I was chatting with some colleagues the other day about my passion for shopping at our amazing farmers’ markets and how important it is that we do so. It seems clear to me that if I want to have great organic produce available to me and my family over the long haul I must support the local growers who work hard to make sure I can buy fresh organic food in my home town of Male Ridge, BC. Thinking ahead for my children and their kids I also need to teach them why it is important to invest in things they value and keep our produce money closer to home.
In a very real way, though I am shopping for produce, I truly am investing in those folks who grow my food for me. My organic beef rancher Barry, my organic tomato gardener Randy and my radish and cauliflower gal Kizzy are important to my community and me. I visit them at their gardens, purchase their produce at the local farmers’ market and consider them my friends. These community members are truly worth supporting!
The topic changed to end of life and funeral home care. We were discussing the grey tsunami and the huge wave of death coming towards us, 916,000 baby boomers living here in BC at last count. Here in British Columbia just over half of our funeral homes are owned and operated by large corporate organizations such as Arbor Memorial of Canada and Service Corporation International of Houston Texas. These large corporations continue to buy up the family run independent funeral providers, as their appetite for profits seems insatiable.
Here then is the common ingredient between farmers’ markets and family run funeral homes.
If I want to ensure a local supply of produce I need to shop local. Exactly the same principle holds true if I want to ensure my family has access to a family run funeral provider over time – I need to shop local! I need to invest in the funeral businesses owned and operated by my neighbors, by the families who are committed to dignified, grace family centre end of life funeral care – families who are community members. I need to keep my funeral money closer to home!
Here are a few ideas for you to help us all avoid even more corporatization of our funeral business.
- It is not always about the lowest price. A race for the lowest price will result in lower quality of service too!
- Do some research and identify the funeral homes in your community that are independent and family owned.
- Visit them and get a ‘feel’ for the staff and an awareness of their services
- Tell your family and friends what you have discovered about the importance of shopping local for both your food and your funeral!
Shop local, support you fellow community members and keep you hard earned money close to home and working in your community. Food and funerals have more I common that you thought don’t they!