), 9-16.https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2020.093.032