The Cost of Organic Produce

Zenxin, as a premier name in organic produce, is well aware that foods that are certified organic are more expensive than their conventional counterparts. This price difference is often a major consideration when consumers are making purchases. If you are wondering what’s behind these costs, here are a few reasons contributing to the high costs of organic production.

 

 

1.     No artificial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides.organic-farm

While there is only some scientific evidence suggesting that organic products are higher in certain nutrients than non-organic products, organic is still the way to go because it is confirmed that there is no synthetic chemicals used in any of the processes. This prevents build-up of potentially harmful chemicals in your body, thus can be regarded as being healthier.

2.     No contaminants

In organic production, every step along the production chain is meticulously monitored. From fertilizer, seeds, soil to water, an organic operation has to ensure that there will be no contamination by synthetic chemicals or harmful microorganisms. For example, sewage sludges are not allowed for use in irrigation, and fresh manure has to be composted before using it as organic fertilizers.

3.     Higher production costsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Because of the extra care put in to ensure the products are authentically organic, specialized equipment, extra manpower, and high quality working environment all equates to a high production cost. One study also shows that organic systems generally have a lower crop yield than conventional systems, the difference ranging from 5% to 34%. Therefore it requires more effort to produce the same amount of crop as conventional agriculture.

 

4.     Organic CertificationSOM logoNASAA Logo

The only way to prove authenticity of an organic product is for it to be certified organic. This means acquiring verification from a third-party (non-state) certifier. In the case of Zenxin, we hold certifications from both local (SOM) and international (NASAA) certifiers. It is difficult and costly to achieve these certifications. We are required to comply with the relevant organic standards along the whole production chain, and receive
routine inspection for our certifications to be valid.

5.     Premium quality_OW_9362

Zenxin strive to deliver fresh, organic products that are high in quality. Upon harvesting our vegetables are immediately cleaned and processed, packed by hand, then delivered within 24 hours. This means the flawed products are rejected and we make sure that only the best of the best will be delivered to you, straight from our organic farm to your tables.

 

6.     Seasonal variation in productivity

Supply of fresh vegetable is not consistent in organic agriculture. The amount of fruits and vegetables produced depend heavily on many factors, the most important ones being local climate, weather, seasonality and natural disasters. Thus, the price of organic fresh produce may fluctuate, sometimes higher than usual when supply decreases.

7.     Environmentally friendly production methods

The fact that there is no use of toxic chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in organic agriculture means that it protects the well-being of workers, consumers, and the environment. Natural extracts, or biological control methods are used in organic agriculture for pest and disease control, thus have no adverse or negative effects on the environment. However, these methods can be much more costly and time consuming compared to conventional farming methods, therefore adds to the high costs of organically produced foodstuff.

 

 

 

Resources:

Bourn, D., & Prescott, J. (2002). A Comparison of the Nutritional Value, Sensory Qualities, and Food Safety of Organically and Conventionally Produced Foods. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 42(1), 1–34. DOI: 10.1080/10408690290825439

de Ponti, T., Rijik, B., & van Ittersum, M. K. (2012). The Crop Yield Gap between Organic and Conventional Agriculture. Agricultural Systems, 108, 1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2011.12.004

Lairon, D. (2010). Nutritional quality and safety of organic food. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 30 (1), 33-41. DOI: 10.1051/agro/2009019

Rembialkowska, E. (2007). Quality of plant products from organic agriculture. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 87, 2757-2762. DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.3000