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Nova Scotians are supporting the province’s farmers and enjoying local food, using about a third of their food budget on locally grown or produced agri-food and dairy products. A new survey, developed by the Province and the Canadian Agri-Food Foresight Institute, found between 27 and 34 per cent of Nova Scotians’ total food spending went to locally produced products.

“It’s good to see support for our local farmers and growers with a substantial portion of Nova Scotians’ food budget going to products produced in the province,” said Greg Morrow, Minister of Agriculture. “It’s been a tough year for many, including those in agriculture. Buying local supports farmers, our economy and the environment. That’s why it’s been our goal for Nova Scotians to enjoy more of our great local food. This new way to collect up-to-date data will help the Province continue to make smart decisions that support our producers.”The first-of-its-kind survey model allows researchers to determine with greater precision the share of a population’s total food budget spent on local products.

The survey was conducted last year in January, April and October.

The survey was developed as part of the department’s mandate to support and encourage local food consumption, with the goal of 20 per cent of the money spent on food by Nova Scotians being spent on locally produced food by 2030.

It asks participants to estimate how much they spend on local food products in 15 food categories. Participants from across the province reflect a range of ages and socioeconomic levels.

The department says that the survey can be run multiple times a year, allowing for the collection of timely data that accounts for the seasonality of local foods. For greater accuracy, the results are weighted using Statistics Canada food expenditure data.

The survey results will help shape the department’s buy local programs and initiatives.

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