Farm Food Facts

Chad Hart, AG Kawamura, Supply Chain Changes

October 22, 2019 Episode 47
Farm Food Facts
Chad Hart, AG Kawamura, Supply Chain Changes
Chapters
Farm Food Facts
Chad Hart, AG Kawamura, Supply Chain Changes
Oct 22, 2019 Episode 47
USFRA
Show Notes Transcript

Today's Thought Leader is Chad Hart, Associate Professor of Economics for Iowa State University.

Stories you Need to Know:
•Affluent Shoppers are shaping the future of Grocery Retail
•How much more are Shoppers willing to pay for Organic Produce?
•There are 5 big Supply Chain Changes that Growers should be Ready For

Our Farmer this week is AG Kawamura a third generation fruit and vegetable grower and shipper from Orange County, CA who's here to discuss community gardens.



Speaker 1:
0:01
Farm food facts where every farmer, every acre and every voice matter. Welcome to farm food facts for Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 I'm your host, Phil linker. Later in the podcast we'll talk with ag Cowen, Maura, a third generation fruit and vegetable grower and shipper from orange County, California. He's also the former secretary of agriculture for the California department of food and agriculture. Ag is here to discuss community gardens and their importance in helping the community not only with food and exposure to farming but with helping the community have a sense of pride about their efforts. But first we'll talk with Chad Hart who was born and raised in Southwest Missouri where his parents raised some cattle and operated a meat locker. He received
Speaker 2:
0:51
PhD in economics and statistics from Iowa state university. Chad then joined the staff for the center for agriculture and rural development at Iowa state. He serves as the U S policy and insurance analyst with the food and agriculture policy research Institute and a scientist with card. Chad's research has examined the interaction between the ag commitments within the world trade organization and the agricultural policies. And programs of WTO members, crop insurance, international trade, biofuel policy, federal agriculture policy and crop marketing. He's also a professor at Iowa state. Chad, welcome to farm food facts.
Speaker 3:
1:30
It's my pleasure to be with you today.
Speaker 2:
1:32
So Chad, I'd like to focus on what you're seeing and hearing from both your students and farmers about the impact of this year's weather conditions and the resulting economics on frankly the mental health that we're seeing in agriculture.
Speaker 3:
1:46
Well, I think when you look at, you know, 2019 it's going to turn out to be one of those years where rain may not have made as much grain as it usually dies. The idea is that we've seen delayed planting that delayed planting meant delayed maturing of the crop as we went to the growing season and now that we've entered sort of harvest time, we're seeing even more rain, which is delaying the farmers ability to get out in the fields and harvest what grain is out there. And so it's been a very challenging weather year across the vast majority of of the U S here. And those challenges continue as we look forward into this harvest season.
Speaker 2:
2:27
And what's the effect that it's having on the farmers themselves? You know, the, the human traits that we need to keep, keep farmers going. I can't believe that they're, you know, uplifted.
Speaker 3:
2:42
They're definitely not uplifted. But I would say they've seen challenges like this before. I mean, it's a matter of, I described farmers as a terminal optimist. I mean their entire business plan goes with putting a seed in the ground and praying it rains. Um, you know, so as you're looking here, they're used to these challenges, but it does wear on them. It does lead to more uncertainty. They don't know exactly when they'll be able to get out in those fields. It has been challenging for them. Even if they get out there marketing those crops, you know, it's, they see challenges out in the field. They see challenges in the marketplace and they continue to persevere through those challenges.
Speaker 2:
3:26
Yeah. There's no question about the resiliency of, of farmers. Well, the farmers that, you know, we speak with, um, they, they're out there. They're pushing, um, from, from where I sit and, and again, not being a farmer, I am the grandson of a dairy farmer. Uh, but not being a farmer myself. I look at this whole situation, the, the weather conditions, the economics of it. And to me, if I was a farmer, I would think of this as a perfect storm.
Speaker 3:
3:55
It sort of is. Um, you know, when you think about it, it's this combination of the weather problems that they've had out in the field, the market problems we've had, especially with the, Oh, let's call it the upheaval in the international trade perspective here. And, uh, you know, sort of combination of politics getting into agriculture. Now as we enter in the 20th, 11 election cycle, it has been sort of that perfect storm of events that have, um, exacerbated the problems within the ag economy and led the more discussion in farmer groups about figuring out how to survive in these tougher times.
Speaker 2:
4:36
So when you are advising your students about going into farming, what do you tell them that the future of farming is going to look like?
Speaker 3:
4:45
Well, you know, most of the students idea with, they've grown up in farming families and so I remind them that they do sort of get it, but at the same time too it saying that the challenges that their parents and grandparents faced, some of those challenges will be the same ones that they face as they move forward in agriculture. But since agriculture continues to evolve, the problems we have continued to evolve. And so when we're looking here, you know, for example with the flooding and the, and they have a range that we've had throughout, a lot of that is linked to the machinery we now bring on. And so what used to be done with horses and carts that could go on more saturated soils. Now with the heavy machinery that we use, no, we find different problems interacting with mother nature if you will in agriculture that we will have different problems as we move forward. But ag has always had issues as we go forward. You don't, not everybody does agriculture mainly because it is a very hard job where you are dealing with unique risks that aren't faced within other areas of our general.
Speaker 2:
5:58
So I'm fascinated to hear about the step backwards that now that we're not using horses and we're using some of this heavyweight machinery, we can't use it, GC technology, whether it be robotics or other things moving us out of this situation and being more advanced so that we can deal with these climate changes.
Speaker 3:
6:18
Well, I think you're going to see our technology evolve to try to address some of these issues. You know, as we're looking now, we have seen over the past hundred years in agriculture a movement away from something that was highly labor dependent to now being something that's highly technology driven and arguably that's not necessarily going to reverse, but we're going to figure out how does that technology have to work on the farm. For the most part, that technology has grown over time, larger and larger equipment to try to cover the area. But I think you will see a, it's called a reversion back to smaller type equipment to deal with some of the climate challenges that we face.
Speaker 2:
7:02
And as we look at, and I know it's hard to project, um, as we look at the coming harvest, the next one or two harvest, do you think that those will be easier for farmers or we're still going to have similar weather conditions or hopefully not even worst weather conditions?
Speaker 3:
7:21
Ah, it's really hard to say at this point. I will say this, I mean the challenges that farmers space this year can sort of be traced back to the weather conditions we had last year. We went into last year's harvest fairly wet as well and that sort of saturated the soils, they remained saturated throughout the winter time. And so when we went to cultivate this spring, the idea is that we found those challenging conditions sort of holding forth. And so it really depends upon, you know, do we get a chance to sort of dry things out, um, to create a more stable situation for farmers to, to plant in as we enter next spring.
Speaker 2:
8:06
Well. Chad, on that note, thanks so much for joining us today on farm food facts.
Speaker 3:
8:10
Oh, it's my pleasure
Speaker 2:
8:15
and now, well, here's the stories you need to know. Affluent shoppers are shaping the future of grocery retail according to a recent report by package facts. There are 42 million food shoppers, the household income of $150,000 or more, and these consumers are having a significant impact on the food and district. The notion that natural and organic practices produced better food is increasing in the minds of this key demographic resulting in a trend that affects nearly every aspect of the food and beverage industry. The data collected highlights the differences between the in store choice, affluent, fluent, and other food choppers concluding that the future of grocery retail is aligned to
Speaker 1:
8:56
meet the expectations of higher earning households than other consumer segments. Affluent shoppers tend to avoid foods with artificial ingredients more frequently. They also have a much higher likelihood of buying fresh department products and value added products such as prepared fresh seafood. This group of shoppers are also twice as likely as their less affluent counterparts to use online grocery delivery services, making them an integral part of the grocery industry's growing online. Component package facts advised that grocers improved their outreach to affluent customers by reflecting the values of the natural channel such as fair trade, local sourcing, sustainability, you mean animal treatment and clean labels. And with this in mind, how much more are shoppers willing to pay for organic produce? Produce retailer reports on the Packers fresh trends 2019 consumer surveys, which indicates that the growth of organic produce is poised to continue to preface us.
Speaker 1:
9:56
Organic sales hit a record 52 and a half billion dollars in 2018 of 6.3% from the previous year. In the surveys responses, 57% of respondents said they would purchase organic produce if price was no issue. However, typically cost is a key consideration for consumers considering an organic purchase with 60% of shoppers who bought organic in the last year saying that they weight any extra cost versus the perceived advantage to their health. But how much more will consumers pay? And at Barry's approximately one third of shoppers said they would pay less than 10% more for organics. While another 31% of shoppers said they would pay 10 to 24% more consumers across all age groups expressed a willingness to pay 10 to 24% more for organics. However, in addition to that, younger consumers were most willing to pay more for organic with 19% saying they'd pay up to 25 to 49% more. The top reasons given for buying organic produce are nutrient content, personal health, environmental responsibility, and food safety and avoiding chemicals.
Speaker 1:
11:06
And now that we've heard a bit about shoppers, what do we need to know about suppliers? There are five big supply chain changes that growers should be ready for. Shipping and logistics are complex and ever-changing aspects of production agriculture, and this especially rings true in the production and delivery of fresh produce. The retail giant. Amazon has essentially redefined supply chain logistics in the 21st century and the growing interconnectedness of all things digital is another driving factor in supply chain innovation. Another significant change in supply chain is how products themselves are sold and marketed. As a producer. One must acknowledge that we're no longer just selling an Apple or a bundle of carrots. We're selling an entire experience and that will affect how items are shipped and delivered to market. The vibe. Major trends impacting the supply chain right now are first explosive e-commerce growth, second re urbanization of America. Third data, first, everything, fourth artificial intelligence, proliferation, and last consumer need for speed and freshness. The takeaway here is that change is coming and it's coming rapidly, whether it's in shipping and logistics or in every other aspect of agriculture. Up next is ag cow, Maura ag. Welcome back to foreign food facts.
Speaker 4:
12:36
Thanks Phil. Good to be with you.
Speaker 2:
12:38
So aging, what I'd like to do is I'd like to focus a little bit on today's discussion all about community gardens. How important are they? Are they growing and what's the result of them?
Speaker 4:
12:51
Well, I can tell you that, uh, without a doubt, community gardens or let's call it [inaudible] edible landscaping is growing at a tremendous rate, uh, all over the world. Uh, it's not necessarily a phenomena anymore. It's a basically a common occurrence. Uh, years ago as an example, we started a, uh, the school garden program here in California and there was, uh, that point almost 80% of the schools by the time we finished our program, had school gardens and community gardens, which is a wonderful way to transform and underutilized or abandoned landscape and turned it into something productive, has been something that we've been doing, I've been doing for over 34 years. Uh, it's a fun to do, it's exciting to do. And more importantly, the tools to do it are a better and more widely available than ever. And I think this idea that a garden or a farm is differentiated by maybe the sales of the products on site or the amount of product coming off. I think there's enormous gardens in the United States that are producing edible products as opposed to very small farms that are also producing a lots of different edible products. So we almost used the N the name interchangeably when you're talking about a community garden.
Speaker 2:
14:06
So you mentioned the economics of community gardens, that some of them are selling what they're growing. What's the big picture as it relates to economics for these edible landscaping plots of land
Speaker 4:
14:19
and you mentioned the word plots. Many community gardens are set up where everybody gets their own individual plot and in so many cases there's a long waiting line for people to get their own plot. My organization solutions for urban agriculture, which has been doing a lot of these community farms or community garden projects for many years, we've shied away from those kinds of community gardens where everybody has a plot. We've been more of a community project where everybody works on this, on the entire project, on the available land there, and in many cases let's say we'll custom grow food for the food bank, but allow for individuals to be sure they can take product home themselves. Those that are volunteering or those who are that are working. So there's a wide range of ways to describe what community gardening can be. Again, the model that has everybody having their own individual plot has a lot of politics.
Speaker 4:
15:16
If you can imagine involved with it than a lot of, uh, you know, turf Wars if you will, of people trying to make sure that their plot gets what it needs but doesn't get a irrigation spillover from the next door neighbor or different crops are being grown some very, uh, very carefully, some, a little bit more wildly. Although you know, there's all kinds of philosophies on how you grow out a landscape and turn it into something edible. So we know that it really depends on your vision and your imagination that a community garden can be a, a lot of things to a lot of different people
Speaker 2:
15:50
as you describe it. I can see the benefits of both. However, here in Santa Monica we've got a community garden. It's a full city block where people have their individual plots and there's actually probably two or three of them as I walked past over the weekend where you'll see people, you know, sitting down in chairs on their plot with their radio or their TV blaring and the other gardeners or the other mini farmers if you will, are just looking at them like, what are you doing here? This, this is not someplace where you should be, you know, watching the ballgame so I can understand what you're talking about as as far as a lot of the fights going on, um, with when we look at the community garden as you're doing it, as you're describing it, I would also think that there's a lot of benefits, um, to really bonding with your neighbors as well.
Speaker 4:
16:47
Yeah. And there really is a wide range, if you will call it. We always like to mention that it's the one plus one equals three. There's so many mutual benefits that come out of re-purposing or utilizing under utilized or abandoned properties and turning them into a community asset and community resource. The community concept is what is your community? Is it a school? Is that a food bank, food pantries? Is it a cancer treatment center? Is it a home for the seniors where the seniors themselves become some of the greatest volunteers? We've seen all of the above. Those things that I just described are our normal collaborating partners that have come together to help us with many of our urban gardens here in orange County here in Southern California and we continue to just find new partners all the time that want to be a part of this. There's a lot of nice projects that are starting to create kind of an Academy for new urban farmers, both young and old that hopefully might be able to make a living actually on a garden or a very dynamic concentrated production garden. And again, the other part of that is there's so many new kinds of ways to grow edible landscapes, hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics, there all can be part of that. The edible landscape technology that's going into producing things.
Speaker 1:
18:09
Well a G as always. Thank you so much for your hard work and for your insights and joining us. Bright here on farm food facts.
Speaker 4:
18:17
Well again, there's a lot of excitement there. So for those that are listening, um, support is always the number one thing to get these projects started. Find a good farmer that has some good background, then he can help you basically get up and running and then the rest of it is just old fashioned elbow grease and a little bit of focus and attention. So thanks so much Phil.
Speaker 1:
18:38
For more information on all things, food and agriculture, and to listen to our archives, please visit food dialogues.com under the programs and media tab and visit us on Facebook at us farmers and ranchers or on Twitter at USF RA. Until next time.
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