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The Localize Score Measures Beyond Miles

April 09 Ashley Cattell


The Localize Score  provides a quick measure of 'how local' a product is relative to you where you shop.

The meaning of local, we've learned is multifaceted, it extends beyond the distance between where a food is made, grown or raised and where it is purchased. Its meaning differs depending on your values. Rather than qualifying a food as 'local' or 'not local' we developed a comprehensive yet simple rating system to credibly define and communicate "how local" a food product is. The Localize Score takes into account the many facets of local including a product's production, ownership, and ingredients.

Localize labels in over 250 grocery stores across Canada highlight key details about every product and the 'Localize score' provides a quick measure of 'how local' a product is to you relative to where you shop. The Localize Score is based on independent research, crowd sourcing and extensive shopper surveys. As a company that is passionate about transparency in our food system it is important to us that we also demonstrate this value in our operations, by providing you with an overview of how the 'Localize Score' works.

The Localize Score

The Localize score is made up of 10 points and measures how local a product is, where 10 is most local, based upon four attributes:

  • Production - Where it was made?  (/4.5 points)
  • Ownership - Who did the making?  (/3.5 points)
  • Ingredients - What went into it? ( /2.0 points)
  • Sustainability - How it was done (+bonus points)

Total /10 points

Diving into the details


Production /4.5

When asked to rank attributes as they relate to a products locality, shoppers ranked where a product was made as most important.  It speaks to local employment, local relevance and the distance travelled by a product to get to market. Production makes up 45% of the Localize score and incorporates two separate elements.

  • Distance /3.0 - This refers to the actual kilometer distance between where a product was produced and the grocery store where the product is labeled. A product must have been made within 50km to receive a perfect distance score and the score decreases the further away it was made or grown.
  • Location /1.5 - Local isn't just about distance, and our score aims to capture local relevance including where jobs are produced and where taxes are paid. Points are attributed for location based on the relationship between where the product is made, grown or raised and the retail location where it is purchased.
    • Same town/city 1.5 points
    • Same province 1.4 points
    • Neighbouring province 1.3 points
    • Same country 1.0 points
    • Neighbouring state 0.8 points
    • Neighbouring country 0.6 points


Ownership /3.5

The ownership of a company ranked second among local attributes identified by shoppers, and it speaks to local accountability, control, and investment in the community. We take ownership percentages into consideration, which allows us to account for multiple owners located in different places. This way, products made by a company owned by someone in your community will score higher on ownership than a company half-owned by someone in your community and someone located in a different province or country.

    • Same town/city 3.5 points
    • Same province 3.3 points
    • Neighbouring province 3.0 points
    • Same country 2.0 points
    • Neighbouring state 1.9 points
    • Neighbouring country 1.0 points


Ingredients /2.0

The final element of local as identified by shoppers, werethe ingredients that go into a product. We rate the origin of where the ingredients in a product are grown or raised in relation to the shopper, rather than where a company bought its ingredients.

    • Same province 2.0 points
    • Neighbouring province 1.6 points
    • Same country 1.1 points
    • Neighbouring state 0.9 points
    • Neighbouring country 0.6 points



Local is about more than just geography, and so we provide bonus points for products that can demonstrate a higher degree of sustainability and supply chain integrity. In practice, this includes FairTrade and Organic 3rd-party certifications. If a product has approved certifications it can increase its Ingredient score by 0.5 points per certification up to a maximum of 1.8 points / 2.0.

All together, the four components make up the Localize score, providing you with a quick snapshot of how local food is where you shop. Beyond the score, Localize labels provide quick facts about where a product was made and by who. Shoppers can scan the QR (quick response) code to learn more about the story behind the food business and more detail about the product itself.

There you have it, the Localize Score - it's clear, and it is about more than just miles.

Behind Localize, is a dedicated team that’s passionate about transparency. No grey areas or awkward pauses - just straight up facts to make food shopping simple.

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