Organic a mixed bag

07/03/2013 11:00:00 AM
Andy Nelson

Some Kentucky and Tennessee growers are bullish on organics while others say the category is slow to catch on.

Grow Farms, Louisville, Ky., has two new organic items for 2013, said Brian Knott, president.

Kentucky-grown organic onions will be sold under the Grow Farms label in 2- and 5-pound bags, Knott said. The company also is sourcing organic tomatoes from a Kentucky grower-partner for the first time.

Grow Farms, which has sourced organic in the past, didn’t seek out the business.

“The growers kind of came to me,” he said. “There are many growers who prefer to grow it.”

If the quality is good, Knott has no problem selling it.

Organic hasn’t taken off among the retail customers of Dixie Produce, Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn., said Kenny Pendergrass, the company’s vice president of purchasing.

“There may be some slight movement in growth, but not much,” he said.

For some customers, there’s a difference between what they envision an organic program might look like and the actual reality.

“People seem interested, but then they see the difference in price and they say, ‘We’re OK with conventional.’”



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