The democratization of organic. If you treat me like a chicken, I’ll send you to the cow

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The democratization of organic is a top priority for consumAtors today. Modern distribution has well understood this need and yet, among the ‘niche’ stores, there are still those who speculate beyond reason. A couple of eye-opening examples.

Our price survey: the expensive chicken

We did a small market survey ‘at hand’. Started on traditional outlets offering organic products. And continued in large-scale retail, both offline and on the web. Without going too far, except with prices and the imagination that sometimes accompanies them.

Chicken breasts are an example of how organic production, although more expensive, (1) cannot justify quadruple or quintuple the prices of ordinary production:

Bio Space. Store ‘promoted by AIAB’ (Italian Association of Organic Food) in Rome Testaccio, at the City of Other Economy. ‘Il Colle Bio’ sliced chicken breasts at €35.35/kg (see photo). Whole breast, €31.00/kg,

Coop Italy, Vivi Verde Line, organic chicken breast slices, €19.90/kg (online, at EasyCoop.com),

Carrefour, organic sliced chicken breast, €19.89/kg. Viversano Carrefour line, non-organic, sliced, €11.98/kg. Amadori ’10+’, non-organic, thin-cut, €9.72/kg,

Conad, non-organic whole chicken breast, pre-wrapped, origin Italy, €7.25/kg,

Tigre supermarkets, Fileni ‘Veline’, ‘thin slices of chicken breast’ processed in Italy from animals born and raised on land in the Bel Paese with non-GMO, (2) nonorganic vegetable feed, €14.80/kg (on offer, €12.99/kg). Pre-wrapped branded product, origin Italy, €8.90/kg.

Speculation on Parmigiano Reggiano.

Parmigiano Reggiano DOP is another example of speculation beyond measure:

Natura Sì, organic Parmigiano Reggiano from white Modenese cow, Caseificio Santa Rita, $44.50/kg (online)

Spazio Bio, Santa Rita organic ‘mezzano’ parmesan cheese, €39.15/kg. Aged 24 months, €41.40/kg. Seasoning 36 months, €46.00/kg,

Coop Italy, Vivi Verde Line, organic Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, €24.10/kg (online, at Easy Coop). Bertozzi brand non-organic aged product, 24 months, €19.10/kg. Fior Fiore non-organic line, 30 months, €22.25/kg,

Conad, Parmigiano Reggiano DOP Selezione Conad, non-organic, €10.50/kg,

Carrefour, Terre d’Italia Line, Parmigiano Reggiano aged 30 months, non-organic, €19.18/kg (size 500 g, on offer online -20%). Minimum 24-month maturation, 300 g, €20.97/kg.

Tigre, pre-wrapped Parmesan cheese, €18.50/kg.

Democratization of organic, good for all

ConsumAtors-when even ‘capable of spending’ and willing to spend a little more, perhaps in the face of suspicions about the integrity of some conventional supply chains-will sooner or later notice that something is wrong. It’s ‘if you treat me like a chicken, I’ll send you to the cow.’ Once it passes, the second time maybe, the third time maybe not.

The double-digit growth of the organic market is a great opportunity for everyone, from the farm to the fork.’ But speculation is likely to cost dearly to those who play it too much on the backs of the consumAtors who, sooner or later, will just turn them away.

Notes

(1) Taking into account the craftsmanship of some productions, unable to achieve economies of scale. Of the higher costs of organic feed compared to conventional, often GMO feed. Of the different, and more spacious breeding conditions. Of the lower growth, and longer life span of animals before culling. And what else?
(2) According to specifications subject to special authorization Mi.P.A.A.F. no. IT001EA UnaItalia