Sustainability of the short chain

Whereas in the past you could be proud of the fact that you bought something as cheaply as possible, today it is much more important to know that your purchase is environmentally and socially responsible. We are all starting to notice the effects of climate change and realise that how we live together is no longer sustainable in the long term.
In the year 2021, sustainability is high on the agenda and there is renewed interest in the short (production) chain. What was once commonplace for our grandparents, buying locally, is becoming increasingly popular. On social media, you see that hashtags such as #shoplocal, #buylocal and #livelocal are 'trending'. And (partly) as a result of the lockdowns in the past year, shopping locally has received a huge boost. By buying from local producers and retailers, you are already doing your fair share of sustainability. The money you spend locally is often spent locally again: sponsoring local clubs, employment, local events organised by the local entrepreneurs' association, a pleasant shopping street. In short: shopping locally provides a pleasant, liveable environment for yourself and your loved ones!
In addition, the short chain contributes to increasing sustainability. Not only 'sustainability' in the sense of reducing one's ecological footprint. Of course, fewer traffic jams and less environmental pollution (because there are fewer transport movements) and, partly as a result of that, cleaner air, are things that are very welcome!
But the short chain also ensures social sustainability. Buying locally is a form of social connection; a means against loneliness and at the same time a great opportunity to get moving. Going to the farmer to get your fresh milk often leads to a chat or a stroll around the farm to pet the calves. And if you cycle through the local vineyard on a sunny day, it is even more inviting to taste the product that has been ripening there for months.
Do not forget the educational aspect of local consumption. Many a food producer will be happy to tell you about his or her work with due pride. For instance, you can find out which way the grain has to travel before you can eat a sandwich. That too is an important part of the short chain; having a connection with what is on your plate.
Years of mass consumption and globalisation have alienated us from what lies in our cupboards and on our plates. We have no idea who produced what we eat or where it comes from. Consuming locally changes this. You know what you are buying, what you are eating, who produced it for you and who is providing you with the proverbial good bread. Food that is produced locally feels a lot more "real" than when you have something on your plate that you don't know where it comes from.