We live, work and roast in our home community of Salmon arm and benefit from our communities commitment to local. And we are super blessed as the Shuswap is a literal Cornucopia of locally grown food.
But the local focus has almost taken on a life of it’s own and distracts us from bigger human and environmental issues. Coffee is grown in the 3rd world generally by marginalized individuals who are mostly subsistent and live in areas of humanitarian and environmental concern. Food products grown far away and finished in Canada have an obligation to true ethics around human and environmental care. The 'Local‘ movement distracts and diminishes what should be a number one concern for consumers buying products we grow outside of Canada.
I was recently in the city and checked out a local grocer and the insane assortment of ‘locally roasted‘ coffees. Out of 8 local brands on the shelf only 2 had any reference to anything beyond local. As a consumer myself that’s alarming; Where is the origin traceability? Were the people paid fairly? What are the origins commitment to environmental safeguards? Or have we devolved into simply a commodity sold on snazzy packaging and an uncomfortable addiction to ‘Local’.
Focus on local when it’s stuff we grow in Canada! But retrain yourself with products like coffee, cocoa, vanilla and most nuts. Local doesn’t trump ethics and parity. It’s time to dial back the local addiction to where it makes sense. I can promise you there is no value or comfort to those responsible for the harvest.
- Karla Ferster