Ref: www.gov.ns.ca February 21, 2007 12:34 Consumers want more Nova Scotia products and they want to see retailers and government purchase more Nova Scotia goods. The findings of the 2,400-person survey were released today, Feb. 21, by the Women’s Institutes of Nova Scotia, with the support of the Department of Agriculture. “We know the importance of having choice and availability of locally produced goods,” said Ron Chisholm, acting Minister of Agriculture. “We all have a job to continue to make sure there is access and visibility of our province’s products.” The Women’s Institutes of Nova Scotia developed the WI Buy Local Food Survey to assess the food-buying behaviours of consumers. The survey distributed at agricultural fairs and farmers markets during 2006. “We want consumers to incorporate more locally produced foods into their diet, to become more vocal and ask retailers for more local foods on grocery store shelves and featured on restaurant menus,” said Ellen Simpson, president of the Women’s Institutes of Nova Scotia. The women’s institutes developed two recommendations from the report. “We want to see the government and Nova Scotia businesses make it a priority to incorporate more local foods at provincially owned institutions, retail stores and restaurants,” said Ms. Simpson. “Secondly, we believe there should be better food packaging so consumers can more easily identify locally produced goods in stores.” Through the Supplier Development Program, Nova Scotia products are getting a bigger piece of the pie. A few examples include Atlantic beef supplying about 50 per cent of health care facilities in the province, and local pork, poultry and beef used by a number of provincial institutions. The Women’s Institutes of Nova Scotia organization celebrates 94 years of being a service organization this week. It continues to provide Nova Scotia women with opportunities to enhance quality of life, through education and personal development, allowing them to meet the changing needs of their local and global communities. The survey results can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/nsaf/wi/ .