According to statistics from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK, organic cultivation has dropped by two-thirds in the past 4 years, causing fewer farmers to see a reason to make organic changes in their methods. Organic product sales fell by 5.9% last year in the UK, and the amount of organic poultry being produced over the past several years has also been in steady decline.
While some farmers are going back to industrial farming methods, some farmers who have previously switched to greener methods have stated their costs have been cut and that consumer interest in organic products is still keeping them in business. This is particularly the case for those who sell to smaller retailers rather than large supermarket chains. If fewer consumers are buying organic products in supermarkets who hike up prices, it could mean that the growing number of farmers’ markets are becoming the next best places to make money, after all.
“There might be lots of farmers who think they can’t afford to go organic,” says Ian Noble, owner of an organic vegetable farm in south Devon. “They think the market is restricted, but if they looked into it they would find it can be cost-effective.” The reduction in farming costs comes from little to no money spent on pesticides and fertilizers, and grass-feeding animals rather than purchasing expensive grain for their feed. Some farmers are even claiming they would have gone out of business if it wasn’t for the ability to cut costs by going organic.
How do organic food prices affect your grocery store purchases?