Is Organic A Fad Or Is It Here To Stay?
One of the most popular questions on the speaking circuit is whether the organic movement is a trend or fad.
The organic movement is here to stay. There are a certain number of consumers who make the organic market a very profitable niche for some producers.
However, becoming a certified organic producer comes at a price. In some cases it can take many years for certification and there are new requirements mandated periodically. Second, one must become a superior record-keeper, documenting practices on the growth of livestock, produce or grain. Third, a producer who is successful must be very adept to marketing and determining what the consumer wants and desires.
That being said, Wal-Mart and other large chains are showing interest in the organic marketplace. This is being done to reposition their image to a more upscale, affluent consumer who demands and values what goes into the product he or she is purchasing. However, producers beware: will these large chains offer attractive initial contracts only to negotiate the supplier down in subsequent years?
Yes, organic is here to stay and can be profitable, fulfilling and enjoyable for the producer.
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Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist specializing in business management and ag finance. He recently retired from Virginia Tech, but continues to conduct applied research and travel extensively in the U.S. and Canada, teaching ag and banking seminars and speaking to producer and agribusiness groups.
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