Impact of U.S. eggs on B.C.

Living along the border edge like the majority of Canadians do, we become accustomed to taking  opportunity to skip down to the States for the advantage of cheaper shopping. But to what degree does this hedonistic habit of ours impact economy and industry in Canada?

Narrowing the scope, a flux of British Columbians dashing down stateside to drop dimes on a dozen eggs is severely impacting the sustenance of provincial egg farmers. The B.C. Eggonomics campaign put on by The British Columbia Egg Marketing Board warns that between the Pacific coast and Alberta alone and on this one sole commodity we are losing more than $3 million and 60 full-time jobs a year to our southern neighbours.

2 million of these little cartons (24 million U.S. eggs) are brought into B.C. each year, costing the province more than $3 million. –Eggonomics

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No matter what you’re buying, ‘tis always wiser and nobler to shop as close to home as possible. Purchasing goods within our own communities improves area employment and infrastructure, and helps to guarantee that items are created, grown or manufactured under standards that don’t shift significantly across borders. Registered Canadian egg farmers, for example, follow national codes of practice that have been developed, reviewed, and approved by organizations including the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

“Going local means control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.” – Michael H. Shuman, author of Going Local.

The New Economics Foundation, an independent economic think-tank based in London, England, compared what happens when people buy produce at a supermarket chain versus a local farmer’s market or community supported agriculture (CSA) program—they found that twice the money stayed in the community when folks bought locally, making purchasing local goods “twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive,” stated author and researcher David Boyle. (TIME)

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Here are 5 more reasons to buy local:

1. Local Economic Stimulus

When you purchase at locally-owned businesses, more money stays in the community. Local businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms.

2. Community Character & Prosperity

The unique character of your community is defined in large part by the businesses that reside there and play a big factor in your overall satisfaction with where you live as well as the value of your home or property.

3. Reduced Environmental Impact.

A centralized variety of enterprises greatly improves a community’s walk score—meaning less contribution to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution. Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure and more efficiently utilize public services relative to chain stores.

4. Community Investment.

Local businesses are often owned by people who live in the same community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future.

5. Jobs!

“[Consumers] have to support the farmers here in B.C.” –Capella Farm in Surrey, B.C.

More on eggs:

  • About 130 registered producers in B.C. raise almost 2.4 million layer hens, who in turn produce over 64 million dozen eggs per year.
  • 80% of BC’s registered egg producers are located in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley
  • The B.C. egg industry contributes over $95 million to the provincial economy.
  • Since 1995, egg consumption in Canada has increased to reach 16.1 dozen per person per year in 2009.

-List via GreenUpGrader