This report covers the analysis of existing buy-local initiatives in the United States that relate to forests and forest products and help inform local sustainability efforts. We reviewed 22 buy-local initiatives and from our analysis we summarized some of the best practices and the potential for buy-local initiatives to support forest and forest product sustainability.
Buy local has been a common tagline and marketing strategy in local or regional farmers’ markets and other consumer products for many decades. As transportation and other economic and social changes have facilitated wider trade, goods from outside the local or regional area have become accessible. While the imported goods might have advantages, e.g. lower price or better quality, they compete with local goods and can undermine labor markets, manufacturing, and supply chains. The competition results in lower or halted local production, unemployment, and reduced multiplier benefits. These impacts have motivated many markets to promote buy-local options.