Going Local

buy-local-egypt
Juka has come up with a very promising initiative for buying local products instead of imported goods called Going Local.  There are so many reasons why you should be buying more domestic products and services than imported ones.

  • It is more environmentally friendly because less transportation of the goods are needed which creates a smaller carbon footprint.  You might not care about global warming today, but you will care when you can’t breath.
  • Local businesses produce more income, jobs, and tax money for our community.
  • In turn, the quality of living increases and societal vices like unemployment and crime decrease.
  • Creates a sense of patriotic pride.
  • Improves the quality of domestic products, because if more people were buying it, companies will  have more money to use in production.
  • Buying one product helps other supporting industries like packaging, banking, advertising and transportation.
  • It makes Egypt more self reliant.

If going completely domestic is scary for you, try it in smaller steps.

  • Try eating out in only Egyptian chains.  Why do you want to help the big franchises when we have really cool Egyptian food outlets?
  • Test products, you might be surprised that the quality is quite good.
  • If you see something you don’t like, call customer service.  If you insist and persist, the company might just change something, after all they really want loyal paying customers.
  • Get the word out.  You might not be able to switch to domestic only products but if enough people change to some domestically manufactured products, the factories will notice a difference.  There is strength in numbers.
  • Take pride in what you do for a living.  Whatever you do, it is a domestic product or service.
  • Understand and accept that change takes time.
  • Compromise a little bit in the quality of your life for the greater good of life.  Giving back to ourselves is the best gift ever.  Consider it a selfish selfless act.

10 Comments

  • At 2009.01.28 19:40, the weakonomist said:

    I live in the southeastern US and there is a growing number of us that support the economy by buying local. Sometimes I do cave and go get my groceries from Wal-mart. But I do buy gas from locally owned stations, get my car serviced by mom & pop shops, and buy furniture made in the south.

    It’s good to see this idea is floating around other parts of the world.

    Cheers!

    • At 2009.01.30 11:42, Shimaa Gamal said:

      Well, I am totally in. Actually without any initiatives I already buy Egyptian when available. But there is a very important point that I would like to clarify. Buying Egyptian actually won’t make the Egyptian products better, in the lack of competition products quality deteriorate. i.e when you go local, you give the poor quality of domestic products a chance while in fair competition they would have been kicked out of the market for the favor of more competitive industries.
      Which means that you will buy an imported product and your country will specialize in producing other products that will be exported and yet your economy at large won’t be affected.
      But, this is kind of hard competing with the Chinese :)
      But economically, patriotism isn’t the healthiest thing for your economy at least not on the long run.
      But any way I but Egyptian all the time even though I know I might be hurting the economy on the long run but as the man who put the theories that saved the world from the great depression in the thirties said, this is is all for the short run, in the long run we will all be dead :)

      • At 2009.01.30 19:18, Belya said:

        I just have one thing to clarify ya Shaimaa, we might be going local BUT we’ll be buying what’s really worth the money. It’s not about buying local goods w 7’alas, it must be worth the money.

        • At 2009.01.30 19:43, Juka said:

          Jessyz: I love the idea of suggesting small steps to people.

          Shaimaa Gamal: It rocks my world when people quote Keynes :)

          • At 2009.01.31 13:49, Shimaa Gamal said:

            @ Juka: Finally someone who knows Keynes 😀 You made my day

            @ Belya: Well if the Egyptian product worth the money so there won’t be a need for the initiative. Because consumers are supposed to be buying rationaly i.e. you put your money in the best quality with the lowest price. This very rationality is the basis of the economic theory. All players in the market are assumed to be rational. And consquently, only the best quality products with the lowest prices are supposed to stay in the market the rest will be kicked out.

            So, initiatives like “going local”, isn’t about raising awareness of buying rational because we are supposed to be doing it anyway. It is about buying irrationaly in the favor of the domestic product. You will choose to buy a domestic product that might be with less quality or higher in price.
            If the product really worth the money, you wouldn’t need an initative to buy it because it was going to be your choice anyway.

            • At 2009.01.31 15:50, jessyz said:

              @the weakononomist: thanx for stopping by, I guess the global recession is making everyone rethink their buying habits.
              @Shimaa: I think Belya said what I had in mind. The initiative should be about our buying habits. Are we really buying a better product when we buy imported goods? Is there an equal Egyptian alternative? Have we tried improving the product by contacting the manufacturer. It is a community and collaborative effort. A mindset change for both the consumer and the provider of products or services. It is not just about the simple act of buying a product or not.
              @Belya: I agree, but we also need to take it a step further. We need to be raising awareness about good quality local products and helping local manufacturers get good PR at least by viral marketing and word of mouth.
              @Juka:I find that baby steps are usually the easiest to start with.

              • At 2009.01.31 20:22, Shimaa Gamal said:

                You know, sometimes I can’t believe that some people would really go for an imported product just because it is imported. I would understand why the cheap chinese products are dumping our markets. But “3o2det el khawaga” had always puzzled me. And I really hope “going local” will help ease it.

                I guess this will need a broader scope beyond buying local. How to consume what helps the economy to grow, how to consume what helps keep the environment safe, how to consume and save energy … etc. It will be great if we managed to include the be rational goal to the initiative’s goals. Because this way, we can really help the future though we will all be dead.

                • At 2009.02.01 02:14, Go Local, Buy Egypt « Mermaid’s Sea said:

                  […] Logo by Jessy (also check her amazing post regarding this issue here) […]

                  • At 2009.02.04 14:02, Juka said:

                    Shaimaa: I’m going to guess by the Keynes quote that you are an economist too. From a pure economics perspective in a free market each consumer serving his/her best interest would improve the greater well being of the whole economy. Now, throw consumer behavior into the mix and things become less black and white. Consumer due to the sheer effect of marketing and the subliminal messages everywhere starts buying driven by things other than need and rationality. You buy the brand (3ashan adman) or because it’s the cooler thing to do, peer pressure, 3o2det khawaga, whatever you’d like to call it. You buy things you don’t really need. So basically all we are saying is lets be rational consumers, lets purchase based on best value for money, or best fit to our needs. A little more faith in the local product is all I’m asking for.

                    • At 2009.02.04 20:53, Shimaa Gamal said:

                      Hello Juka
                      That’s exactly what I said in my previous comment when I suggested to add the “buy rational” concept to the goals of the going local movement.
                      I am not really an economist, I am trying to get through with an M.Sc. in economics which makes me an economic student I don’t do economics for living :) I am just a fan 😉

                      I don’t think it is wrong to call for buying local products, yet still I pointed out that on the long run there are evidence that this will have negative effects. The same way the calls for not buying local has negative effects.

                      It is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of any proposed solution because there is no perfect way out of any economic crisis.

                      You know what do I really like and everyone mock at, those TV ads about the guy who made his own food and never ordered delievery and by this he afforded getting married. This ad is about introducing rational behavior to the Egyptian consumer. If we all made our own “3egga teganen” like the guy in the ad we will manage to save and consquently invest in something else.
                      This applies too to buying domestic products. We will eat our own cooking which might not be as cool and diversified as restuarant food yet, this will give us the chance to invest in something else.

                      I just want to be clear that I am not against the idea, pointing out the disadvantages doesn’t mean that I am attacking the idea. Again, we will all be dead in the long run :))