Conventional, Mixed and Deregistered Organic Farmers: Entry Barriers and Reasons for Exiting Organic Production in California
Luis Sierra, Ron Strochlic
California, conventional farmers barriers to organic, farmer attitudes, Fresno County, organic agriculture, rural, transition to organic agriculture
California Institute for Rural Studies
The authors explored why organic agriculture, and specifically registration of organic farms in California, has declined while at the same time consumer demand for organic food continues to rise significantly. Researchers studied farms that were in the process of transitioning from conventional to organic methods. 100 interviews were completed, 70 of which were with conventional farmers and most had considered the transition to organic (economics as main motivator), but many were not actively trying to convert because of production concerns and uncertainty in accessing reliable markets that pay a higher price for their crops. In order to support farms in their transition to organic agriculture, the authors argue the importance of policy recommendations that 1) improve the marketing of organic products, 2) provide financial support and incentives to growers, 3) support research and technical assistance, and 4) stimulate consumer demand.