By Shweta ThakurJune 13, 2021
Here’s a look at the three major factors that deter organic foods from not finding their place on the shelves as much as they should be – transparency, quality, and price. 476 CLAPS0
As consumers start to understand food production better, they are turning towards options beneficial for their overall health. The misconception that organic food is a fad has long since been put to rest, and, based on actual research, it has been proven it’s not a trend anymore, it’s a lifestyle.
Global trends have shown the awareness of millennials in the way they shop and consume has led to a huge demand for authentic, locally sourced, and ethically produced products.
That said, three major factors deter organic foods from not finding their place on the shelves as much as they should be – transparency, quality, and price.ALSO READHow polyethene is being made into recyclable clothing
For the new-age online shopper, knowing where your product comes from and how it was produced gives more assurance in the brand that promotes it. The most important question, however, is, “Is this produce really organically grown as claimed?”
This tendency of the consumer to doubt the authenticity can be eliminated by providing access to information related to the scope certificate of farmers, reputation of FPOs, quality protocols used and best practices employed.
Farm-to-fork businesses hence have an edge as they can shorten the entire supply chain and also provide better production transparency to the consumer.
“Why do my supermarket tomatoes look better than the farmer’s market organic tomatoes?” A common belief is that conventionally grown produce looks and hence tastes better. This is wrong. Conventional farming relies on chemical additions to the soil. These chemicals in turn increase yield but do nothing to boost flavour or add nutritional value.
The flavours come from the biodiversity in the soil, and adding chemicals diminishes these flavours drastically. Quality is not compromised in a small locally sourced organic system as the picking of the produce is normally a day before they go to market and hence retaining its freshness.
In comparison, larger conventional farms due to their centralised operation take longer for the produce to reach you, ideally picked 4-5 days out. This means the produce was not as ripe when picked and in turn, loses most of its taste as well as nutrient value.
Working with the right farmers and sourcing partners goes a long way in establishing a trustworthy and consistent supply chain with the flexibility to adjust to the ever-changing demands of the market.
Also, sourcing locally helps explore native produce which is easy to grow and provides a competitive edge by having unique products.
Yes, organically grown foods are currently a little more expensive. This is a fact. This is largely because organic farmers don’t have the luxury of economies of scale that a conventional producer has. Farmers also have the added cost of meeting organic certification compliances which makes it more management and labour intensive. Also, smaller farms mean lower output in comparison.
This bridge though is narrowing as a lot of people are accepting the benefits such as healthier, tastier, chemical-free, and sustainable foods to be of more value than the lure of deep discounts.
The real question though is what is the actual cost of conventional farming? If we consider the indirect cost of food production like cleanup of polluted water and replacement of contaminated soil and healthcare costs due to the presence of pesticides and chemicals in food on human health, the price would be the same if not lower.
For organic farming companies, the way to stay ahead in the game is to ensure that the entire supply chain is as green as possible by:
- Locally sourced produce for freshness and to reduce logistics costs
- Sustainable packaging with recycled paper and plastic free options
- Last mile logistics through EVs
- Reduce the overall carbon footprint on each purchase
Albeit, the most important aspect is educating the consumer on the benefits of organic, natural and chemical free produce. It is largely accepted that the primary cause of cancer are the chemicals that go in our food whether farm produced or processed.
We have a choice today to consume consciously and responsibly. We are, at the end of the day, what we eat.Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta