As better health continues to be a hot topic around the world, the demand for healthier food continues to grow. The result has been a push for more organic sources of produce. This is the reason many farmers are changing their ways in order to provide fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, and meat which can be officially designated as certified organic.
The primary challenge facing organic farmers is the fact organic farming is inherently more expensive than traditional agriculture. In most cases, farmers have no choice but to pass the cost of organic farming onto the consumer, slowing down their potential for profit and driving up the pressure placed upon them by the competition.
Fortunately for organic farmers, several methods exist which can help them save on production costs. What’s more, these techniques involve farmers working together. Read on to learn how organic farmers can work together to save money:
One thing small organic farmers can do is share resources with each other. This means sharing everything, from machines, labor, foodstuffs, and fertilizer. There is no need to sell your farm and individuality as long as deals are profitable for everyone involved. Sharing resources is in everyone’s best interest because it saves money, and it helps local farmers fight larger corporations.
It would be nice if people made the trip to farms every week to buy produce, but the reality is regular people are always going to choose convenience. This is the reason farmers who have the ability to get to a farmer’s market tend to make more money. Small farmers need to bind together to participate in these farmer’s markets or to buy the permits, rent the lot, and hire the labor to start a farmer’s market in the city or cities nearby.
Create a Group
Farmers who join a group purchasing organization (GPO) can get a better deal on farm supplies. Farms able to come together under the roof of a farmer’s market should seriously consider coming together under a GPO as well. The purchasing power of this group of farmers helps them negotiate favorable deals. It is important that your organization makes it a point to check the prices of a number of suppliers to find the best offers.
People interested in eating organic foods are usually interested in other things, such as sustainable farming. This is the reason these individuals want to know that your farm does more than just organic farming; they would be happy to know that you are using solar power to get the power you need. The problem is converting to such power can be costly, but if other organic farmers near you pitched in, the switch can be a little easier for everyone. Farmers can pull their money together, and each farm could get the update one by one. Keep in mind that solar power is a constant source of energy that is free, so you’ll end up winning in the end.
Many institutions need food, such as local schools. Some of these schools are eager to find great fresh produce at great prices but usually have a few guidelines to follow. A small farm may have a hard time fulfilling the needs of a school or other similar institutions, but a group of organic farmers should be able to do this by providing them with a specific volume of food that meets the institution’s standards. Remember that you are still going to have to share labor and transportation costs to land these kinds of contracts.
Just like all those streaming services online, farmers can also jumpstart a subscription service for people in their community who are interested in organic farming. These are sometimes called Community Supported Agriculture or CSA, and they ask the community to pay membership fees to get access to produce. This can be done with a group of organic farmers so that members get a variety of products and each farm gets reliable financial support.
Hopefully, one of these ideas captures your attention and the attention of other organic farmers around you. It is a good way to create something more stable for you and the organic farmers in your area, so why not give it a try?