Some Cape Breton farmers who sell food locally worry they will be out of business without more customers, and pressure could mount on the Nova Scotia government to create new buy-local requirements.
The deputy warden of the Municipality of Inverness County said Monday that hospitals, for instance, are told they can purchase food locally, but it’s not an obligation.
“It’s our job to lobby the provincial government to change that to say ‘If you can buy locally, then you should have to do that first before you go off island,” Dwayne MacDonald said.
His comments came as more than 50 farmers, business-owners, municipal councillors, consumers, and local food advocates gathered in Baddeck Monday for the Pan Cape Breton Local Food Forum.
The meeting was hosted by the Inverness County Council, and the municipality's Food Security Committee.
One Margaree farmer said he’s been trying to make a living selling food at the farmer’s market in Baddeck, but it’s tough.
Peter Leblanc said he needs more customers if his business is to survive.
“I don’t think we’ve hit the critical mass of people committing to that idea and supporter farmers here and paying a fair price for that to make it viable for people to farm here,” Leblanc said.