Feed Strategy - April 2018 - 36
36 ❙ FeedStrategy
FRAUDULENT ORGANIC GRAINS
numerous studies and market data have shown
that they are willing to pay a premium.
But when the crux of organic food's
value proposition relies on consumer
trust in the supply chain, regulators and
certification agencies, what do scandals
such as fraudulent grain imports do to
"Consumers have a lot information to decipher so they
hold those labels and standards as credible resources,"
O'Carroll said. "I trust that what I buy is what I'm getting
- so yes, it does shake consumer confidence and we owe
it to ourselves to do our part to ensure that anything in our
supply chain is actually real."
Consumers are increasingly concerned about who is
producing their food and how it's being produced, and
organic agriculture "needs to stand up together
to keep the integrity of the seals consumers
trust," she said.
"If the grain
delivery doesn't come
meet the standard,
reject it," she said. "Domestically, we're getting rejected
at the elevator if we don't meet quality specs. The same
standards should be held for international players."
Sources suggest imported organic grains be rejected at
the port if they test below the 5 percent contamination
threshold set by Non-GMO Project limits or to
European organic feed standards.
The role of the US organic
GRAIN IMPORTS $
totaled more than
O'Carroll supports the import
of organic grains, but also feels U.S.
farmers are missing an opportunity.
"While we won't be able to compete
with foreign imports on price because
million they're willing to produce large volumes
on very slim margins, we can compete
with them on quality," she said.
If grain producers struggle to be
profitable, O'Carroll suggests they take action
and produce what the U.S. consumer wants.
"If you're a conventional farmer, consider
transitioning, consider going non-GMO - it's an option
and that's one of the benefits of being a farmer," she said.
"To survive on the farm, profitability and your profit
margin often come down to the decisions we make. If
the way we used to do business isn't keeping us aﬂoat or
allowing our banks to give us operating capital, we need
to adjust and move with the times." ■
References upon request
What can organic feed
Despite emerging traceability
technologies, such as blockchain, O'Carroll
believes "anything can be manipulated," so grain testing is
critical at multiple touchpoints.
"It's not enough to rely on test results collected at the
beginning [of transport], but make sure to collect samples
and test at the end delivery point as well," she said.
She also suggests organic feed manufacturers
know and trust the buyer they are sourcing from
- domestically and internationally - and to include
specific quality clauses in their contracts.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ April 2018