Voice reporter Jade Farrington discovers how buying local can help to keep our economy afloat
NEWQUAY shop keepers and restaurateurs are encouraging people to buy local and help beat the recession.
They believe a boost in local trade will stimulate the town's economy and benefit everyone in the area.
Vasant Maru, owner of The Maharajah and The Mexican Cantina restaurants, said: "We are helping ourselves by helping each other. Things are sometimes impossible to get here but I try to buy everything locally in Cornwall where possible.
"Local farms need to better market their produce to local restaurants. Nobody has called us but they should get in touch. I'm looking for fresh local veg but don't know where it's available. Local producers should try to make a deal and make themselves known."
Tom Hackman, of alcohol wholesaler Wine World, is keen to supply Cornish businesses and sources his products as locally as possible. While ringing around for potential new customers he decided to try a different angle. "Instead of the usual sales talk I was saying we should be looking after each other," said Tom. "I got more response from that than explaining how good my wine is. "In my trade there are lots of big boys who sell directly to the public and they use businesses in Scotland when we're on their doorstep. Why are they not supporting locals? All I know is that, given it could be a hard time, we should be supporting each other."
A common complaint when shopping locally is that goods can often be found cheaper elsewhere. Shoppers can be inclined to hunt for bargains, particularly during a recession. "Shopping locally doesn't mean paying more," said Tom. "It's worth going and asking local businesses if they can price match deals you find elsewhere. But price isn't everything, there's also the quality and service. If you buy from a local firm
you're going to get better service. The big firms often have a cut off for orders and won't change them after the deadline. Local businesses such as ourselves can be far more flexible."
While Tom is focused on Cornish produce, he believes all products should be purchased as locally as possible. "We should buy British cars," he said. "When you go to France, 75 per cent of the cars you see on the roads were made in France but we don't support our own car industry. The whole infrastructure would change if we shopped locally. If 10 per cent of people started shopping less in supermarkets they may have to lay off staff but they would be taken on by local firms."
Kingsley Village is one such firm, with localism at the centre of everything it does. David Simpson, one of the proprietors, said just about everything they sold was sourced as locally as possible. All their graded beef and free range chickens are local, as is the majority of their pork. David added: "We make all our own sausages and beef burgers and our huntsmen shoot the venison. We get the vast majority of our fish from Newlyn and a lot of crabs and lobsters from Newquay which we then supply to local restaurants. "It's very, very local. Everybody likes less food miles. If our local economy is strong it's going to benefit everyone locally. Lots of people come to us because we're local and they know where the food comes from. We supply lots of Newquay restaurants and businesses and get regular enquiries. We're always happy to hear from local businesses and help keep it in the county."
Gareth Horner runs East Street's E. Rawle & Co, a fishmonger established in 1936.
"We buy what we can locally when we can but in our business availability is very irregular," said Gareth. "We buy some fish and all our crabs and lobsters from local boats and most of the rest comes from Newlyn or Plymouth, but our prawns and squid are imported. If I can buy it locally at a reasonable price I will pay a little bit more, but unfortunately things aren't always available when you want them. We supply lots of local businesses and private individuals."
Trevilley Farm set up a local produce shop in an effort to diversify and overcome the downturn in farming. Errol Warman, who works at the farm, explained: "We basically started off producing local food for local people. We had an honesty box and that started getting really popular and the idea of the shop came from there. Everything we sell has to be grown in Cornwall or have value added in Cornwall. We supply a
few restaurants and we also do hampers and produce boxes for self catering cottages and a veg box for locals." The farm recently had its first calf of the season (pictured) and sells its beef
directly to customers in the farm shop.