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Cost of Organics Vs Non-Organics

By: James Murray-White - Updated: 17 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Cost Food Development Organic

At this relatively early stage in the rise and development of the organic food and goods marketplace the cost of them is likely to be higher than that of foods and products produced non-organically.

This is largely due to a ‘real’ pricing in the organic marketplace that includes all the production costs and overheads, which are factored in to the total cost. This is often altered in the cost of non-organic foods, which have the productions offset amongst a range of products, or even eradicated by some farming and agricultural subsidies, or from pricing strategies calculated by a large supermarket chain, or by a middleman supplier.

‘Real’ pricing includes all the additional costs of production, which will include labour, electricity and energy, and transportation costs – how much it takes to get the carrot from the field to the market or shop. In addition to this there is the cost of organic certification to the farm or producer, which gives the product its organic status and confirmation.

Checking the Cost of Organic Goods

So bearing the above information in mind, the responsibility lies with the consumer to carry out a continuous comparison between organic and non-organic food and products, comparing not only the cost of the 2 items, but other factors such as taste, weight and amount, colour, amount of packaging, and how the product is marketed.

An organic apple, grown in the UK, costs in the region of 8 to 15 pence. A non-organic apple, a Braeburn variety for instance, can cost as little as 4 pence, or anything up to about 10 pence. This variety of apple is now flown in to the UK from New Zealand, and because of the amount brought over, can be sold cheaper than a native apple, which might be grown maybe 100 miles from the shop and delivered by road.

While eating both apples, the consumer should remember that they have no knowledge how the apple was grown, and how much pesticide and fungicide were sprayed on that apple. Remember to wash it thoroughly! The organic apple, on the other hand, comes with a guarantee of none of these nasty chemicals. It could be eaten straight from the tree!

Measuring Up: The Taste Factor and Quality of the ProductMany people when explaining why they have switched over to an organic lifestyle, talk about how they are happy to pay more for a product they know is of better quality – they can see this by inspecting it; they can taste it by eating it; and they know that it is better for them and the environment. A lack of unnecessary packaging and in-store promotion might be a factor as well. Buying directly from the farmer/producer at a weekly local friendly farmers market might well be an issue as well.

Ultimately, such decisions must come down to the personal decision and preferences of the individual consumer themselves, and their personal situation – whether they are responsible for themselves alone or for a family; juggling a personal or a family budget, and trying to manage a household, career, etc.

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