It’s not uncommon for someone to notice a vehicle’s licence plates when they’re from out of province.
But it was while travelling in the United States that fruit grower David Baldwin noticed one plate that not only caught his attention but inspired him.
That plate encouraged people to buy local, and it’s something he thought might work in Nova Scotia.
“Every time someone sees the buy local licence plate on a car stopped at a traffic light or even in a parking lot, it will serve as a reminder to those not directly involved in agriculture and food production of how important it is to eat good food grown in Nova Scotia,” Baldwin said in a news release.
On Tuesday, a new licence plate featuring an image from Select Nova Scotia’s marketing campaign was unveiled. The optional plate will be issued on request at Access Nova Scotia and Registry of Motor Vehicles offices for passenger and light commercial vehicles weighing up to 5,000 kilograms.
Standard registration fees will apply in addition to a $50 donation when the plate is purchased, with the donations going to a Select Nova Scotia fund that will promote agriculture and help sponsor events supporting local products and industries.
“Raising awareness about agriculture in Nova Scotia is very important to us,” said Dennis Boudreau, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture.
“Engaging Nova Scotians to support buying local and to showcase it on their licence plate is a good step forward.”
Gordon Stevens, president of the Uncommon Group and driving force behind the I Love Local HFX initiative, said he was unaware the licence plate was in the pipeline. But he said he was supportive of the move, adding that anything that promotes homegrown products is a good thing.
“It was a surprise to me, but I think it’s great,” he said in an interview. “Anything that sort of promotes the message is a good thing. And it allows people to show their support, which I think is key.”
It’s unclear how effective the campaign will be, but it might make some people more inclined to shop locally, he said.
“You might see less people pulling up into the parking lot at Costco with their buy local licence plate on,” Stevens said with a laugh.
“I hope to see lots of them on the streets.”