How do we define local?
We believe that local, independent businesses are among our most potent change agents, uniquely prepared to take on the challenges of the twenty-first century with an agility, sense of place and relationship-based approach others lack.
In the age of Internet and social networking and the emergence of “glocalism” as a new form of social consciousness, we believe that never before have communities possessed as much power to determine their futures as they do today and in ways that are good for people, places and the planet.
By catalyzing and connecting local business networks dedicated to Living Economy principles, we are movement builders, growing an ever-expanding constituency for sustainable businesses and sustainable communities, from Main Street to the world.
By strengthening these networks, we are field leaders, deepening our understanding of community economic development frameworks and practices while experimenting with innovations aimed at building thriving local economies.
Most people think that local is or should be in your local neighbourhood. What we learned after traveling across Canada was that independently owned and operating businesses create a local living economy in their neighbourhoods and, working together, they create a larger "local living economy" across Canada.
Canada is a unique country with a diverse population spread out over very large area. It has a very small population compared to other parts of the world. This makes "local" in Canada a much, much, larger area than you might think.
This has led us to redefine what local means. We now include all locally produced foods, products and independently owned and operating businesses across Canada.
This is especially apparent with the local food movement which has swept across Canada, uniting many local economies.
We regularly visit farmers' markets where farmers travel many kilometres to participate. In some cases they come from across the province, yet their fruits and vegetables are still considered local food.
In the heart of the Canadian prairies there is a specialty grain and food processing company located in Kamsack, Saskatchewan called the Northern Quinoa Corporation. It was incorporated in 1995 by a group of local area producers and businessmen.
They grow and sell organic Canadian Quinoa and a multitude of other organic grains, allowing Canadians to enjoy locally produced organic Quinoa rather than to import it from Bolivia.
On Salt Spring Island, B.C. you will find Moonstruck Organic Cheese Inc., the makers of fine organic cheese using the fragrant milk from a small herd of purebred Jersey cows.
In Ontario there is Frogpond Farm, the only certified organic winery in Ontario that is committed to 100% organic wine.
That is why we have adopted the motto "The bigger we become the more local we need to be".
Live Local Alberta: http://www.live-local.ca/balle/?id=2011
BALLE Network: http://www.livingeconomies.org/
Northern Quinoa Corporation: http://www.quinoa.com/
Moonstruck Organic Cheese: http://www.moonstruckcheese.com
Frog Pond Farm: http://www.frogpondfarm.ca/