Increasing the amount of Nova Scotia produced goods consumed in Nova Scotia is a key piece in to strengthening the local economy.
The One Nova Scotia report identified goals to strengthen the agriculture industry. As stated in goal 16, the value of agricultural products produced for, and consumed within, the Nova Scotia domestic market will have doubled. The current value is approximately $230 million. To stay ahead of this increasing trend, consumer awareness of Nova Scotia produced goods must be a priority.
As part of the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperities Act (EGSPA), two food goals are identified:
- 20% of our food spending from local farms by 2020 and increased local procurement by government
- A 5% increase of new farmers to the Nova Scotia Farm Registration System by 2020.
While ensuring government institutions increase local procurement, organizations must be willing to increase local spending, as well.
Increasing consumption of Nova Scotia produced goods needs to be addressed at both the consumer and policy development levels. Having a well identified brand to promote Nova Scotia’s agricultural products helps consumers to identify which items in the grocery store are of Nova Scotia origin. Nova Scotia producer brand recognition is also essential to promote and could be as simple as a sign in the produce section of a grocery store that identifies which labels belong to Nova Scotia farmers. At the policy level, government and organizations must implement a “local first” policy when catering or ordering food service.
Policy Statement: It shall be the policy of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture to provide support to government in fulfilling the EGSPA goals. The Federation shall also lobby the government to provide resources for consumers so they can make an informed decision when considering local agricultural products at grocery retail stores. The Federation will also encourage government and organizations to implement a “local first” policy for food service and catering.