Studies show that most nutrients from fruits and vegetables are formed during the ripening process. Once fruits and vegetables are picked, the sugars in them start turning into starch and the nutrient content begins to drop. Therefore, the sooner we consume fresh food after picking or production, the more nutritious it is. Also, buying locally produced food helps farms maintain themselves on the market and creates jobs for the locals, both in the farms and in the local food processing and distribution systems. The money spent by farms and by local producers remains in the local economy, thus creating more jobs in other local businesses. Moreover, locally produced food has to travel a much shorter route to the market, which means that far less fuel is consumed and less greenhouse gas is generated. Locally produced food also encourages agritourism, because farmers’ markets and the possibility of visiting farms and local producers help attract tourists to a certain area. The local production of food helps create and maintain more dynamic communities, by creating bonds between the people in the community and the farmers and producers who supply them with healthy food, produced locally.

Does the Commission envisage supporting this concept by means of specific instruments, in order to support small farmers, and national agriculture as a whole?