[NAFEX] Growing organically

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Sun Apr 8 10:27:00 EDT 2007


You've just hit the biggest weakness of allowing the customer to serve 
themselves.   I don't know if it's still the case, but in England, the 
local greengrocers always picked out the produce for the customer, 
enabling them to include a few slightly dinged or very ripe fruits.  It 
was built into the system so the customers didn't  squawk too much and 
the dealer wasn't stuck with less than perfect stock.
Selling in baskets is a way to get around the problem to some degree as 
some of the fruits in a basket can be less than perfect and still go if 
the ones on top look good.
Not an ideal solution, but it's easier than having "produce police" or 
having to require the customers to be "re-trained" each time they come 
in the store.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at 
http://www.bunchgrapes.com  Winner of the Garden Writers Association 
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
For even more grape lessons, go to  http://www.grapeschool.com
For growing supplies and more;  http://www.grapegrowersolutions.com

On Apr 8, 2007, at 7:11 AM, Jim Fruth wrote:

     I've been selling at farmers' markets for a lot of years and have
learned that most customers do not want organic produce.  Oh, they will 
all
SAY they want organic but the want it at supermarket prices.  Customers 
want
perfect produce; they handle every tomato and if they see a slightest
imperfection, they reject it.  Customers also want their produce to be 
the
same size as that which they find at supermarkets.
     One time, after sorting through my displayed tomatoes, a citiot 
asked
me, "Don't you have any more BIG tomatoes?"  "Why do you need big 
ones?" I
asked.  "I'm going to cut them up for a salad," was her reply.
     I have watched vendors come in to sell certified organic produce and
they either stop coming because much of their produce doesn't sell or 
they
drop their organic certification.  In my opinion, "organic' will become 
the
trend when customers stop being so fussy.  What's the problem with a 
tiny
pock or ding?  And so long as organic producers are able to grow less
perfect fruits than their non-organic counter-parts, their organic 
produce
must, necessarily, cost more if they are to stay in business.

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
www.bberryfarm.com
(218)568-8483 [Store]
(218)831-7018 [My Cell]

On Apr 7, 2007, at 1:09 PM, Thomas Olenio wrote:

>
> My underlying point being that preaching to farmers and agriculturists
> about the virtues of organic and standard agricultural practices will
> not change consumer demand one iota, and its consumer demand that
> drives commercial agricultural practice.
> ?

Preaching rarely works, on anybody. But I know organic growers who have
gradually increasing numbers of other organic farms all around them.
They don't preach; they just do a good job. Their neighbors notice the
results. Success also drives agricultural practice.

--Rivka

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