This is an excerpt from an article by Derek Singleton. Follow the link below to read the complete article.
Most of us would eat better if we could afford to. I know I would. Even though I’m a proponent of organic farms, grocers and food, I tend to lose my organic appetite when I see the hefty price tag that comes along with it. It may just be a few cents here or there, but multiplied over an entire bill – and then multiplied over weeks and months – the difference adds up.
So what makes organic food more expensive? A major factor is scale. Because most organic farms don’t operate at economies of scale, the amount of man hours required for harvesting and post-harvesting activities is much greater than conventional methods. For the same reason, the cost of marketing and distributing organic food is higher as well.
“The national options really boil down to two distributors: Tree of Life and United Natural Foods. With them being the only major distributors, products often get discontinued and then we have difficulty stocking the item.” – Dan Gilotte, Wheatsville Co-op
In addition to scale, organic food also suffers from an inefficient distribution network that’s still largely based on word-of-mouth business. To manage the organic distribution network, distributors will need to adopt technology that automatically informs grocers of available inventory and pricing. At the same time, grocers will need to invest in technology that allows them to find the right organic distributor at the best price.
Further pushing the price up is the fact that the demand for organic food far outweighs the available supply. All things combined – scale, distribution, supply, and cost – the consequences are creating unequal access to quality food for many Americans.