Why It Matters To Shop + Function Local: Ontario Made
What does it mean to be local?
To some it means sourcing within your country of origin.
To us, it means not only sticking to Canadian goods but, keeping our carbon footprint as small as possible and sourcing our products and processing within 60km whenever possible.
Why does it matter?
Perhaps the most obvious answer is because we want to support our local economy and job sector. Canadian workers are given fair wages and we see this by dealing directly with producers and manufacturers.
A more complex answer, that is more noticeable since the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the glode, is reducing the risk of product limitations or complete stops. This means, being self-sustainable locally so that in the future we won't feel a tight pinch when resources are in short supply.
At present, we depend on those manufacturing and producing from across our Canadian borders for a variety of products and services that we could encourage the growth of locally if we spend our dollars right. Every dollar is a vote for change.
Does this mean everything MUST be sourced and stay local to our 60km radius? Not necessarily. Things such as grains and other products are traded across borders regularly and that has it's own benefits for our economy and relationships with others.
The Take Home
When you have created something from nothing; built from the ground up (quite literally) and; work hard to feed and support your community, meeting the people who are handling these goods is paramount for a high end, sustainable and ethical product.
Our goal is to create an array of products that support a self sustainable and reduced waste model, ensuring each part of each product - and byproduct - is put to optimal use rather than discarded for less expensive labour imports. These imports are not held to the same Canadian standards that businesses in Canada are held accountable for including but not limited to; a fair wage, ethical treatment and; quality craftsmanship.
That is why we are certified Ontario Made with items like our sheep skins. We get them back from our abattoir, we salt them on our farm then, we drive them to the tannery and drop them in the hands of those who directly finish them.
You may see this image across our products and website because we have the truest sense of local and it's been confirmed by the Ontario Made program.
How else does Wholesome Pastures support Local?
Our abattoir, for beef and lamb, is only 15km from where our animals are born and raised on our farm, meaning, it's the only time they travel off farm. This means, supporting our working neighbours and an extremely low carbon footprint.
The skin care line that includes soaps, body creams and lip balms is created from oil rendered on our farm keeping the environmental impact incredibly low. A major bonus is that this oil is similar to our body's natural composition and so it is applied with a silky texture that leaves your skin satisfied and improved. Bonus, there is no added preservatives. Plain. Simple. Safe.
Wholesome Pasture's pastured poultry is processed at one of the closest places possible and extends just beyond our 60km radius due to the high quality of their processing and excellent customer service.
The soft and plush sheepskins are first salted on our farm and then taken 40km to be finished into the gorgeous thermoregulating, washable and skin safe pieces that we are so fortunate to provide to you.
Supporting local means supporting our neighbours too
Wholesome Pastures held a farm tour in July 2021 (on a day that could be described as torrential rains) that raised around $400 along with non-perishable goods for their local foodbank.
What do you consider to be local?
Has your perspective shifted after reading this article?
Are you reflecting about your shopping habits?
Are there any ways that you can curb some shopping to support your local economy?