Jenny Hale shows off organic turkeys supplied by local company Bendelle Farm.
Jenny Hale shows off organic turkeys supplied by local company Bendelle Farm. Pablo Pavlovich

Residents urged to shop locally

RESIDENTS are being encouraged to stock their shelves with locally grown produce this Christmas.

University of the Sunshine Coast Professor of Finance Sajid Anwar said the practice would help local farmers and local businesses grow and prosper.

"Spending Christmas dollars locally means local businesses won't have to lay-off any of their employees and may even hire more," Prof Anwar said.

"If employment increases then demand for goods and services will increase, resulting in further increases in employment.

"If any of the local workers are laid off there will be decrease in demand for goods and services which can result in further lay-offs.

"Once local choices disappear, the big companies will use their monopoly power and we may have to pay higher prices."

Prof Anwar said local marketplaces added diversity and variety.

Kawana Waters Farmers Market manager Shane Stanley agreed.

"Everyone wants to buy local produce for the Christmas dinner table this year," he said.

"I'm expecting around 4000 people each Saturday over the Christmas holidays, which is a 50% increase on a normal weekend."

Mt Stanley said organic meat was a trend moving up in the industry very quickly.

"Our organic farmers are finding it hard to keep up with demand," he said.

Bendelle Farm owner Fred Sterns said people, now more than ever, loved locally grown foods.

"The best thing about buying local is that you know where your meat has come from," Mr Sterns said.