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Shop local this Xmas – and save the rural economy

[Friday 19 December 2008]

COUNTRY folk doing their last minute Christmas shopping are being urged to shop local as the credit crunch bites – and save the rural economy.

The current economic climate means we have to think about every purchase we make, but we will still have to eat

Douglas Chalmers - CLA North

The Country Land and Business Association is pleading with shoppers to trace the source of anything they buy, particularly food, because local farmers, market gardeners, and small grocers are highly vulnerable as the credit crunch bites.

Says CLA Northern Director Douglas Chalmers: “The current economic climate means we have to think about every purchase we make, but we will still have to eat. So this would seem to put food producers at the forefront of those businesses most likely to survive the financial turmoil.

““But I am also calling for consideration from other organisations. Banks must be flexible and help these small businesses with short term cash flow problems. Defra must keep the Single Farm Payment coming quickly. Planners must take off the blinkers, recognise that enterprise means jobs, and aid appropriate development.

"A little help from us all today will be repaid with interest in the form of a stable, diverse and productive rural economy for years to come.”

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