HOW UTILIZING TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP THE ORGANIC FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN MAXIMIZE ITS YIELDS
Organic production is classified as a farm management and food production system which follows the best environmental
practices, has high levels of biodiversity, preserves natural resources and applies high standards of animal welfare. The use
of synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are prohibited during production.
However, there are still concerns that organic farming may return much lower yields than those associated with
conventional farming methods. So why is maximizing yields such an important issue to resolve, and how can it be done?
INCREASING DEMAND FOR THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Global sales of organic produce increased by almost 430 percent in the period from 2000 to 2018 albeit from a relatively small base. At the turn of the millennium, sales of organic food were at $18bn and the latest figures from 2018 show sales had risen to $95bn.
Organic food sales equated to 5.7 percent of the overall food sales in the US, growing to $52.5bn in 2018. This figure is set to grow even more over the next few years, with organic food production in the US set to reach $70.4bn by 2025. China is also witnessing a growth in its organic food supply chain, reaching more than $65bn in 2018 – a growth of almost 50 percent since 2011. In the EU, sales of organic foods have increased by 47.7 percent to €30.7bn, with Germany and France playing a major part in this increased demand from the organic food supply chain with retail sales of €9.5bn and €6.7bn respectively.
THE CHALLENGES OF GOING ORGANIC
Despite the sustainability benefits of organic production, some experts argue that this farming model can harm the end product. Quantity and quality will always be a hugely challenging area for the organic food supply chain. There have been great advancements in non-chemical pesticides as organic food production has boomed, which is a major positive from an environmental perspective.