3 Reasons To Source Local Supplies & Products
How Locally Sourced Products Are Doing Good Around the Globe
To source local typically means that the sourcing, purchasing or procurement of food, ingredients and other consumable products takes place within a specific radius distance from where they will be used.
The concept is the same as the buy local movement, but focuses on a different point on the supply chain. Buy local movements are aimed at consumers of finished products or goods. Sourcing local is aimed at the producers who will sell goods and services to these consumers.
While there is no internationally-recognized definition of “local” in terms of the distance between production and consumption, there is a geographic connotation that can vary by regions, companies, consumers, and local food markets.
To consumers in many places, the label of local seems to be a more important consideration than the label of organic. Many consumers feel that local means fresher and healthier, and they are driven by the desire to support their local economies.
Demand for local sourcing is led by consumers and reflects their many varied desires and concerns regarding the freshness of food, the environmental impact of transporting food large distances, and the desire for an authentic food experience, among others.
For farmers, producers, and agribusinesses, the growth in demand for locally-sourced food is an unmissable opportunity.
The Benefits of Sourcing Local
Aside from keeping customers happy, there are a number of reasons why it is a good idea to source local. As with many topics we discuss, these reasons are generally interconnected; what is good for the individual and the business is usually good for our community and our planet too.
1. To Source Locally Is Better for Individual Businesses
Sourcing locally means there is a more personal level of relationship within the supply chain. This leads to better control and quick problem-solving. When producers and suppliers have relationships and face-to-face visits, it is easier to address concerns, and there is less chance of things getting lost in translation, which can tend to happen with big, distributed teams of people.
As a producer, if you have last-minute changes or needs and you source locally, the answer from your local suppliers will probably be yes. Local suppliers are typically more reactive than suppliers who are farther away. They can deliver products quicker, and it is much easier for a supplier to coordinate a shipment across the neighborhood than around the world.
While sourcing overseas can be cheaper for businesses in some ways, there are also a lot of costs associated with this process. Many of these costs can be reduced by localizing your supply chain. With less money being sunk into logistics, there will be less weighing down the bottom line. A win for any business!
2. Sourcing Local Is Better for Local Economies
Money spent on local businesses and industries is worth more to the local economy. This creates a ripple effect, keeping jobs and prosperity in the region.
Happy, well-paid employees are more likely to invest in local businesses. What’s more, respected and well-off businesses are in a position to contribute to communities through fundraising, volunteering, benefits, and sponsored activities.
3. Locally-Sourced Goods Are Better for the Environment
Landscape, geography, and climate all impact the way food and other goods are produced. Supporting local food and drink production can help protect unique and distinct environments.
Sourcing local also reduces food miles. The more products that are sourced and consumed locally, the less cross-country or international travel is required to transport the same or similar goods from other locations. This means less traffic, reduced fuel consumption, and less packaging.
Food miles are identified as a significant contributory factor to climate change, so the less our food travels, the better.
Sourcing Local as a Post-Pandemic Process
During the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chains across the world have been disrupted. Many companies that previously preferred to source internationally to save on costs are now seeking other cost-effective solutions, as international travel has become challenging across the board. Trade and business landscapes continue to change as everyone adjusts to the new processes and regulations. As resilient as we are, we have also seen the complexities and potential pitfalls of our global connectedness.
Sourcing locally has suddenly evolved from a consumer demand to a critical strategy that has kept many manufacturers’ businesses afloat during the pandemic.
Are you ready to start sourcing locally? Explore the organizations on our platform that are around you: