Farmers who grow organic foods must really love their work because, in addition to the countless thankless tasks that all farmers endure, those in the organic field must: have a long term soil management plan, maintain buffer zones between their land and non-organic farmland, keep detailed records and not use chemical herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. All that so that what they sell can be labeled “Organic”
Organically grown foods are generally larger and, according to many, taste better than non-organics; also there is no residual chemical on them and runoff from their fields does not pollute waterways. Endorsement of the motion of organic farming by television chefs and other celebrities has boosted awareness. As a result, demand for wholesale organic foods is growing. Organic farms are generally on the small side because of the labor required. There is no need for large equipment to distribute weed killers, pesticides or fertilizer, but the manure, compost and other soil enhancements are usually incorporated, and harvesting is done, by hand.
Organic wholesale foods have a distribution network just as regular farm produced foods do. A wholesaler coordinates delivery and warehousing of product from the farmers and oversees distribution to grocers. The operation would also include distribution by truck and rail to different areas of the country where the product will be assembled into smaller lots for delivery to grocers. Given the perishable nature of the food, time is critical. All this while, the wholesaler seeks new accounts and handles a lot of money.
As a result, individuals or small groups wanting to save some money by purchasing organic wholesale food face some tough sledding. Economies of scale are a must if any wholesaler is to stay in business. Their minimum deliveries need to be scheduled with a certain regularity and in such threshold amounts that the amount of food involved would overwhelm a buyer’s club of a few members or families. But if enough people can be assembled and all of them pay on time, it is a workable situation. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) co-ops have been successful at this level in maintaining distribution of locally grown foods, including some that is organically grown.