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Economics of organic fruit production - OF0151

This study will aim to estimate the present size of the organic fruit market and its potential for growth as well as provide detailed costings for organic production of major top and soft fruit. The study will be composed of 4 specific objectives outlined as follows, together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. Assessment of the present size of the organic fruit market, differentiating between the various market outlets and identifying potential future growth of the market. The size of the market and potential for future growth will be determined through discussion with, and visits to, processors and other organic fruit buyers, growers and other people with specialised knowledge of the market; 2. Collection of data on organic fruit prices and production costs. The methodology for this phase of the project will be agreed between HDRA, WIRS and the Organic Fruit Focus Group. The Fruit Focus Group will help identify suitable growers and processors to visit. Collection of financial and physical data will be performed by means of a half day visit to 10 growers and 5 processors/fruit buyers to help fill in basic data sheets, and through discussion with the Organic Advisory and Information Service; 3. Implementation of an economic analysis on the major top (apples and pears) and soft (rasperries, strawberries and blackcurrants) fruit in order to produce the following data: gross margins for each crop; fixed costs and estimated whole farm performance for organic fruit growers; costs of establishing/converting to organic fruit production; break-even budgets to indicate yields and prices required to make fruit production economically viable; and estimations of economic optimum size (in terms of crop area) for holding. Techniques used to analyse data will be those currently used by agricultural economics departments at universities as well as those used by conventional horticulture. Gross margin analysis will be conducted as recommended in the Organic Farm Management Handbook, while whole farm performance methods will be calculated using Farm Business Survey Standards; and 4. Interpretation and evaluation of data and provision of recommendations to potential growers, advisors and policy makers. Results will be submitted to MAFF and shared with the Organic Fruit Focus Group, together with growers and advisors through a workshop; selected findings of the study will be incorporated into technical guides for organic growers.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Economics of organic fruit production   (135k)
• Final Report - Annex : Economics of organic fruit production   (619k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1998

To: 1999

Cost: £11,113
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Henry Doubleday Research Association
Economic Research              
Organic Farming              
Fields of Study
Organic Farming