Nova Scotia

Want to buy local? Look for this label in N.S. grocery stores

A new initiative is making it easier for Nova Scotians to find local products in grocery stores. Shoppers will now find labels, logos and signs at all Sobeys, Walmart, Costco and Loblaws stores in Nova Scotia, indicating which products are locally grown or produced.

Logo will appear on products in Sobeys, Walmart, Costco and Superstore

Emily Haynes holds up two products with the Taste of Nova Scotia label, indicating the items were grown or produced in the province. (Aly Thomson/CBC)

A new initiative is making it easier for Nova Scotians to find local products in grocery stores.

Shoppers will now find labels, logos and signs at all Sobeys, Walmart, Costco and Loblaws stores in Nova Scotia, indicating which products are locally grown or produced.

The Nova Scotia government campaign ⁠— in collaboration with the provincial marketing program Taste of Nova Scotia ⁠— was launched on Saturday at retailers across the province. 

Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell said Nova Scotians want to buy local products, but previously had a hard time identifying which ones were homegrown.

"I have friends who say, 'I want to buy local products, but we can't find them.' Even though they may be looking right at them and not realize it," Colwell said as a chef from Kitchen Door catering served up homemade soup to shoppers at a Halifax-area Sobeys.

"When you're buying local, you're helping a local farmer, you're helping the local fishing industry, you're helping yourselves and your families."

Shoppers should look for the "Get Your Hands On Local" signs to buy products that were grown or produced in Nova Scotia. (Aly Thomson/CBC)

Local products will either have the Taste of Nova Scotia logo on its label, will have a Taste of Nova Scotia sticker, or will be next to a sign bearing the campaign slogan "Get Your Hands on Local."

Colwell said buying local food benefits the province's economy and businesses. He also said it's important to have food security in the province.

"The UN is telling us in the next 10 years there's not going to be enough food in the world to feed the population of the world," said Colwell.

"If we don't support our farmers and the fishing industry, they won't be there, and if they're not there, we don't have a food supply and it could be very serious."

Kitchen Door chef Andrew Farrell hands out samples of a roasted turnip and apple soup, made with local ingredients, at the Sobeys in Clayton Park on Saturday. (Aly Thomson/CBC)

Emily Haynes, executive director of Taste of Nova Scotia, said the campaign is about making it easier for shoppers to choose local products, regardless of where you are in the province and where you buy groceries.

"We have a rich and vibrant food and beverage industry here in Nova Scotia, and it's really important that we support it," said Haynes.

"I think Nova Scotians care about where their money goes. I think Nova Scotians want to see a strong economy."

She added that many people believe it's harder to find local products in the winter, but there are still "an abundance" of options, including baked goods, sweet potatoes, cucumbers and wild blueberries.

Colwell said the province plans to run the campaign — which cost around $300,000 this year — indefinitely.

Local products will either have a Taste of Nova Scotia sticker, have the logo directly on its label, or will be located next to a "Get Your Hands on Local" sign. (Aly Thomson/CBC)

He could not say how much local food is currently being sold in grocery stores.

But he said the government now plans on taking inventory and tracking that data, with a goal of eventually double the current amount.