Nova Scotia dispatches team to collect shoppers' data for promised buy local program

Premier Tim Houston and Economic Development Minister Susan Corkum-Greek hold up local honey during the Nova Scotia Loyal announcement at the Masstown Market. (Courtesy: Communications Nova Scotia)

Nova Scotia's Progressive Conservative government says it will gather information from shoppers this summer as it tries to make good on an election promise to increase demand for local products.

The government says it will dispatch a team to stores and markets across the province to research consumer behaviour and collect data from shoppers.

As well, it says it will survey people about their thoughts on how the buy local strategy -- called Nova Scotia Loyal program -- should be branded.

Promised last summer during the election campaign, the program's goal is to create a 10 per cent rise in demand for local products.

The government says it wants to have 20 per cent of all food purchased by Nova Scotians by the year 2030 to have been grown or produced in the province.

Premier Tim Houston says the buy local initiative is to be supported by a rewards program for consumers, although no final details have been released.

During the election campaign, Houston speculated that a points program could reward shoppers for purchases of local food and non-food items.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2020.