>calling a small farm $5000 is a rip off
>taking money from folks because they grow organic is a rip off
I believe that the US Small business Administration sets the threshhold
for 'micro' businesses at $250,000 annual sales and below. That covers
94% of all American farms. I don't know where the upper threshold is,
but it's probably more than my businesses are ever likely to gross.
Half of US farmers have less than $10,000 in annual sales.
*However* when I was living in Wisconsin I was tangentially involved in
a case in which an organic grower was routinely using calcium nitrate
and some other prohibited materials. If he was bigger than $5,000, it
wasn't by a lot.
Cheaters come in all sizes, including small, which is why they, too,
need to be certified. The organic premium is supposed (in part) to
cover the *additional* costs of producing organically, is it not.
Additional costs like paperwork and certification.
I'm not sure who is "ripping off" whom when organic growers want the
full premium for their production, but seem pathologically unwilling to
make the efforts in soil care and recordkeeping (including
certification) to justify that premium.
I have been on 2 acre organic vegetable farms with 125-150 ton/acre
annual erosion rates. They were pocketing their premium and giving
absolutely nothing back to the land. Their sales were under $5,000 but
they should no more have the right to call themselves organic than if
they had been using Sevin to control squash bugs. It us the
certification process --- with all its flaws --- that should be making
that determination. Self-definition as organic, regardless of size, is
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