27 Sep 2008

Gap closing between organic, conventional produce

6:18 pm on 27 September 2008

The economic climate has greatly closed the price gap between some organically grown fruit and vegetables and those grown conventionally.

Food prices rose well over 10% in the year to August, and fruit and vegetable prices rose more than 9% during last month alone.

Horticulture New Zealand says one of the factors behind the rise in fruit and vegetable prices is bad weather, which will continue to restrict the supply of certain crops until Christmas.

Chief executive Peter Silcock says a realignment of the costs of conventionally grown produce is under way.

But Wellington organic grower and retailer Jim Kebble says the cost of organic produce remains steady because organic farmers have always taken into account the vagaries of the seasons.

Mr Kebble says organic farmers have generally been motivated by factors other than profit and as such, will be unlikely to subject their customers to big price jumps.