Organic Farmers Make More Money Than Conventional Farmers, Study Finds

According to a new study put forth by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Organic Farmers not only produce food that is better for humans and the planet, but they also make more money.

The study, which focuses on “financial competitiveness of organic farming on a global scale”, involved data collection from 44 studies covering 55 crops grown in 14 countries on five continents – North America, Europe, Asia, Central America, and Australia. After compiling the data, researchers concluded that organic farming is 22 to 35 percent more profitable for farmers than conventional agriculture.

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According to Treehugger:

“This [news] comes at a time when North American farmers are in great financial distress. Civil Eats reports that, in 2012, 56 percent of American farmers reported earning less than $10,000 from their farms alone, while 52 percent said it was necessary to maintain a primary job away from the farm. If organic can provide farmers with significantly more income, there’s more incentive to switch over from conventional practices.

‘This makes the clearest, strongest argument we’ve yet seen in a reputable publication like this for adopting organic practices,’ states Laura Batcha, executive director of the Organic Trade Association.

Organic food is sold at a premium, as most shoppers know. Interestingly, however, the study found that premiums only need to be 5 to 7 percent higher to match the profitability of conventional agriculture; so why the 22 to 35 percent increase? Are customers getting ripped off at the grocery store?

John Reganold, a co-author for the study and professor of soil science and agro-ecology, doesn’t think so. He encourages shoppers to think about all the things they’re paying for, in addition to the food they’re bringing home. ‘Straight economic figures don’t take into account a dollar value for ecosystem services.’”

Watch Ali Partovi’s TEDxManhattan Talk, “Why Is Organic Food So *#@! Expensive??”, below:

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