“Socially, it is important to the consumer to spend money ‘at home’ or at the very least on a product grown with some type of connection,” he said.
Providing a product that is fresh and that the consumer won’t let go to waste also are important, Halverson said.
Buying local, from a sustainability standpoint, is a “mixed bag,” said Joelle Mosso, organic integrity manager at Earthbound Farm, San Juan Bautista, Calif.
“There are so many factors to consider before you can say that buying local is the most overall ecological choice,” said Mosso, who also works on sustainability initiatives for the company.
The distance a product is driven to market can be less important than other sustainability concerns, Mosso said.
“In some instances, when you look at all the measures, local can be less sustainable than choice produced at a greater distance. Again, you have to look at the variables,” Mosso said.