Why It's Important To 'Buy Local' During A Pandemic

Melanie Woods

Our world runs on supply chains. The flour you bake with, the clothes you’re wearing, heck, this very information you’re receiving through the Internet, passes through many countries from start to finish. 

With the global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic however, those supply chains have been thrust into the spotlight as more and more Canadians are becoming conscious of where the products we use come from.

There are a lot of reasons to buy Canadian products, from supporting the local economy to slowing environmental impacts. But during the pandemic, there may be even more reason to than ever due to two main factors: the potential for compromised supply chains, and the goal of supporting our local and national economies through this rough time.

Compromised supplies

So what even are supply chains? Simply put, the supply chain is the sequence of people, processes and systems that help distribute a commodity. 

Take a bag of flour. The wheat has to be grown, harvested, processed, packaged — in bags that also must be produced somewhere, somehow — shipped to wholesalers and then to retailers and then sold to customers. And that’s one of the simple ones.

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Our world is growing every-connected. But what happens when a virus invades those connections? 

We saw that first-hand Friday, when U.S. president Donald Trump made waves when he called on PPE supplier 3M to stop shipping N95 respirators to Canada and Latin America. That’s a huge deal for Canada, because we don’t actually produce N95s ourselves here — we entirely rely on outside trade.

Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford condemned Trump’s...

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