>>> Organic agriculture is simply a phase in a larger process
>>> that's far from over.
Steve Groff wrote:
>>now that's a thought....I'm ready to move on!
> Much of what we are involved in here is a struggle for *meaning*,
> a struggle for the hearts and minds of consumers, as one food
> industry CEO put it, about the meaning of such concepts as 'food
> quality' and 'organic'.
This is what marketing is always about.
> The important thing about 'organic' is that it does have a
> meaning for consumers, now to the tune of 6 billion a year...
> It is true that there is now a food industry assault on the
> meaning of organic, lead by the USDA.
I thought that the USDA backed off and surrendered to the wishes of the
traditional organic foods community. Don't you think the traditional
meaning of "organic" food is pretty well reflected in the new proposed
definition from the USDA? Didn't the hard core organic purists "win" that
round? I'm really confused. What more do you want in the definition?
> I think you attitude is unrealistic, Steve. With industry
> aggressively pedalling their version of 'organic' nobody is
> going to hear you talking about "locally grown and sustainable".
> People will ask you, "but is it organic?" and they will want hear
> a yes or no answer. You can bet that "micro-farming", or even
> "sustainable" will never be significant food product labels
> nor have any meaning for consumers.
IMO you are confounding a marketing strategy with what is good for the
Earth. "Organic" food is a market niche that Steve doesn't really need to
exploit. He turns out good "conventional" produce in an ecologically
responsible way by good management. He doesn't need the higher price a
special label would fetch.
> ...the battle looks pretty heavilay stacked against us. But if we
> run away from the struggle to define the meaning of organic then
> they'll just mop us up, one by one.
Well, that's the way markets work. If you can't compete, then you're going
to go out of business. Your focus on the definition of "organic" is
misplaced IMO. There are well managed producers who will meet whatever
definition is elaborated, and kick-butt in the market. Consumers will get
"organic" produce at a low price, and the market share of "organic" produce
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