The shift from conventional to organic has officially transformed from a mini-craze into a full on movement, thanks large in part to the increasing amount of information being released about just how pivotal the change may be to our health.
In hopes of keeping up with this global transition, Costco, the membership-only warehouse shopping emporium, has decided to step up its game to provide the organic products that consumers are demanding. To do this, Costco has identified the core issue preventing more organics from being available to the buying public: a lack of affordable land for farmers on which to grow organic produce.
To help combat this, Costco has announced that it plans to work directly with organic farmers to help them buy the land and equipment necessary to increase their output. To start, Costco will be lending money to San Diego-based Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce (A&W) who will be using the funding to purchase 1200 acres of land in Mexico.
As an organization, A&W has been growing both conventional and organic produce successfully since 1986, with its organics department specializing in berries and tomatoes.
The Challenges Ahead
As promising as this initiative may be, it certainly won’t be easy as the organics market is a very difficult one to navigate. One major obstacle is the overwhelming presence of pesticides in the earth’s soil, thanks mainly to mega giants like Monsanto.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it can take upwards of three years for farmland to fully transition from conventional to organic-ready.
This mandatory timeframe will delay the return on investment for all parties involved, as Costco will need to wait before it can meet consumer demands, and the farmers will need to sell their products as conventional until their classification changes.
Currently only 1% of American farmland is organic, a number that is miniscule considering it’s one of the fastest growing sectors of food sales. Hopefully, Costco will be able to help farmers locate more organic-ready farmland to invest in with immediate returns for everyone.
A Promising Sign
With this announcement, one thing is for certain: there is a great power to be had in voting with your dollars. We may often feel insignificant in this world of over 7 billion people, but the truth is every decision that we do and do not make has the power to drastically impact the planet in more ways than we can think.
The decision by so many of us to act on the research and purchase organic has spiked demand, forcing organizations to respond accordingly and provide us with what we are looking for. Meeting this demand is essential if they are hoping to stay in business long term.
Every time you purchase organic or even share a piece of content that shows why we should all be considering it, the closer we move to a world where the food that is available to us actually provides us with the nutrients it is naturally intended to.
Let this story remind you of the power that we all have, and encourage you to act in accordance with the world you would like to live in.
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