Roberts agrees that the costs can add up, despite premium retail prices.
“Organic farming costs are higher than that of conventional and yields are lower so the industry needs these premiums in order to remain viable and continue to farm organically,” he said.
However, some retail prices of organics are slowly dropping closer to those on conventional items.
“Some organic prices are getting closer to conventional at times,” Dempster said.
Still, Dempster says organic consumers remain motivated, for the most part, to pay the higher price for organic produce.
Benefits of both
Organic can offer benefits to growers that aren’t always reflected right away in the bottom line.
“We’ve learned a tremendous amount that will help us conventionally too,” Seeley said. “It’s strengthened our entire overall program and made us better at what we do.”