- April 8, 2015
Organic Farming Harvests High Paying Jobs!
Though historically many parts of the U.S. have focused on farming, few have concentrated on raising organic fruits, vegetables and grains. This has created such a major shortage of organic ingredients that one major, organic cereal maker has even resorted to spending over $2 million to buy and run their own farm!
Last year, executives at Nature’s Path Foods, Inc. bought a 2,800-acre Montana farm in hopes of improving their chances of supplying wheat, oats and other ingredients for their organic cereals. “We just want to secure our own future,” said founder Arran Stephens.
Organic foods are one of the fastest growing sectors of the American food industry. Unfortunately, many efforts aimed at ramping up organic food output have failed to keep up with consumer demand. As a result, many organic food producers are having to import organic supplies from overseas, which significantly raises costs, makes quality assurance monitoring more difficult and outsources high paying organic farming jobs to foreign growers.
U.S. retail sales of organic food more than tripled to $32.3 billion over the past decade through 2013 (the latest year of available figures) according to the Organic Trade Association. Also, certified-organic farm acreage has tripled over the same period according to federal data.
Unfortunately, the production of some crops, such as organic soybeans, is so minuscule that many U.S. food producers have to either: a) import them or b) develop innovative supply tactics such as Nature’s Path Foods. Other organic food producers and food chains, such as Pacific Foods of Oregon, Inc. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., are engineering creative moves such as financing organic farmers, offering technical training and retaining executive recruitment firms like ours to recruit organic growers.
Organic farmers encounter many problems not faced by conventional growers. For instance, organic farmers often have greater trouble securing bank loans. Also, organic crops do not have forward or options markets, available to conventional farmers, which ease the risks of wide swings in input costs and prices. Additionally, the price of feed-grade crops is a lot higher. For example, organic corn averaged $13.01 a bushel over the past 90 days according to Mercaris Inc., a new market-data service and online trading platform for organic commodities.
With all the talk about raising the minimum wage and creating more high paying jobs for the U.S. economy, one avenue that may warrant government support is more incentives for organic farming. Not only will organic farmers harvest more healthy food options for Americans, but also they will yield a lot more high paying jobs for our economy.
What are your thoughts?