Nova Scotia Local

 AGRICULTURE--New Survey Shows Nova Scotians Support Local Food

Nova Scotians are supporting the province’s farmers and enjoying local food, using about a third of their food budget on locally grown or produced agri-food and dairy products. A new survey, developed by the Province and the Canadian Agri-Food Foresight Institute (CAFI), found between 27 and 34 per cent of Nova Scotians’ total food spending went to locally produced products.

“It’s good to see support for our local farmers and growers with a substantial portion of Nova Scotians’ food budget going to products produced in the province,” said Greg Morrow, Minister of Agriculture. “It’s been a tough year for many, including those in agriculture. Buying local supports farmers, our economy and the environment. That’s why it’s been our goal for Nova Scotians to enjoy more of our great local food. This new way to collect up-to-date data will help the Province continue to make smart decisions that support our producers.”

The first-of-its-kind survey model allows researchers to determine with greater precision the share of a population’s total food budget spent on local products. 

The survey was developed as part of the Department’s mandate to support and encourage local food consumption, with the goal of 20 per cent of the money spent on food by Nova Scotians being spent on locally produced food by 2030. It asks participants to estimate how much they spend on local food products in 15 food categories.

Participants from across the province reflect a range of ages and socioeconomic levels. The survey can be run multiple times a year, allowing for the collection of timely data that accounts for the seasonality of local foods.

For greater accuracy, the results are weighted using Statistics Canada food expenditure data. This will help shape the Department’s buy local programs and initiatives.

"We are honoured to collaborate with the Province in establishing a pioneering model for accurately assessing expenditures on locally sourced food. This groundbreaking initiative, the first of its kind in Canada, is poised to establish a new benchmark for monitoring nationwide patterns of supporting local food. This achievement sets us apart from any other jurisdiction in the country.” - Sylvain Charlebois, Senior Director, Canadian Agri-Food Foresight Institute (CAFI) 

Quick Facts: -- Nova Scotia produces meat and poultry, milk and dairy products, eggs, fruit, vegetables, berries, and other products, which are widely available -- the survey was conducted three times in 2023, first in January and again in April and October -- the government's commitment to encourage buy local includes initiatives like the Department of Agriculture’s work to extend the growing seasons, the Local Food Advancer Program and Nova Scotia Loyal, an economic strategy and incentive program under development to drive demand for locally made products

Additional Resources: Mandate letter of the Minister of Agriculture: Canadian Agri-Food Foresight Institute (CAFI):


Media Contact:

Bruce Nunn

Cell: 902-476-6454 


Link to the report