Buying “Colorado” Means Buying Local
Unless you’ve isolated yourself in your hyperlocal backyard, gardening and foraging your own food within your property lines, you’ve probably visited a grocery store recently, where signs and promotions are posted instructing you to buy local. It’s good advice, after all, to buy local — it supports our friends, neighbors and fellow Colorado citizens. It brings billions of dollars to our state, helping to fund community infrastructure and make Colorado the best state in which to live and work. In Colorado, agriculture is a $40 billion industry. Buying Colorado agriculture supports more than 36,000 farms and ranches and 170,000 jobs across the state.
For more than two years Philosophy Communication has worked with Colorado Proud, an organization of the Colorado Department of Agriculture that encourages consumers to buy Colorado products. When we started working with Colorado Proud, we didn’t really know or understand — truly — what buying local really meant.
As a self-proclaimed food snob, I would seek out food products that were from Colorado. I liked (and still do) supporting other Colorado businesses, and I always felt that businesses offering local food products were true artisans. I assumed they put more thought into their products, making those products better to look at and better to taste.
Since we began working with Colorado Proud, I’ve realized my assumptions are true. I also realized that most Colorado consumers really don’t know or understand where their food comes from. And people’s definition of “local” varies widely. Consumers know little about the people who grow, raise or process their food, ultimately making sure all of us have safe, affordable and delicious food on our plates.
In the last two years, I’ve had the honor of visiting farms, ranches, farmers markets, large grocery store chains, big box retailers, smaller specialty markets, restaurants and roadside stands — all of which contribute in their own unique ways to Colorado’s vibrant, complex and thriving agricultural industry. Whether you buy a famous Palisade, Colorado peach directly from the orchard, at a roadside stand, your weekly farmers’ market, at Whole Foods or your neighborhood Safeway, you’re buying local and you’re supporting Colorado. We’re lucky to have that choice.