NeighbourFood is an easy way to purchase the highest-quality food, online from local farmers and producers. It allows producers to get a fair price for their produce when they sell back to the community. Shopping for local produce has never been simpler thanks to the abundance of these markets. GKinetic even has one of these incredible online market collection points on our doorstep here in Limerick

By purchasing local goods, you help the local community farmers and local businesses. When compared to goods that must be shipped over great distances, local goods frequently require less processing and packaging. Carbon footprint can be massively decreased and waste can be reduced as a result. Because of this fewer greenhouse gas emissions are produced and less energy is required for transportation

Deirdre MacMahon, the host of the Limerick market sat down with us so we could learn more about the significance of sustainability when making purchasing decisions:

Can you describe why buying local is important to your company, and how do you promote this concept to your customers?
It’s a core principle of NeighbourFood and one of the main reasons it was set up. Local is everything, and supporting local producers is at the heart of everything NeighbourFood does, from creating markets to encouraging chefs to source their ingredients from their local suppliers.

Do you have a focus on sustainability in your own personal life?
Yes, absolutely! We started recycling when we were children, 40 years ago. It was only bottles and aluminium cans back then, but it was a start. My mother was ahead of her time! She gave me a great sense of “waste not, want not” so re-using and recycling made perfect sense, and I hope I have passed this on to my own children. I have been composting in my garden for about 15 years now. It’s such a great way to use things like vegetable peelings and garden waste to make free compost for my planters and raised beds. I also have a water butt to harvest rain water. I use this to water the plants in the garden planters, and the house-plants, and my dogs prefer to drink this water, rather than the tap water! I was involved in founding Limerick’s first co-operative grocery store in 2013, mainly so I could source organic locally produced food as easily as possible. And I have continued this mission with NeighbourFood at The Milk Market. Making good quality local food accessible to as many people as possible is so important to me. We live in a time when people expect cheap food – but thisonly means that the farmer gets paid less. And ultimately cheaper imports replace local Irish food, with many unfortunate consequences.

 Does sustainability play a role in the companys decision-making process?

Yes. NeighbourFood has core principles when deciding whether to accept a new supplier. The sale of any large-scale commercially grown vegetables, non-organic imported fruit or vegetables, genetically modified products, intensively reared meat, imported fish or battery eggs are not permitted to be sold at a NeighbourFood market. Local is prioritised at all stages.

How does buying local align with the companys broader sustainability goals and initiatives?
While NeighbourFood is a software company, we believe in building networks, in particular we are interested in educating consumers about ethical growing practices, encouraging customers to think about waste reduction and of course, empowering farmers and small scale artisan producers. We believe in the circular economy and keeping money local. We all need to think more sustainably, not just in how we source our food, but in every aspect of where we spend our money.

Overall, buying local with the help of Neighbour Food can have many benefits for the environment, the economy and the local community. By choosing to support local businesses and farmers, you can make a positive impact on the planet and help build a more sustainable future