The Florida League of the South has promoted, since its inception, that as Floridian’s we should be buying from local farms in order to support our intrastate economy. Not only does doing so keep money within our local communities but it also allows one to create a bond, and get to know our neighbors and build long-lasting relationships.
Today we see the negative effects of what happens when we do not support our local economy and instead import from other states and countries. Currently Florida’s second largest economic-driver, the farming industry, is taking a devastating nose-dive due to the current stay-at-home order by Governor DeSantis and the mandatory state sanctions on restaurants, schools, theme parks, etc. With the farming industry employing over two-million Florida residents, farmers are scrambling to sell their crops to grocery chains in order to save their farms and continue to employ our neighbors.
If we continue to support our local family farms, these very individuals would turn-around and spend their money with local merchants. This is the very intent that the Florida League of the South has spoken tirelessly about over the years. Independent, local farms supply more local jobs and contribute to the sustainability of the local economy itself.
While our Florida farmers continue to grovel at the feet of large chain stores, begging for their mercy, these large chains continue to import products from out-of-state and other countries; many due to in-place contracts with said out-of-state sole-retail farms. Due to the lack of interest or ability from these larger chain stores, farmers are donating to food banks, which are at full legal capacity and selling to local residents at rock bottom prices. Even with all this effort being put forth, thousands of acres of crops are being plowed over due to rotting food that just can’t be sold or given away.
There are some of our local businesses that are indeed coming to the aide of these farmers, such as Publix Supermarkets. Publix, a Florida based company has vowed that in just the first week of their initiative alone, they will donate to the not-for-profit organization, Feeding America, 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk; of which they will purchase from local Florida farmers. Businesses that profit from Florida cashflow should follow suite, step-up to the plate and help thy neighbors.
After this lunacy is over, as a Florida resident take a moment, go through your cabinets and start looking at your labels; look at your labels before you buy products from businesses and try and shop as local as possible. Once you start to see where your money is going, you will soon realize that you are sending your money out-of-state, and by that act alone, you perpetuate the crippling of our beloved State and her residents. Family farms and businesses are an important part of our Florida tradition of self-sufficiency, forming the bedrock of our communities across our great State.
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