Oregon Tilth knows that farmers require a clear picture of market needs and opportunities both to inform an overall organic crop production plan and to demonstrate the feasibility of business plans and expansion strategies to banks, credit unions and lenders. We set out to identify concrete information about supply gaps in Oregon in order to connect Oregon farmers with economic opportunities within organic production systems.
We were also interested in identifying the factors that are constraining current supply in order to inform where Oregon Tilth and other organizations can support the development of the organic market in Oregon.
Our research experience highlights the value of facilitating networking opportunities that are geared toward connecting farmers and buyers directly as a means for communicating supply needs. Coordinating supply needs through one-on-one relationships not only protects confidential company information but also protects farmers from the downward price pressures that result from supply gluts.
We identified several factors that are constraining the supply of organic specialty crops moving through high volume market channels in Oregon such as: competitive pricing and commercial viability; transition to organic production; access to processing infrastructure; markets for crop rotations; and, meeting market requirements.
This project was funded with support from a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant through the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Development and Marketing Division. Researched and written by Tanya Murray, Organic Education Specialist at Oregon Tilth