The value of hyperlocal produce

At Yellowknife Co-op, produce is grown steps away from the store in a container farm. The hyper-local food trend is more than just a fad: there’s a reason that hyper-local food is catching on in a big way. If you’re thinking about growing hyper-local food, it’s important to understand the value of the product and its market position.

Growing hyper-local is completely traceable. This means you know exactly what’s going into your product. There are no synthetic pest control products, less risk for E. coli, and a shorter supply chain to manage.

Growing food hyper-locally also means fresher produce and longer shelf life. Instead of wilting in a truck for hundreds of kilometers, hyper-local produce is shelf-ready immediately. This has a marked effect on the quality, as most produce loses 30 percent of nutrients just three days after harvest.

“When you get your hands on the fresh produce and taste it, you know it’s a good thing for your community in general. It’s really easy to get excited and pumped about this project," says Ian Maxwell from Norway House.

For growers, it’s important to keep in mind that hyper-local food isn’t competing with foreign produce that you typically find in grocery stores. Between locally grown vs. imported food, the wholesale price for foreign produce is cheaper than local produce.

Growing hyper-local food has many benefits: not only is it fresher, healthier, and better for the planet, it can also be a profitable investment for growers. When crafting your financial projections, keep in mind the value of hyper-local produce and where it sits in the market.

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