Manitoba has endured a heavy winter with a record amount of snow; and the spring has been shaping up to be a record year for water levels. This outcome is in stark contrast to the previous 4-5 years of above-normal hot weather in the summer, less rainfall, and drought conditions, resulting in low grain yield. With luck our farmers will have enough moisture this summer to produce a bumper crop this fall: if we do, the world will certainly need it. Once we factor in Russia's war on Ukraine and the impact of reducing Ukraine's contribution to the global grain market, as well as sanctions on Russian oil, grain and fertilizer, plus the world's already volatile supply chain with commodities due to drought and COVID in previous years, this year is shaping up to be an even more volatile one for commodities. This volatility will have inevitable impact on global commodity supply chains, and will affect everything from the ability to fertilize crops in countries around the world, to the ability to source food, to higher prices for food and gas. These global supply chain issues are already affecting us Canadians and Manitobans at home--and will likely affect us even more so as the spring transitions into summer.
However, Canada & Manitoba has a huge advantage: we have the ability to grow our own commodities AND process those commodities into products locally. Supporting local reduces volatility in our local market; volume purchasing increases efficiencies and reduces overall costs, thus reducing retail pricing; and these outcomes may give us an opportunity to export products to new markets that we've never been able to access before, thus benefiting our local economy. And the most important effect: being able to source locally ensures that our supply chain is environmentally-friendly, by reducing the use of gas and oil in the manufacturing and transportation of products that originate on the other side of the planet.
There are numerous advantages to supporting local, especially local companies like Farmery Estate Brewery, that both grow and manufacture food products like our beer and our non-alcoholic beverages. We are all cost-conscious, but these times have shown that purchasing products from far-away distances inevitably costs us, and the environment, much more. Let's choose differently this summer, and support local!