Copyright photo : Thierry Houyel
Defining a ‘local’ product
There is no single, straightforward definition of a local product; it covers an infinite variety of production, processing, marketing and distribution systems for local products across the European Union. The absence of an official definition may be due to the notion of proximity, which varies depending on the region, and of a product and whether or not the processing of it is included. Any national policy in favour of local procurement is seen by the European Commission as a hindrance to the free movement of goods. However, European regulations on the free market do not preclude a systemic approach based on sustainable development, and LOCALEAT is launching a discussion on this complex subject at local, national and European levels.
LOCALEAT’s objective is not to establish precise specifications or create a brand. The partners in the project have listed all the criteria that define a local quality product, and it’s down to the individual producers, artisans and distributors to carry it forward in the move towards eating healthier, more sustainable food that’s more local.