Organic Farmers Pooling Bushels, Earning Fair Prices
Collective grain marketing is alive and well in today’s organic grain market. And so is market price discovery in both the organic and conventional grain markets.
It’s often been said that either you’re at the bargaining table or you are on the menu, but I don’t agree completely with that statement.
It’s unfortunate that strong prices offered to farmers in some geographic areas are the result of farmer hardships from other regions. Most farmers that I know and work with don’t want government payments or low interest loans. They want fair prices, period. How do producers achieve fair prices? Through good marketing, preferably with a group of farmers like themselves.
Price discovery, competition, market information and analysis, logistics, and product quality are all components of a good marketing plan. Farmers pooling bushels together and offering it at fair price levels to buyers is working well in not only NForganics, but other groups that make up the Organization for Competitive Markets (OFARM).
Farmers feel great pride in the crops they grow and the livestock they raise, after all, it is their livelihood at stake. Those same producers should not be pushed into a mindset of produce more for less money, but that way of thinking has been instilled in our agricultural society for many years. Society has evolved and helped create a complex world economy, but I question whether producers believe they have benefited as much as other business sectors.
The question becomes will those who toil to produce the food and fiber we all rely on grow more for less? Should they rely on government payments or low interest loans?
You, as stewards of the land and animals, know the answers to these questions. Your livelihood depends on it.