The holiday season is coming fast, and shopping local provides many benefits.
The Lambton County Library organized a panel discussion with Allan Calvert (Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce), Gary Martin (Lambton Federation of Agriculture) and Vicky Praill (Tourism Sarnia-Lambton) about shopping local and Q&A session to help you get prepared for making purchases that benefit our community.
Speech by Gary Martin, President of the Lambton Federation of Agriculture
(Check against delivery)
Hi all, my name is Gary Martin, and I’ve been president of the Lambton Federation of Agriculture since January 2020, and I’ve been a director since 2015.
For those not familiar, the Lambton Federation of Agriculture is a non-profit general farm organization in Lambton County who helps and supports farmers dealing with issues relating to their farm operations. We also bridge with the community and other sectors, partners and service providers. We represent approximately 1900 individual operations who farm in Lambton County.
Well before I joined the LFA Board, the LFA started an initiative to provide an avenue for local producers to include their businesses on a Locally Lambton physical map that was distributed widely.
The initial map in 2006 was well received and they produced new versions in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015.
In 2019, we made the switch to an online (and mobile) version to include new features and increase the ease of accessibility.
The goals of the Locally Lambton map, and brand are still the same:
- To provide support for the local farmers by connecting consumers to local primary producers;
- To promote the importance of purchasing local to reduce the environmental footprint of goods;
- To help Lambton residents increase their vegetable and fruit; and meat and cheese consumption, as well as promote physical activity through Pick-Your-Own farms and local farm-based attractions.
The ultimate goal? To help improve health status for Lambton County residents.
Shopping Local has been a focus of the Locally Lambton initiative from the beginning.
- In this part of the season, supporting local in our gift-giving, decorating, and feeding our families, supports the agricultural sector directly or indirectly.
- Purchasing food, flowers, greenery, and gifts directly from our local growers, producers and stores, helps our small business community and in turn allows them to survive the urge for all of us to purchase online from businesses from afar.
- We have all of these types of vendors on our Locally Lambton Map as well as Farmers’ Markets where they all gather together.
I’d like to remind you that Local food extends beyond just fruits and vegetables.
- “Local Food” includes a diverse range of commodities from the dairy and deli meat in your fridge, in addition to fruits, and vegetables in your crispers.
- Other types of foods such as frozen vegetables, jams or canned pickles, beer, wine and ciders are all grown by farmers and processed locally.
We also promote businesses selling decorative items that are produced locally.
I’d like you to check out our “Discover” page at locallylambton.com/discover for suggestions on what you can look for when shopping local, and of course, the Lambton Map on the main page of our website at locallylambton.com.