Archive for April 2009

>Michelle Obama’s organic garden angers Big Agra

>You got to love this. Only in the USA could lobbyists be so blatant to condemn an organic garden. Read onMichelle Obama’s decision to make her new White House vegetable garden entirely organic has angered America’s powerful agribusiness lobby who are urging the First Lady to consider the use of appropriate “crop protection products”.

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>First Blossom from our Apples

> Brownlees Russet. First to show a blossom!

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>And more fresh blossom

Upton Pine showing nicely and
Cornish Aromatic….just starting to show

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>Hard-up shoppers abandon organic and fair trade goods

>The Times has commissioned research that show consumers abandoning the “Organic” label in their droves, down by a 1/3rd in the last 12 months. They are transferring their ethical and health concerns to buying food with good provenance. Under economic pressure consumers are making their own decisions and not relying on certified branding schemes like the Organic label.These attitudes strengthen our own thinking that consumers are smart enough to make their own decisions about the source and production of their food and the minority that are also willing to pay more will reward producers who share this information honestly.
Unfortunately the “organic” space has become too crowded and competitive with highly prescriptive certification bodies dictating to farmers in order to get their approval. At the same time organic products compete in a global arena with lower cost imports driving down the prices paid to farmers. This means that the significantly higher costs of Organic production do not command the appropriate premium and when the costs of inputs skyrocket they get stuck. Witness the application for feed exemptions by britains organic dairy farmers this year because the cost of organic cattle feed is so expensive.
So is the way forward based on better communication between farmer and consumer, with the farmer gaining his consumers’ trust without the need for a 3rd party certification?

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