Island-based supermarkets are being urged to stock more Manx produce.
Environment, Food and Agriculture Minister Phil Gawne said representatives of the island’s major retailers were being invited to meet with his department to discuss their stance on selling Manx-produced food and drink.
He told the Examiner: ‘I hope they will respond positively. If they don’t, in discussion with the Economic Development and Treasury Ministers, we will look to see how we can encourage supermarkets not prepared to play the game.’
Among methods that could be used if retailers are not prepared to stock more Manx foodstuffs, could be a tightening up of inspections of imported food and drink.
Mr Gawne said the importance of food security had been highlighted with disruptive weather over recent days and weeks.
The Minister said: ‘Supermarkets and other retailers in the Isle of Man have an important role to play in ensuring consumers have access to local alternatives to imported products.
‘I am pleased to see that this is already happening in some areas but we would like to see more choice available and this will require closer working together throughout the supply chain.
‘Large retailers also have a corporate social responsibility to ensure that they make a positive contribution to the local community. By supporting local producers and processors, they can maximise their contribution to the island’s economy as there is a notable ‘multiplier effect’ to the Manx Treasury when local produce is bought, compared to imported equivalents.
‘This in turn creates more on-island employment, cuts down on the amount of packaging used and on the emissions which result from transporting of goods.’