**This article has been translated automatically and will be reviewed soon. Please note that it contains French/Quebec references.**
WHAT DOES “BUY LOCAL” MEAN EXACTLY?
If I go buy things at Costco 20km from us, is that considered buying local?
If I go to buy things at Dollarama, whose door is literally next to our house, is that considered buying local?
If I go to Walmart, an American company, to buy Natrel milk, a Quebec company, is that considered local purchasing?
If I buy an American bidet, made in China, but sold by a Quebec company, is it considered a local purchase?
If I go to buy California almonds in bulk at La Réserve Naturelle, an eco-responsible store in my neighborhood, is that considered local purchasing?
If I buy a Marie Saint Pierre garment, made from Italian fabrics but manufactured here, is it considered local purchasing?
Let's say I'm in Cuba and I buy some pottery from a potter, is that considered local purchasing?
To all these questions, we can really answer YES or NO.
It depends on everyone's perceptions of buying local.
Buying local can be a matter of encouraging short journeys, whether for environmental reasons or to encourage the local economy.
In this case, we could consider making a local purchase if we buy near where we are, regardless of where we are in the world.
On another note, for Quebecers, buying local could be a purchase that must be made in Quebec and for others, it could be a purchase made in Canada and it would also be considered “local”.
Now, when the purchase is about to be made on Quebec or Canadian soil, there are two other levels that emerge:
Where does the product we buy come from?
Where does the company you buy from come from?
WHAT IS A QUEBEC PRODUCT?
Since 2022, Les Produits du Québec has had certification for Quebec products. Following the principle of the Quebec Foods logo , we can now recognize Quebec products thanks to three levels of certification: either the product is designed (thought) in Quebec, or it is made in Quebec or it is produced in Quebec. Each level has its logo for greater transparency.
Designed in Quebec
To obtain certification of a local design, the product can be manufactured in China, but it was considered by design teams in Quebec.
Made in Quebec
To obtain certification of local manufacturing, the materials can come from elsewhere, but the product has undergone a final major transformation in Quebec.
Product of Quebec
To obtain certification for a local product, it must have a final major transformation in Quebec and the costs for materials, assembly and manufacturing must be 85% incurred on Quebec soil.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE QUEBEC COMPANIES?
Perhaps buying local means buying from a Quebec company, regardless of the product? But how can you differentiate a Quebec business from a foreign business?
Is this enough for you if the company operates on Quebec soil? The company still employs local people and contributes in part to the local economy! But then, since there are Amazon warehouses in Quebec, would it be considered local purchasing to buy on Amazon?
Perhaps for you, a Quebec company should not be owned by a foreign group. In this case, it is not always easy to navigate. Are you buying from a local business when you buy at La Baie? Wikipedia becomes essential to trace their history.
For small businesses, it's easier to recognize them! Normally, they clearly mention that they are Quebecois because they are proud of it. They promote local purchasing. We see them at local markets/fairs. Online, you can find them on Le Panier bleu or even participating in local initiatives such as La vague de concours or Je déPENSE local.
LEARN MORE ABOUT I SPEND LOCAL , QUEBEC BLACK FRIDAY
Of all the events that have the buying local movement at heart, this is by far my favorite!
Three weeks before Black Friday, I spend local is an initiative that allows Quebec artisans, boutiques and businesses to thank their customers by offering special promotions and/or discounts while respecting their values. In fact, many prefer to participate in an event that promotes local purchasing rather than overconsumption in multinationals whose prices are impossible to compete with.
The fact that I spend local is held at the beginning of November also avoids the rush at the post office and allows the smallest craftsmen to have time to manufacture their products and/or to have sufficient time to deliver before Christmas.
The first weekend of November is the time for Quebecers to support local businesses and spend locally!
Bateau Bateau has also been participating in the event since 2018!! This is always our biggest discount of the year and we normally offer 20% off our reusable products, with several surprises added. Since this is pretty much our only promotion of the year, we always want it to be “WOW”. It's our way of saying thank you to our recurring customers and to people who want to discover our products, but who didn't necessarily have the budget to do so.
Whether we buy milk that comes from cows in Lac-Saint-Jean, a TV in a small store near us or a handmade creation while we walk on a beach in Guadeloupe, all of that can be considered local purchasing.
(Afterwards, is buying on Amazon a local purchase? That remains up for debate!)
In short, a purchase that we call "local" depends on our personal perception of local purchasing, our ethical values and the importance we give to the local economy, the design process and the manufacturing distance.