“As we try to solve these issues in the ways we’ve normally solved them, we’re going to be expediting a train wreck,” Feliz said. “That’s important for our customers and our customers’ customers to understand. There is no silver bullet.
“The more acres we put in where we’re already growing it, is going to exacerbate the issue, not solve it,” he said. “We’re putting more acres in an area that’s already too compacted.”
Registered organic production of all crops in Monterey County rose dramatically in 2013 from 22,288 to 33,381 acres, the county recently reported. It offered no breakdown by crop, but presumably a chunk of the increase is spinach. Prior year-over-year increases were in the 2,000 to 3,000 range.
“A lot of retailers would like to have close to parity on the price between organic and conventional,” Schwartz said. “But I don’t know if we as an industry can ever get there if this issue is not resolved, just because of what it’s doing to supply.”
A similar industry meeting was in January in Yuma, Ariz.