Shop­ping legacy of lock­down Fo­cus on lo­cal out­lets

The Galloway News - - School News - STEPHEN NOR­RIS

Covid-19 has sparked a shift in the re­gion’s shop­ping habits, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port.

And the main trend has been “un­prece­dented” sup­port for lo­cal­lypro­duced food and small in­de­pen­dent shops.

How­ever, high lev­els of con­cern over vis­i­tors po­ten­tially bring­ing in Covid-19 were also noted.

Savour the Flavours, the re­gion’s food and drinks brand, pub­lished the re­search last week.

It was based on an on­line con­sul­ta­tion last month which drew in 1,450 re­sponses.

Key find­ings in­clude:

● Covid-19 has changed how al­most ev­ery­one shopped for food and drink dur­ing lock­down;

● Peo­ple shopped less fre­quently but much more lo­cally, partly driven by ne­ces­sity;

● 84 per cent of re­spon­dents said they would like to buy more lo­cal food and drink than they cur­rently do;

● 81 per cent said they would pri­ori­tise lo­cal in their shop­ping as lock­down eases; ● A large ma­jor­ity want buy­ing lo­cal to be made eas­ier and more con­ve­nient;

● 79 per cent said they were wor­ried about tourism bring­ing Covid-19 back to D&G.

Savour the Flavours’ Lorna Young de­scribed the re­search as “a valu­able snap­sot”.

She said: “It sug­gests un­prece­dented lev­els of sup­port for lo­cal busi­nesses within our com­mu­ni­ties.

“This prob­a­bly re­flects ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their ef­forts in keep­ing es­sen­tial sup­plies flow­ing at the height of lock­down.

“From a lo­cal food and drink point of view, it’s clear that peo­ple in Dum­fries and Gal­loway are se­ri­ous about sup­port­ing lo­cal busi­nesses.

“But those busi­nesses need to get se­ri­ous about mak­ing it eas­ier for peo­ple to buy their pro­duce.”

Ms Young also pointed to ten­sion be­tween lo­cal peo­ple’s con­cerns and the needs of the vis­i­tor econ­omy.

She said: “As a re­gion we need to ac­knowl­edge and ad­dress that ten­sion.

“Busi­nesses need to re­flect upon th­ese con­cerns about Covid and re­spond sen­si­tively to them.

“Peo­ple ex­pect lo­cal busi­nesses to be cau­tious in in­tro­duc­ing Covid-care­ful mea­sures and adap­ta­tions.

“The more we can pull to­gether as a re­gion, be sen­si­tive to wor­ries and look af­ter each other, the more sus­tain­able our eco­nomic re­cov­ery will be.”

Wilma Fin­lay of Cream o’ Gal­loway near Gate­house said: “The sur­vey find­ings are very use­ful.

“We had al­ready ad­dressed many of the points raised, such as on­line or­der­ing to min­imise queues and in­tro­duc­ing a oneway sys­tem, so it’s re­as­sur­ing to see that the data re­flects the in­for­mal feed­back we were al­ready get­ting.”

The re­port is be­ing shared widely with the in­dus­try, public agen­cies and re­gional food groups.

It can be down­loaded on www. savour­the­flavours.co.uk.

Snapshot Lorna Young

Use­ful re­port Wilma Fin­lay

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