Economic Nutrition

Every day we make choices about how we spend our money. Most people want to make buying decisions that have a positive impact on their community and the planet. Likewise, many businesses want to showcase how their sourcing and employment principles have this same positive impact.

But what do you really know about the price you’re paying?

Price alone is not telling the full story.

Information about “where the money goes” is rarely available at the point of purchase. Due to the complexity of modern supply networks and ownership structures, it can be difficult to define your dollar’s impact along the input chain.

What is Economic Nutrition?

Economic Nutrition labels are modeled after food nutrition labels, which help consumers understand the ingredients and nutrition levels of a food product so they can make informed choices. Following that same logic, Shorefast’s Economic Nutrition labels show the financial information behind any product or service, empowering consumers to understand how their purchase impacts  the economic health of communities.

The label shows what your money pays for and the percent of every dollar that goes to expenses like labour, materials, or marketing. It also shows where your money goes, so you can see the geographic distribution of every dollar spent.

Economic Nutrition is a new way to encourage businesses and consumers to invest in the future of local economies.

Why does it matter?

When businesses can show the finances behind their products, customers have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. Economic Nutrition empowers consumers to choose products and businesses that support local economies so that every purchase becomes a meaningful investment.

How do I read an Economic Nutrition Label?

The information along the top of the label includes the business name, type of business structure, and unit of measure, giving a frame of reference for what is about to be shared (product, service, or whole business unit).

Information is then broken into two parts:

What does the money pay for?

This section breaks down the percentage of the purchase price as it is reinvested in input costs. Expense categories (such as labour, admin, etc.) are intended to be broad enough to relate to a wide range of readers, while comprehensive enough in scope that they can be used across industries, products, and services.

Where does the money go?

This section identifies where the money used to source inputs lands geographically across four categories: local, regional, national, and international. “Local” represents a municipal area (city, town, or community). The next largest unit of measure, in Canada, is “Provincial.”


Economic Nutrition is a Certification Mark used under license from Shorefast and is currently being piloted for more widespread use. Businesses agree to follow a series of guidelines to ensure consistency in the display of values and accuracy of information presented.

Economic Nutrition is an initiative of Shorefast and part of the organization’s Community Economies program. The idea emerged on Fogo Island as a transparency tool for Shorefast’s community enterprises.