Small-scale farming goes big

African farmer women

Smallhold farmers, often women

Green Prophet recently reported on the growing popularity of organic food in Israel, and the trend towards small farms who are delivering straight to people’s front doors to maximise freshness and reduce costs.

Organic farming produces high quality food using natural processes instead of depending on synthetic chemicals, so it’s music to our ears that to learn that the production of eco-friendly fruit, vegetables and other tasty treats topped 1 billion shekels last year.

Figures just out from the Israel Bio-Organic Agriculture Association (IBOAA) show that sales in Israel grew by 30% since 2006 and organic systems now account for almost 5% of total agriculture in Israel – a figure comparable to many western countries where the organic market is much more developed.

However, much of the fresh produce is still enjoyed by consumers overseas, mainly in Europe, and exports grew by 60%. It’s not just the size of the market that is changing, but also the attitudes of people who are buying organic food.

“They are no longer just ‘fanatics’ but a broad population with an increasing awareness for healthy food,” says Oranit Raz, head of IBOAA.

More smallhold farm stories:

Community Supported Agriculture: Organic, Local and Tasty!

The Great Airways Debate Part 2: Food for Thought

Eating Organic at Reasonable Prices (supplier list)

 

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