May the best farmer win!

How does the true price of organic agriculture differ from conventional agriculture?

Adrian de Groot Ruiz gave an interview about organic versus conventional agriculture on Business News Radio (in Dutch). You can listen to the whole interview, in response to a statement of Louise Fresco, the President of Wageningen University and Research. (His part starts at 22 minutes) here.

Read a summary of the questions and answers below:

Interview on BNR Duurzaam

Adrian de Groot Ruiz as an expert on this statement:
“Organic agriculture is less productive than conventional agriculture”

Journalist Frederique Mol is the interviewer.

The real costs are not included in the price consumers pay. Who pays for these?
Society pays. For example, when CO2 emissions go up, there will be more floods. We will need to build more dams and the productivity of agriculture will go down. These are costs which are real, but the person enjoying the piece of chocolate does not pay for it.

Which information do you need to judge the statement?
Environment is the most interesting, because the advantage is that organic agriculture is better per hectare. There is less use of pesticides and herbicides, there is less loss of soil quality and less CO2 emissions per hectare. The disadvantage is there is less produce per hectare.

How do you calculate the real price?
Multiply the costs per hectare with efficiency. With the use of pesticides and herbicides, you determine the loss of species and value the different species. With CO2 you take the societal costs. We calculate 110 euros for a ton of CO2.

Does organic agriculture perform better than conventional agriculture?
The most leading studies show that the yield is about 20 percent lower.

That sounds like bad news for organic agriculture. Can we put a price on it?
No, and that is the interesting part. This is what we should measure, but it differs per continent and per product. To be fair, we don’t know. So it’s important that everyone measures and reports their true price. For example, an organic trader, Eosta, reports their costs per hectare, but we would like to see the costs per product and then: may the best farmer win!

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Please explore how we help businesses & financial institutions and NGO’s & Institutions.

The Journey of Corporate Social Responsibility

This week, the organization VNO-NCW published an insightful interview with Herman Mulder on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) guidelines. In this interview, Herman Mulder raises his point of view on seeing criticism from NGOs and Social Enterprises as a chance: “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a continuous learning process, we cannot fall back on previous experiences. It is a journey.” In his story, Herman Mulder gave an example of our conducted research on the true price of Kenyan roses.

Next to being founding board member of True Price, amongst many other things he is one of the four Dutch representatives of the Netherlands National Contact Point (NCP) of the OECD Guidelines on multinational enterprises and board member of world connectors.

Read the interview in which his interesting thoughts on the role of NGOs are shared here.

Well-being and the need to know the true price

Our colleague Reinier de Adelhart Toorop wrote an interesting blog for the NPHF, a Dutch association for health. The NPHF unites more than 50 organizations and aims to promote the health of society and strengthen the corresponding attitude. To this end, they create a vision for a sustainable establishment of the Dutch healthcare system.

In his blog, Reinier explains the relationship between well-being and the need to know the true price. According to the Dutch Parliament welfare should include, next to financial capital, the aspects of human, social and natural capital. By including these non-financial values, well-being of individuals and countries gets an entirely different picture.

Read more in our blog on well-being and true in the newsletter of NPHF, here.