Unprecedented Demand For Organic Food Creating New "Gold Rush" For Producers

Demand for organic food has dramatically increased in these past few years that experts are comparing it to a “gold rush mentality,” as those who produce rush to supply their fields with organic seeds. 

In 2015, there was a 12% rise in sales of organic food reaching $6.2 billion. The increase is bigger when looked in the long-term; organic spending rose by 72% since the year 2008. Struggling farmers are trying to keep up with the huge demand in organic foods, with much of American crop lands working hard to produce organic food at a weak 1%. 

The notion of having a bigger organic supply in our future is amazingly good news for consumers, while some growers have concerns that they will be shut down due to sources of organic feed as bigger firms come in. Most food giants are offering financial incentives to attract farmers to convert to organic. 

The conversion can be costly, even though it proves to be far more profitable in the long-term, as organic agriculture demands higher prices. Before given certification, farms have to be clear of all prohibited chemicals for 3 years, as the soil will need some time to recover from the chemical exposure. Farmers won’t be able to achieve the benefits of higher prices on organic food, but they must spend enough money to cover the transition, which is financially difficult. 

Farms getting help with organic transition

Recently, General Mills released a program to purchase organic milk at higher prices than market price from the Organic Valley co-op, with the agreement that Organic Valley puts in extra money into a fund that helps lower costs for dairy farmers who going through the transition. There is another program that gives farmers, that are in the middle of the change to organic to charge partial markups during their switch. In an Organicology conference in Portland, Many speakers and people who attended, favored the transition to organic certification thats being looked into by the Organic Trade Association and the USDA. It will enable farmers in their 2nd year in the transition to use the label to help with the higher price as they come closer to becoming full on organic. 

The company, Costco, has been handing money to farmers to help increase organic production to keep up with high demand. Parts of the money is used to purchase 1,200 acres of land and equipment to grow organic food in Baja, California. Costco has bought the first rights to certain foods grown in the land. The initiative is highly beneficial all around, with farm receiving a financial boost in its production of organics. With that, Costco is increasing its bottom line, and more consumers are accessing options of organic food that they want. Drew Katz, coordinator of the Oregon Tilth transition services says that the production of organics will improve rural economies. The University of Wisconsin has began to give courses on organic grain production thats towards those from conventional farming backgrounds; enrollment in these classes had doubled in its second year.

There are more people that are disapproving of conventionally-grown food due to their environment and health. There is pesticides that are known endocrine disruptors, commonly made with glyphosate, like Roundup, are labeled as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO).

People do not want to consume toxic foods that will undermine their health. Pesticides have also been responsible in the near extinction of the Monarch Butterfly species. This has alarmed people and due to that, they are now asking supermarkets to carry more options for organic produce. Many have started to purchase organic options from farmer’s markets and even growing their own organic food.

There has been some obstacles, such as increased competition for organic feed, and the hurry towards organic production will help the population greatly.

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Unprecedented Demand For Organic Food Creating New "Gold Rush" For Producers Unprecedented Demand For Organic Food Creating New "Gold Rush" For Producers Reviewed by Jamm Real on 11:31:00 Rating: 5
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