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Laura Pearse
2 March 2021 | Laura Pearse

Why Buy Local, Really?

I often hear ‘buy local’ or ‘support local business’ as well as support small business....but why (apart from feeling good about myself)?


A while ago Dick Smith was forced to close his Australian food business.

Apparently the beginning of the end for him was Aldi. He said that ‘I believed Australians would pay more for Australian products, but turns out I was wrong.’

Upper Reach produces handmade estate grown wines from fruit grown on our Swan Valley vineyard and made in our on-site winery.

We are passionate about linking the local community with its rich Swan Valley heritage. 

When you visit Upper Reach, we hope you'll enjoy and experience local produce as a part of the history of this area.

By supporting local Swan Valley producers you are helping to keep a part of the Swan Valley as working vineyards and wineries...and in these Covid times, if we don't support local- who will? There are very few interstate tourists and fewer international ones!


Vineyards are vital to the future of the Swan, adding hugely to the ambiance, atmosphere and feel of the area.

Agriculture is becoming increasingly mechanised. Upper Reach is a labour intensive, hand crafted family owned and operated producer who employs, supports and lives locally.


Upper Reach as a family business is in stark contrast to mass-produced, corporatized wine production of the big, often multi-national wine companies.

The big wineries transport their grapes and bottled wines thousands of kilometres, first to the winery, as grapes and then to market as bottled wine (high food miles and high carbon footprint).

Hand picking the grapesCorporations do not routinely source local products, they tend to source the cheapest inputs using national buying power. Their main aim is to make the maximum amount of profit to be returned to shareholders.

Whereas small and family businesses often struggle to break even but aim to make a profit, but most of the money is spent locally on the raw ingredients, on the services and the labour required, this is crucial support and investment in the local community.

Upper Reach sells local produced food products and support local services. It is really important that we have a reliable supplier base, so what we need is available when we need it.

Similarly we nurture local trades and service people, this critical network of suppliers and relationships are vital to ensure we can rely on them in an emergency. 


People directly employed by small business tend to live in the local community, as do the staff employed by other local businesses that supply products and services.

Possibly the largest benefit to the local community Upper Reach offers, is a peri-urban food bowl 30 minutes from the city.

This gives the people of Perth the opportunity to experience where and how their food & wine is grown and produced. These experiences are vital in developing a mutual sense of connection between city and country, as well as producer and consumer.

Perth's Urban Food BowlThere are significant cultural benefits of Upper Reach and its agri-tourism setting, for tourists and local people, in promoting local agriculture, WA’s agricultural past, and the Swan settler heritage (Stirling made camp here on his exploration of the Swan).


I’ll think about this next time I’m in the supermarket, I won’t take their $2 milk, but will choose a West Australian brand. Same with supporting all the small fruit and vegetable shops and stalls and our local butcher, rather than the big supermarkets that I know screw down the farmers on price.


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