Consumer demand driving growth on organic farms

A diversified organic farm in the Great Lakes says they’ve been able to grow and supply larger markets as more consumers have demanded organic foods.

Molter Produce in Southwest Michigan became certified organic 11 years ago, starting with 25 acres of apples, and has expanded to 700 acres of organic fruits, vegetables and row crops.

“Early on we sold to a lot of small distributors that were working these independent stores, and those people have kind of evaporated now with the bigger retailers having to do direct, so we’ve had to evolve then with that.”

Co-owner Aaron Molter tells Brownfield growing organic fruit has been extremely challenging with more pest and disease pressures and adding organic row crops has helped manage risk.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into transitioning, there are huge expenses fallowing land for multiple years in order to be certified.”

Molter says finding markets and organic suppliers is getting easier for other farmers interested in transiting but still recommends starting small.

Brownfield interview during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo

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