Chamber Feels Local Farms Essential
From time to time I see government throw money at one industry or another in an attempt to sustain it or rebuild it and I think of the many years that have passed while government and the public have kept a death watch as the family farm suffered at the hands of the big players and major food store chains as they strove to change the marketplace.
Farming is directly related to tourism as it is to other industries and is key to our survival. I t has been reported that should our transportation be cut off for some reason or another we would have a 3 day supply of food in our grocery stores.
Am I trying to scare you? Probably.
It’s just that certain things, such as our food, should only reside at the common sense level. Having our own regional food supply for the sake of self-sufficiency not only makes sense but is critical and crucial to the rebuilding of our region from a food supply perspective and will strengthen our regional business model and our community.
Is it too late? No, definitely not.
Regardless of what other communities, regions and other provincial governments are doing the Cumberland County –Sackville area can take the lead in developing self- sufficiency in agriculture. We cannot always rely on government or big business to work in our best interests and such is the case with agriculture.
This is why I am here today speaking of what can be done. To start with the Chamber has not typically had the farming community as part of its membership nor has the chamber been advocating for the Agriculture community. From a business viewpoint it is imperative that the Chamber engage the businesses we represent in partnering with government, tourism etc in helping create a market atmosphere that will bring back a self-sustaining farming culture to the area.
Simply put, we are not advocating throwing money at farming or any business, for that matter. We have to ensure there are supporting regulations in place that will allow the smaller start-up farms and existing farms to sell their products at a fair and profitable price. It has to be demonstrated to the public that a perfect looking potato or apple does not mean it’s better than a scarred one. It’s not hard math, if you can sell for a profit and have a place to do so the business will just happen, that’s how our free market works. You don’t even have to subsidize it.
The huge buying powers of the food chains allowed them to stop buying locally then regionally and even nationally for some things and local markets were devastated.
I understand how and why it happened and why it was allowed to happen. But from this time forward we must all work to ensure that essential foods are produced locally.
Members at Coffee: A few Tues. mornings ago we had a guest from the Pugwash area give us an overview of event planning. It was very enlightening and was welcomed by all. If anyone is interested in becoming involved in the various organizations and departments that run our current and new events please let me know.