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U.S. growers cashing in on organic

According to Rabobank senior economist Vernon Crowder, organic consumption is still high in the US and stores there can not get enough of organic products.

“The growth has started from a small base ... it is pretty amazing that consumers are still paying the premium for organics,” he said.

“They will take fruit, vegetable, meat — even milk which goes for a very high premium.”

Mr Crowder said there were a few different places where organic growth was happening, but the strawberry industry was one.

“A lot of the strawberry growth has to do with the fact that we require very large buffer zones around schools and urban areas so the growers’ buffer areas have gotten so big that it covers most of their farm.

“They figure why not just go organic and get a premium.”

Some of the research into organic consumers in the US indicated there were three types of groups who consumed the products, Mr Crowder said.

“There are those who are going to eat organics as much as they as they can and are convinced everything else is bad,” he said.

“There are consumers who perceive organics as healthier but want to see products sold at a reasonable price and will respond to that and there are those who don’t buy it all the time but at times.”

In Australia, a new national mark for the organic industry was implemented in July.

The Organic Federation of Australia chairman Adam Willson said he expected the mark to help push growth.

“When a national organic seal was introduced in the US, the market rose by up to 45 per cent per year,” Mr Willson said.

Source: weeklytimesnow.com.au

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