Why is organic food costly?

Short answer: high cost of labor, lack of scale (for now) and no government subsidies.

Here is the long answer: Organic farming is labor intensive. All the pest-repellents and fertilizers are usually prepared by the farmers themselves using ingredients available mostly at the farm itself. Throughout the entire cycle of organic farming, every activity needs more care, more labor - ranging from manual de-weeding (chemical weedicides/herbicides make it easier), to storage (without chemicals). Even though the yield of a well-developed organic farm can equal or better a chemical farm, the logistics and supply chain is not oriented to deal with small volumes. An organic farmer, for example, has to transport his produce separately and sell it separately, lest it gets mixed up with chemical produce. So there is no scale here, at least for now. But as more and more farmers go organic (and that will happen if more of us consumers go organic!), we will find the cost coming down. Further, there are no specific subsidies for organic farmers from any government. Whereas our governments provide subsidies for chemical seeds, pesticides and fertilizers. None of this is available for organic farmers! Above all, the organic food supply chain comprises ethical retailers and enlightened farmers, ensuring that the farmers get a fair price. Rarely do the organic food prices crash, like they do for some products in the regular market when there is a glut (over-supply).

 Here is the wise answer: Organic food is NOT that costly. It just means you are investing in our health today rather than risk paying for medical intervention tomorrow. Ask anyone who has a dear one suffering from cancer or diabetes or any such disease, what they would pay to NOT have such a disease in their family. She would say, "Anything." Let us remember "health is wealth". Saving today on food will only make us spend more on medicines tomorrow. So choose wisely. Choose health over meagre savings.

Why meagre, you ask? Here is a fact: Organic food is costlier than chemical food. But not too costly. On an average, we found that a family will have to spend only ₹7.50 per meal per head extra for going completely organic. Check out our video [Video here] and calculations. Look at your monthly expenses. For a 4-member family, the costs will go up by around ₹3000 per month, which is the money that we normally spend on a family outing one night, or for a pair of branded jeans or shoes or during a visit to the mall! We can eat organic food all month long, if we can give up on any one of these. Think clearly. Prioritize well.

Finally, if cost is indeed a consideration for you, why not start small? Start going organic for as low as ₹500 extra a month. Check out our organic family plans. [Link here]

Do a favor to yourself and your children: Go organic. With or without Bio Basics



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