[nafex] To Ed

John Bunker jbunker at palermo.org
Thu Mar 1 18:00:15 EST 2001


I agree with Ed about nursery stock prices.  It's a question I've thought about
-even struggled with- for years. How do you make trees (or any ag product) truly
accessible while at the same time pay the producers a living wage(ie stay in
business)? I think the answer may lie in the question, Who really benefits from
cheap food (nursery stock, etc)?  It's a huge topic, one that I think gets at
the heart of the massive problems in the apple industry, not to mention the meat
industry in Europe and ag industries everywhere.  And of course the nursery
industry as well.

John Bunker
Fedco Box 520 Waterville Me 04903



Ed & Pat Fackler wrote:

> Fluffy Bunny wrote:
>
> > Ed ("livin and lovin" it in southern Indiana)wrote:
> >
> > However, like most small nurseries, they always price their products
> > (mainly trees) way too low and in time go out of business (like Bear
> > Creek and many others in recent years).
> > My advice is to appreciate their willingness to help you and don't bitch
> > when they finally raise their prices enough to make a living.
> >
> > and...
> >
> > The only criticism I have of it is simply the very low pricing.  In order
> > for John to continue his fine work, Fedco's prices MUST go up, and John
> > must
> > accept the fact that an increase in price will eliminate a few customers.
> >  And
> > that is okay-fine, as those who are plagued with a radical distortion of
> > value
> > (of a farmer) can go elsewhere (you can guess where they go, can't you?).
> >
> > My reply:
> >
> > Ok Ed, inquiring minds want to know.
> >
> > What is the correct price for a tree?   And while we are on it,  define
> > making a living.
>
>      My response-------
>
>      Firstly, there are really few "inquiring minds" as we here in the states
> have become a tad too COMFORTABLY numb.  Specifically addressing the state of
> ag which includes all food crops and producers thereof, we have the lowest
> percapita food cost in the world (somewhere around 11% of personal income).
> This phemenon (ag efficiency) has gone on for decades, or the real loser in
> higher production ag is the farmer and rural integrity.  Everyone else wins,
> in the shortterm anyway.
>      The correct price for a tree is determined simply on cost to produce
> said tree (which includes the evaluation process), cost of processing
> (digging, grading, trimming, cold storage, shipping protocol, etc.) cost of
> advertising, plus the perceived "sinful" thing (as applied to a farmer
> anyway) called profit.
>      Profit as defined here is that which allows the farmer to stay on the
> farm in a non-subsidized manner.  In my case, the desired net profit margin
> has been 30% of gross sales.  In some few years, we acheived this margin and
> in others, we didn't.
>      Many years ago, we made some major decisions on how to stay on the farm
> without any government subsidies.  And while difficult, we managed to pull it
> off simply because of personal preference, tenacity, internal organization
> and a bit of luck.
>
>      You wrote-------------
>
> > This has the potential to develop into an interesting discourse and get
> > all "the cards"' on the table.
>
>      My response-------
>
>      I doubt this as me thinks incredibly few on this site are interested,
> esp. from two primadonnas like me and you.  Fluff, its like this.  If me and
> you exhibit all this intelligence at once, why we'z could shut down the
> internet and literally be imprisioned for such a collosial activity.  It
> would go down in history as a "wizdom short circuitry"!!!
>      Like I'm 'a shakin' in my boots just with the thought of it!!
>
> Ed, So. Indiana, heavenly paradise, etc.
>
>
>
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