”Tue paikallista” – ”Support your locals”

This is what we could read everywhere last year on T-shirts, Facebook profiles or even grafitis. A few months later, it seems our former life has taken over this message. Our locally-made DIY mushroom kits have rarely sold as little as this Christmas season. Local farmers markets (REKO) are quieter than before the pandemia. The local food platform Uudenmaan ruoka has seen its sales decrease in 2021 for the first time. I don’t blame anyone for buying a cheap triangle sandwich when racing to work, but I would like to write what it means for us when you support your locals.

Your local is within reach

Have you ever felt that buying organic or fairtrade was meaningless because the product came from the other side of the world? If you want farms and businesses to look like what you want, you need to keep them within reach. 

Your local supports your local

By sourcing goods locally, you keep industries alive and able to support and supply each other when harsh times come. Maybe you feel business is only fierce competition. In reality most employers are SME which cannot afford trashing each other. Running a business is like weaving a piece of fiber within a huge spider net. If a silk string breaks, it weakens the neighbors’ and so can the whole net be destroyed.

“Finnish products are more expensive”

When you buy local products, you give work to people who would otherwise need support from your tax. So you would still pay, but you would get no product in return.
My farmer’s ears tingle when hearing that “food is getting expensive”. Over decades food has only gotten cheaper while salaries increased. Time to pay the real price?

“I cannot change the world as an individual”

We can change the world as a mass of individuals. And believe it or not, as an entrepreneur I was astonished how fast our professional customers (restaurants, hotels, wholesalers) have evolved towards more local sourcing in only 5 years. 

“It requires more effort to buy local”

I am sorry for it. We would love to sell more to local supermarkets but their logistics have been designed to fit with global supply. Wholesale is a paperwork elefant that complies with multinational standards, out of reach for small producers.
All over the world farmers markets, CSA and other local distribution channels have appeared. They only need your wallet and your brain cells to develop!