South Australians encouraged to buy local food

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 12th January 2009

In a sign of the times, South Australian Premier Mike Rann has announced a new campaign encouraging South Australians to buy and spend locally.

The promotion follows on from the ‘Buy South Australian, it’s better for you’ campaign and is indicative of a growing trend towards ‘local’ food in many other regions across the world.

“Now that the frenzy of Christmas is over, we have a chance to catch our breath and really consider the impact of our purchasing,” Mr Rann said. “When you go to the shop or the supermarket, or plan a holiday, think about what you’re buying and take a moment to look for local produce, or a local destination. By buying locally, and holidaying locally, we can back local jobs and local regions.”

“We have some of the finest fresh fruit and vegetables, great beers and world-class wines, fantastic products including cheeses, nuts, dried fruit, seafood and pasta,” he claimed. “The quality of local produce is unbeatable.”

“The recent SA Food Scorecard found that food production in South Australia has reached a record $3.5 Billion dollars and the food sector employs a record 143,400 people,” Mr Rann noted. “But, with ongoing drought, and the global financial crisis, everyone – including our primary producers – is going to be doing it a bit tougher, but we can all pitch in by spending our money locally.”

Fifty thousand dollars will be spent on advertising, and will build on other recent successful campaigns, including “The whole world buys South Australian. Do you?” and last year’s “Buy South Australian. It’s better for you.”

A number of Governments around the world have begun boosting promotion of local products in response to environment and economic concerns. Certain regions in the UK and the US have been pushing local food due to fears about “food miles”, and also in an endeavour to protect local jobs in the wake of the global economic downturn. Concerns have, however, been raised about the legality of promoting food as being more environmentally friendly just because it has travelled less distance from paddock to plate.

In Australia, the WA Government launched the ‘Buy West, Eat Best’ logo for locally produced products in May last year. Over 50 food companies had signed up to the labelling program by July.