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Growth of ‘shop local’ is a ‘huge opportunity’ for businesses

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The results of a consumer survey, which reveals that 88 per cent of local people try to buy Devon-sourced goods whenever possible, presents a ‘huge opportunity’ for local businesses says our Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, our Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, is encouraging Devon’s businesses to ‘grasp the nettle’ and sign up to our Made in Devon scheme, who will be at the Devon County Show this weekend from Thursday 30 June to Saturday July 2.

Made in Devon enables businesses to advertise that they are a trustworthy business supplying Devon-sourced products whenever possible, and that those claims have been vetted by trading standards. Membership is also available to Devon-based companies in other sectors including retail, arts, and  services. 

Our objective for Made in Devon is to encourage consumers to keep buying quality local products and services, to bring long-term, sustainable prosperity to the region and to help in the region’s economic recovery. 

This will be done by encouraging sales and consumption of the incredible range of quality products and services which we have in Devon, supporting local businesses, and establishing Devon as a source of quality local products and services. 

Councillor Gilbert said:

“Nine out of ten people try to buy local if they can. More than ever, local people are predisposed to support Devon businesses and in return they should grasp the nettle. This is a huge opportunity.

“There is a significant untapped market for those who can demonstrate that their business genuinely uses local resources when possible and they support other Devon businesses.   

 “Many businesses have started to realise this and that’s why Made in Devon’s membership is rapidly growing.”

Since February the number of Devon businesses that have signed up, passed the trading standards audit and are now listed on the online directory has doubled to 54.

He added: “The benefits of supporting local are huge. It helps keep money in the community as local businesses have lower overheads like transportation, which, in turn is better for the environment. 

“It could be the farmer down the road, the local producer of skincare and bath products who lives next door; buying local helps them and their businesses survive. 

“But it also helps avoid the supply issues that have been experienced by many national retailers.

“By maintaining local supply lines between producers, restaurants, schools, and hospitals for instance, it creates jobs.   

“And if businesses can demonstrate that its goods are local it will give confidence to the consumer, and this will help ensure that Devon’s economy continues to recover following the pandemic.” 

Mark Venton from Venton’s Devon Cyder said:

“Buying and selling locally is very important to me. We press several tonnes of apples every year and I don’t go any further than six miles for all those apples. “Devon produce is some of the finest in the country, if not the world, and with the weight of Made in Devon, it gives us a lot of credibility. Businesses who go through the checks give consumers confidence that the business that they are buying from is complying with all the things they should be complying with. Membership of Made in Devon helps with networking; they give advice, and it helps to push your business forward.”

For more information go to the Made in Devon website.