Blog | Social enterprise

How the strain on global supply chains has reemphasised the need to buy local

With panic buying and one-click purchases prevalent in today’s world, environmental impact of kneejerk consumerism often seems to be a secondary consideration to convenience when in fact, buying local could deliver so much more.

By Ben Bostock · 11 November 2021

See this page in: Cymraeg

With changeable buying trends based on perceived or predicted global shortages, it is more important than ever to think about how we help ensure local supply chain resilience and in so doing, actively reduce our environmental impact.

We can all do our bit to lessen our environmental impact says Adam Cox, Lead Consultant at the Wales Co-operative Centre and supply chain specialist:

“As individuals, there is so much to be gained both environmentally and in terms of supporting local circular economies by rethinking where we spend our money. Private businesses can also improve their environmental credentials by supporting and incorporating social businesses with an environmental mission into their supply chains.”

There are a number of simple ways to minimise environmental impact while also supporting local businesses:

Support businesses with environmental credentials

There are a growing number of social businesses which have environmental goals at their heart. Many of these, which can be found through the Social Business Wales search facility, have also been incorporated into private sector supply chains through our Social Business Connect service which in turn share environmental objectives.

Find local food suppliers

There are many established co-operative door-to-door food supply services which have positive impacts on their communities and lessen environmental impacts by allowing suppliers to join forces through ‘veg box’ schemes – a number of which can be found via the Cywain search facility.

“As individuals, there is so much to be gained both environmentally and in terms of supporting local circular economies by rethinking where we spend our money. Private businesses can also improve their environmental credentials by supporting and incorporating social businesses with an environmental mission into their supply chains.”

Adam Cox, Lead Consultant

Order in advance

Ordering household supplies in advance from local suppliers will give you reassurance that you will have the essentials you need when you need them. This will also help support the businesses nearest to us which may well have experienced adverse impacts resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic.

Give thoughtfully

Over the festive period, you could opt to give friends and family a collection of locally-sourced produce through the Welsh Food & Drink Collaboration Project or give them an experience-based present available from one of the many social enterprises and other local businesses through the Business Wales search facility.

Shout about your experiences

Let the people you know know which local suppliers you use with #BuyLocal, the #BuySocial hashtag from our ongoing campaign and #SupportLocalSupportWales which Menter a Busnes, longstanding friends of the Centre, have created to help local fresh produce providers survive and thrive.

If you want to find local environmentally-focussed social businesses to buy from or incorporate into your business’s supply chain, get in touch with us at commercialteam@wales.coop.