Editorial: Is organic farming just a fad?


That's Farming Editor John Connell takes a look at organic farming as he weighs up his options.

Editorial: Is organic farming just a fad?

  • ADDED
  • 3 years ago

That's Farming Editor John Connell takes a look at organic farming as he weighs up his options.

I like organic farming but I must confess to not being one. I suppose we can all see the idea of it and how it works and how it benefits the environment but its also a bloody hard business to get into and switch over to. Sheds aren’t right, fields aren’t right and as im still a young farmer I’m not right because well its not my land yet.

But in reading this week about the hardship organic lamb farmers are undergoing its making me question my long talked about switch over. Its all well and good to become organic but at the end of the day the repayments have to be made on the land and to do that someone has to buy my product. Now if like the unfortunate lamb guys im stuck with some of the healthiest and best organic sheep and cattle with no one to buy them well im right up that proverbial creek aren’t I?

I’m all for the switch but I suppose there’s only so many people willing to pay the upmarket price for organic produce and perhaps there’s only so many farmers that can be in this market place.

I also feel like organic farming is a PR battle for each farmer you’d nearly want to be killing and packing your own meat under your own label to really see some benefit in your pocket. Perhaps im wrong on that one but again the organic lamb figures don’t lie.

So where does that leave us one foot in and one foot out. In international terms are cattle and sheep are pasture animals and largely grass fed it’s a huge bonus and maybe that’s the next step for us to build that brand even more and sell it. Because I have a feeling the organic sector might soon be all tied up with a couple of key players and there might not be room for a commercially minded farmer to get in on the action.

There’s power in numbers an perhaps the organic thing could work if we had some dedicated market space for the product rather than the lip service that currently exists.

I want to switch but I also want to make sure I have a market for my goods.

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