New survey ahead of county show
Nine out of 10 (88 per cent) of local people try to buy Devon-sourced goods whenever possible, according to a new survey by Devon County Council, published to tie in with this week's county show.
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, the council's cabinet member for economic recovery and skills, says it's a huge opportunity for businesses in the county.
He wants them sign up to the Made in Devon scheme, which allows them to show that they are trustworthy, provide Devon-sourced products whenever possible, and have been vetted by trading standards.
Membership is also available to Devon-based companies in other sectors including retail, arts, and services.
The objective of Made in Devon is to encourage consumers to keep buying quality local products and services, bringing long-term, sustainable prosperity to the region and to help in the region’s economic recovery.
Councillor Gilbert said: “More than ever, local people are predisposed to support Devon businesses and in return they should grasp the nettle. This is a huge opportunity.
“There is a significant untapped market for those who can demonstrate that their business genuinely uses local resources when possible and they support other Devon businesses.
“Many businesses have started to realise this and that’s why Made in Devon’s membership is rapidly growing.”
Since February the number of Devon businesses that have signed up, passed the trading standards audit and are now listed on the online directory has doubled to 54.
He added: “The benefits of supporting local are huge. It helps keep money in the community as local businesses have lower overheads like transportation, which, in turn is better for the environment.
“It could be the farmer down the road, the local producer of skincare and bath products who lives next door; buying local helps them and their businesses survive.
“But it also helps avoid the supply issues that have been experienced by many national retailers.
“By maintaining local supply lines between producers, restaurants, schools, and hospitals for instance, it creates jobs.
“And if businesses can demonstrate its goods are local it will give confidence to the consumer, and this will help ensure that Devon’s economy continues to recover following the pandemic.”
Mark Venton from Venton’s Devon Cyder said: “Buying and selling locally is very important to me. We press several tonnes of apples every year and I don’t go any further than six miles for all those apples.
“Devon produce is some of the finest in the country if not the world and with the weight of Made in Devon, it gives us a lot of credibility. Businesses who go through the checks give consumers confidence that the business that they are buying from is complying with all the things they should be complying with. Membership of Made in Devon helps with networking; they give advice, and it helps to push your business forward.”