Eric Magnuson

My unique intersection of cooperation, sustainable business and local living economies.

Until I re-prioritize blog publishing, all my contributions to the noise can be found on Twitter.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Wal-mart adding organic but at what cost?

"Organic agriculture is just another method of agriculture — not better, not worse" - Bruce Peterson, head of perishable food at Wal-Mart
The NYT article today on Wal-Mart's plan to add major brand organic products to their shelves may be good for overall consumer awareness and choice, however it is going to come at a cost. Wal-Mart's buying power is going to force large-scale industrial farming to transition to organic farming but only in the strictest sense. In an organic market where demand already is out stripping supply, the only way manufacturers are going to meet Wal-Mart's new demand is by using industrial-scale farming and by sourcing from overseas. Both options are heavily reliant on transportation and petroleum.

I wasn't suprised to see Harvey Hartman of Seattle's Hartman Group quoted in the article. They have been on the forefront of research into consumer organic preference. Looks like they were probably a major contributor to Wal-Mart's analysis process.


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