Local Sourcing: Beyond Green

One of the major reasons often touted for sourcing local -- from retail to manufacturing -- is green. Locally transported goods have a lower environmental footprint -- fewer Co2 emissions are released in the movement of goods and consumption of natural resources (e.g., oil) is also reduced. Local sourcing has the added benefit of reducing supply chain complexity and risk. But there are other reasons to look to local sourcing beyond green and risk reduction. A recent article in Super Market News explains why -- and its rationale works across the retail sector. According to the story, “local sourcing doesn't always boost the environment or food safety, but it's a proven method of improving customer loyalty, itself one of the biggest retailer goals.”

Local sourcing does not always have to involve for-sale products. Consider the case of Tops, a local market that was able to tout to customers how it “pumps More Than $20 Million into Local Economy in 2008 Through New Business Partnerships” with local suppliers. This, of course, “is a different type of sourcing than product acquisition, but Tops expects the strategy to enhance its reputation in the community.” And if they do it right, there’s a good chance they’ll save money on a total cost basis or at least break even in the process.

- Jason Busch

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