Ontario crop retailer takes deeper jump into organics
By John Greig OrganicBIZ.ca.
One of the biggest challenges for organic crop farmers is to find solid agronomic information and markets that are reliable.
Larger conventional farm retailers have only made cautious steps into the organic market.
Thompsons Limited, however, has been putting more resources and focus on organic crops since July. The Ontario-based crop supply and marketing company has seen potential in the organic market, which makes some sense as it has a long history in marketing specialty crops.
The company hired Rob Wallbridge, a well-known organic consultant and former certifier to lead its greater push into organics. He’s also a Certified Crop Advisor.
“Thompsons has been in the organic grain markets for a number of years,” he says, including sourcing organic soybeans as part of its identity preserved and non-GMO soybean purchasing. “They found a growing demand for other organic crops.”
Thompsons is now buying organic corn, wheat, soybeans and some rye.
In the past Thompsons would have bought organic soybeans from a farmer, but the farmer would have had to find markets for his or her other crops. A more diverse crop rotation is necessary for organic production, and finding reliable markets for all of their organic production has proved challenging and a barrier for some farmers.
He’s very very knowledgeable. He’s farmed, he’s done the whole gammit. – Steve Hartman, organic crops and milk seller
Steve Hartman sells crops and milk organically, including some soybeans in the past to Thompsons in Granton. He says the hiring of Wallbridge shows that Thompson is serious about organics. Read more