Should you buy imported or locally produced products?

Author : teriann

There has been a recent report about imported chicken entering the Jamaican market.  This has led to a rather interesting question – should you buy local or  imported products?

Local Products vs Imported Products

Producers of local products often have a strong customer base.  These customers have been buying the product for generations and will no doubt state the benefits they have found to buying local.

These local products have stood the test of time and consumers feel satisfied for the most part with the quality of the products.  There is also the added benefit of knowing that you are supporting your country and building your country’s economy.

Many of these local enterprises, employ locally so this provides an income for many people in some communities who might not otherwise have been employed. There is also a sense of pride when consumers see the label and see that it is made in Jamaica.  This is true wherever you see the product either at home or abroad.

Once I went to a supermarket overseas when I was on an extended holiday and saw a local brand of a product on the shelves. I  felt proud when I saw the packaging and I know quite a few Jamaicans living abroad have expressed the same sentiment.


There are issues with some locally produced items such as the lack of availability during some times of the year.  This can affect consumers who need the product all year round.  Some businesses also note that the quantity of the locally produced item might not be sufficient to meet their needs so they have to rely on imported items.

There is also the matter of cost.  Some locally produced products can cost up to twice the cost of their imported counterpart.  This affects the profitability of any business. If manufacturers have to buy raw material at a higher cost because they are locally made then they will have to pass that cost on to the consumer.

Are imported goods the better choice?

Imported goods might be cheaper and available in longer periods for consumers and manufacturers  but that does not mean they are always the right choice.  They may contain higher levels of chemicals to aid in the preservation process and therefore might not be of the best quality.

So what’s the best choice local or imported? It’s best to weigh both sides before making a decision.  What’s your take?

Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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One Response to “Should you buy imported or locally produced products?”

  1. Availability cost of local products, which for the latter bears no relationship to cost of production. Also mostly farmgate price is low even as retailers heighten cost to consumers. But, we must weigh each case against buying imports. Local agricultural products are always fresh and have nutritive value intact, food grow under our sunny condition have more available nutrients than imported food items that have left the field years ago. Can products with preservative that should be rejected hormones in livestock products are of concern. Finally supporting local production is a great contributor to our economy.

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