Know the Reasons Why Organic Food Cost More
Organic food requires more intensive labor and management
Conventional farming is easier to maintain because chemicals are running the show. Weeds are growing around the crops? No worries, there’s a chemical for that! Pests are eating the fruits and leaves? The soil is not rich enough? There are chemicals for that as well.
But because organic farming doesn’t use pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals, it also calls for more intense labor. Extra workers must be hired to do hand-weeding, cleaning up of polluted water and pest contamination.
Organic farmers cannot use sewage sludge-which are cheaper to buy and ship-so they have to make their own compost using animal manure. This is bulkier and also more costly to transport.
More time needed
Growth hormones and chemicals can speed up the growth of crops and livestock. However, that is not its natural growth rate. Without growth hormones and other synthetic chemicals, crops and livestock grow more slowly. So while conventional farmers can harvest, let’s say twice in a year, organic farmers will only harvest once.
Conventional farming methods can plant cash crops year in and year out because they have the help of synthetic fertilizers to keep the soil “healthy.” This means this farming method rakes in more profits which helps lower the cost of the produce.
However, this is not the case with organic farming
Organic farming methods must use crop rotation to maintain soil health. That means instead of planting cash crops to earn more, farmers must plant “cover crops” to avoid exhausting the nutrients in the soil the natural way.
Conventional farmers can use chemicals to protect their crops or livestock (e.g. antibiotics and synthetic pesticides) from illnesses and pests. This reduces the risk of loss of crops/livestock. But because organic farming methods do not resort to such chemicals, their risks and losses are higher, costing the farmers more.
Handling and shipping costs
Without the aid of chemicals, harvests of organic produce are not as large as its conventional counterpart. While non-organic produce are shipped in large quantities, organic produce tend to be much smaller. Take that against handling and shipping costs and the result is a more expensive product. Moreover, most organic farms are typically located far from cities-which is another addition to shipping expense.
Organic certification costs
All Wholesale Organic Superfood produce must follow strict standards and rules in order to be able to use the “organic” seal. To do this requires daily record keeping that must always be available for inspection, payment of annual inspection and certification fees and sometimes, as what may be required, modification of facilities. All these are not easy-nor does it come cheap.
Lack of subsidy
To make sure there would be no food shortage in Europe as what the aftermath of World War II showed, the united European government subsidized chemical farming to encourage the abundance of food. So you are inadvertently already supporting conventional farming even without buying it.
But when you do actually buy agrochemical food, you are paying for it three times: first, you pay the shop. Second, you pay for it through your taxes. And lastly, you pay again to clean the damage-which is far reaching-caused by agrochemical agriculture.
Taxpayers in the UK pay three billion Euros every year on conventional farming subsidies and another 120 million to clean up the ecosystem caused by pesticides and agro-chemicals. And organic farming? It receives no subsidies at all. This disparity makes conventional produce cheaper and organic produce more expensive.