The Christmas season is an important time of year for most businesses. The West Country has a reputation for excellent food and drink. As we celebrate the wonders of a new birth and opportunities for a fresh start nearly 2,000 years ago, should we now be travelling far and wide to find excellent fare?
Some treats may only be available from a distance. But we may find that today’s equivalent of gold, frankincense and myrrh are on our doorstep. So what are the benefits of buying local?
Local produce is fresher, having travelled short distances. It should taste much better and retain more nutrients than food that has travelled for many miles and days before it reaches your shopping basket.
In addition, and on the back of the government’s report into food security earlier this year, shorter food journeys are more likely to preserve the integrity of our food and drink.
Buying local also supports local farmers, producers and businesses. These enterprises are crucial for our local economy, safeguarding and creating valuable jobs, allowing people to stay in the area. Monies spent locally give opportunities for further investment by those successful businesses into the food and drink sector.
Local business MA Grigg from St Austell recognises the importance of buying local. Sarah Venning said: “We really appreciate the loyalty of our customers and Christmas is our busiest time of year, with shoppers looking for Christmas trees and fresh local produce. We welcome the efforts of Stephens Scown and others to help promote the great things that are on offer right here in Cornwall. These days it is so easy to do your Christmas shopping on line, but we find that our customers enjoy the great service and personal touch they get by coming into the store.”
This year we are running our #ChristmasDinnerCountdown campaign where we will be highlighting some of the fabulous local produce that is on offer this festive season. Why not share your own ideas too and get involved at www.facebook.com/StephensScown. If you have some ideas for Christmas dinner dishes using local produce, please message us on Facebook and you could be in with the chance of winning a Christmas hamper packed with local goodies.
Gavin Poole is a partner at Stephens Scown LLP in Truro and heads up its food and drink team in Cornwall. Gavin can be contacted on 01872 265100, firstname.lastname@example.org