organic is better for farmers and farm workers

Most farmers who choose to go organic do so because they want to

  • eliminate the dangers to themselves, their families and the environment from routinely applying toxins to the farm
  • maximise the nutritional quality of the food they produce
  • enjoy living in a pleasant natural environment, shared with many other species
  • raise happy, healthy animals

So there's no difference between what organic farmers want and what consumers and tourists in the countryside want, if they value their own health and happiness and that of other species.

Better economically

Farming is a business, not a social service, and if farmers can't make a decent living by farming organically then nobody gets to enjoy its benefits.

Research into the economics of organic farming show that in countries with good access to national and international markets, organic farming is generally more profitable because organic goods sell at premium prices. Even where the premium is low, organic farmers can make savings on input costs (fertilisers, pesticides, irrigation, etc.), which improves profitability.

In countries where most of the food produced organically is consumed locally, scientific organic farming improves farm income by raising yields and increasing the resilience of the farm in the face of adverse weather events and pest and disease outbreaks.

Striving for a fairer industry

For workers on farms, whether owners or hired labour, organic farms are definitely better, safer places to work because they are free of pesticides. But farm work is still hard work that has traditionally not been well-rewarded.

While one of the four principles of organics is fairness, how to put this into practice when it comes to farm labour, whether within organic standards or parallel to them, is still a work in progress.

It's a big issue in countries with a lot of migrant and temporary farm labour, like the USA, but in New Zealand most of the effort towards ensuring fairness in organics goes on sourcing fairly produced and traded organic imports like coffee and bananas.

Moving to organic is better for farmers and farm workers in lots of ways.

Looking for evidence? Follow this link to read the research: Make my meals generous and hospitable.