What Makes a Product “Local?”

What_is_local What Makes a Product “Local?”How many times have you seen products being promoted as “local” and yet it seems just as industrial as any other product? The label “local” has become just another marketing tool to sell you more. Some people define local rather arbitrarily as products within a fifty or sixty-mile radius from where they live.

What really makes a product local? A truly local product definitely comes from a region that is close by. It involves an economy that favors local communities and their products. However, geography is not the only determining or even the most important factor in producing “local” goods.

Real local production involves several dynamic elements: the intensive development of an amazing variety of local resources, the pressure to turn out quality work, and the fruitful and direct interaction of consumer and producer who mutually adjust demand for products to conform to local needs. If a region is suited to the production of nice red wines, a local producer will know how to make maximum use of there resources by striving to produce a fine wine that is the pride of the region.

But true regionalism is not only an understanding of the land and resources. What_makes_products_local What Makes a Product “Local?”The human element is the most important element. What defines a region is the development of good habits and therefore virtues by the inhabitants as they adapt to the reality of the place.

People practice virtues in different ways. The land and climate often favors these practices. In cold regions, for example, people are more hardy and resourceful. In sunny climes, they may be more festive and artistic. The distinctive way of practicing virtue in a region sets the tone for a way of life and the crafting of products. It leads to the forming of wholesome customs.

Healthy regionalism is a very stable order of things. In an atmosphere deeply imbued with this spirit, everyone feels at ease in his home and does not needlessly destroy old habits but prefers to adapt or add to them. This order is customary and breathes freely around those things that are permanent.

At the same time, these habits and customs do not stagnate since one is always striving to make them better. This order cultivates habits; it changes by refining not overthrowing. Souls like this, thirsting for habits, are what make regionalism thrive. That is what makes things truly local.

Subscription13 What Makes a Product “Local?”If understood in this way, local is not a marketing label but a way of life. Real local products are not fleeting sensations but ever-improving items often produced over generations. Products like this taste better, last longer or mean more to us. Economies like this tend to be temperate and balanced.


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Do you know a truly local product in your area that you would like to share with readers? Perhaps some company that has been around for generations? Or something that is the pride of your region?






  • Dachsie

    “Healthy regionalism is a very stable order of things.”
    The order of things in every region, every local area, is not what we call a community. A kindred spirit, a spirt of community, has been destroyed by design. Our nation’s borders have been deliberately destroyed. This has ruined a sense of the right kind of patriotism for one’s discreet country. People of different ethnicities have been flooded in on, say for instance, a local Polish Catholic community within a larger surrounding city. Urban renewal, you know, just one example of blowing apart a sense of community in a local area.

    On a larger scale, I tried to buy a blender that was made in America. It was not quality constructed. The knob fell off almost immediately and when the glass carafe broke, I was reluctant to order a new one that would have cost more than the whole appliance price was in light of the shoddy construction on the other parts of the machine. The motor would probably have gone out very soon anyway so I just let it sit in my garage.

    I listened to a now deceased Dr. Lawrence Dunnegan, M.D. who in 1997 told about a talk that was given to him and a group of young doctors by a Dr. Day who later went on to become head of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Dr. Day forbad the audience to take notes but Dr. Dunnegan took notes on a napkin and then went home and did a tape recording to recall all of the amazing things said to them

    It is part of the New Order of the Barbarians tape set available from Dr. Stan Monteith available on Amazon.
    The theme was that there will be planned destruction of America’s order in every way with the goal of leading toward the brave new world we are now entering. The idea of quality made in America items would be phased out in the beginning by having made in America products being just as cheaply and poorly constructed as things made in Japan, so as to facility the one world economy and the elimination of discreet national economies.

    Anyway, we all long for a sense of local community where we buy each others products and support each other, but somehow at a very deep level all of our communities have been blown to kingdom come by the very evil forces that this Dr. Day described and predicted perfectly back in his 1969 talk to the young doctors.

    I am sorry that I sound so pessimistic but I do say that the book of the Apocalyse is being fulfilled right before my eyes and that is faith building.

  • Blanca

    As I read what you aptly describe as local, a sense of nostalgia, sadness, but also indignation comes over me. Alas, this is no more to be seen or experienced in most places. And one is at a loss as to what can be done, concretely– aside from the general « return to order » that, rightly, you call for but is hardly being carried out by the majority– to help, to promote, to make again viable, those people who struggled over the years, to make their local products available. Everything has turned against them, and finally they are forced to give up, because of an incapacity to continue as their livelihood becomes ever more difficult and then impossible to bring to fruition. In my own region, I feel very badly especially for farmers. Agricuture, which is essential, is only promoted when it is carried out on a large scale. How many local products we used to be able to buy, but no more! Healthy things, grown close by, which is the healthiest possible, are no longer produced, because so many things are against these small farmers, that in some cases they have been even forced to sell their land! They get gobbled up by such monsters as Monsanto. They are set up against a whole lot of things that they are not able to comply with, such as the most absurd, having to get licences, for seeds! I understand very well the pessimistic statement of the other person who has commented here, because we feel that only through divine intervention, through a much prophesied chastisement, all of these injustices can be turned around. We, the little people, can only pray: Thy kingdom come! Thank you for your efforts.