Meeting market demand in the organic sector

Handler-supplier relationships in the face of tight supply

Carolyn Dimitri, L. Oberholtzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Periodic shortfalls of organic food have been commonplace in the USA. Shortages, created when demand grows faster than supply, have been exacerbated by relatively slow growth of certified organic farmland (in comparison to growth in retail sales) over the past decade. Organic intermediaries, referred to as handlers in the US national organic standards, work with farmers and other handlers in moving organic products along the supply chain, and are often the first to feel the effects of tight supplies at the farm level. These firms have a variety of mechanisms available to procure needed ingredients when organic products are in short supply: contracts with suppliers, encouraging suppliers to transition to organic, working with suppliers to increase their output, working with new suppliers, providing technical assistance with organic standards and production methods, and making less than load shipment arrangements with suppliers. Survey data collected from certified organic handlers are used to identify characteristics that make it more likely that an organic handler will undertake activities with suppliers to affect the supply of organic products. Handlers most likely to work with their suppliers had been in business for longer periods of time, bought from growers or grower cooperatives, and were more likely to be wholesalers. Handlers who consider price as important were less likely to undertake activities with their supplies to increase the supply or flow of organic products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalRenewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Fingerprint

markets
Organic Food
Growth
Contracts
growers
organic foods
supply chain
sales
cooperatives
agricultural land
ingredients
farmers
farms
Farms
Farmers
Surveys and Questionnaires
methodology

Keywords

  • Agricultural contracts
  • Certified organic
  • Farmers
  • Handlers
  • Intermediaries
  • Logistic regression
  • Market demand
  • Organic
  • Procurement
  • Supplier
  • Supply chain
  • Survey data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Food Science

Cite this

Meeting market demand in the organic sector : Handler-supplier relationships in the face of tight supply. / Dimitri, Carolyn; Oberholtzer, L.

In: Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2009, p. 137-145.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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