Mary Hendricks wrote
>retailers are just as interested in reducing transaction costs as other
>retailers. Thus, they prefer to deal with fewer accounts (forget buying
>local!), and prefer to have consistent, guranteed shipment. So what
>happens to relationships throughout the organic "industry"? Well,
>processors have to get big enough to meet the demand for all those
>stores -- and then organic processors become attractive to conventional
>processors (Alta Dena belongs to Dean Foods for example) -- and then
>farmers start to lose their bargaining power vis-a-vis processors...
The traditional answer to this is marketing coops. Farmers reduce their
transaction costs and achieve adequate scale by marketing together. This is
particularly feasible if everyone follows a series of agreed upon
procedures (like organic production) Certification costs can also be lessened.
Another solution is community supported agriculture, direct marketing
between growers and consumers.
An emerging, experimental approach is the internet...
It seems like some combination of these should actually permit organic
growers to market more effectively than the traditional
packer-buyer-supermarket chain. It hasn't happened yet, but how far away
Mexico, D.F. & San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas
Tel. y FAX 525-666-73-66 (DF)
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