A university is to look at the impact of buying local food and drink as part of a major research project
The University of Essex is to begin a year-long project to see if buying and selling locally-sourced food really does contribute to the well-being of suppliers and consumers. It will also capture the views of farmers on how this affects their livelihoods.
Dr Zareen Bharucha, a research officer at the university's Essex Sustainability Institute, said, “There has been an explosion of political, practical and academic interest in local food, but the evidence-base on its precise contributions to mental and physical health is still patchy.”
Roger Grosvenor, executive officer at the Retail of the East of England Co-operative, added, “We're really excited about being involved with this research into the benefits of local sourcing.
“We have seen our own Sourced Locally initiative grow to meet the demand from our members and customers for quality products with local provenance. At the same time, we are supporting local producers, including creating jobs and energising the regional economy.
“We look forward to seeing the results of the research and finding out whether there is concrete evidence that sourcing locally improves the health and well-being of suppliers and consumers,” he added.
The results of the research are expected in the first quarter of 2013.