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Food Businesses – Think Local Food
More and more local foods are finding their way on the menu be it a fine dining restaurant, the corner cafe or even your favourite food truck. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware about their food source and local foods definitely have a great appeal.
Going local is not without challenges and the two biggest challenges are cost and availability; but these can be overcome as the points below illustrate.
In fact, food businesses can enjoy many benefits by buying local foods.
Local foods are fresh
The further away the food source the more difficult it is to retain their appearance, taste and nutrients without any bioengineering.
Local foods taste better
Have you tasted the difference between homemade bread and sausages or carrots from your back garden to the store bought ones? The proof is in the pudding – try them. There is no comparison to the taste of fresh food.
- Local foods offer more variety and help make the menu creative and interesting.
Small farms can grow many varieties and unique produce which commercial farms may not be able to. Food businesses have not only a wider variety to choose, they can change their offerings on the menu based on the seasons. Some local foods do go beyond fruits and vegetables such as beef, chicken, seafood, dairy products, honey and even beer, which are available all year round.
Local foods are great as a marketing tool
Promotional words such as ‘farm-fresh’, ‘locally grown’, ‘farm to fork’ and ‘farm to table’ will definitely attract patrons and make the items popular on the menu. Customers are always on the look-out for such items as they not only mean eco-friendly but are also associated with foods that are fresher, healthier and tastier.
Local foods aren’t as costly as one would think.
No doubt there are no economies of scale benefits for small farms, but their prices aren’t that much higher. Considering the higher quality of the produce, the slightly higher price is worth it and consumers will think likewise. To keep cost down, consult with your local farmer about their crops and how much they can supply and order in bulk.
Local foods support local economies and protect the environment
As a food business supporting your local economy will only be perceived by your customers and other stakeholders as being socially responsible. You keep the money local and foster community relationships. In addition you are offering higher quality food to the community.
Small farms are also environment friendly as they are organic and don’t use pesticides hormones or other chemicals; and use less energy for harvesting and transporting. By buying local food business are reducing food miles and embracing green practices.
Think local food – it will help the community, environment and definitely your food business too.