Popularity of local food growing in Europe too
The local food phenomenon is not just a burgeoning trend in North America – it is also taking off in Europe. I experienced this first hand during a visit to Switzerland last week, when I happened to visit a Migros store in Interlaken. Migros is one of the country’s two big retailers, a sort of Swiss Loblaws.
Not only where there signs throughout the store drawing shoppers’ attention to products “By the region, for the region”, but a huge mobile display was parked outside the store to promote local food and local farmers. The stand, shown here, promoted locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as meat, dairy products and wines – all grown by farmers in the surrounding areas. A local farmer stood alongside the sales clerks, answering questions from curious consumers.
The relatively small scale of Swiss farms, compared to many of their European neighbours and certainly competitors here in North America, make it a challenge for farmers to compete effectively. The fact that a major national retailer is actively supporting farmers and promoting their products is refreshing to see, especially given the ongoing struggle Canadian farmers have to get their products onto chain store shelves, even when they’re in season.