Supply and Market Analysis for Organic Producers in the Four Corners States
Our project was approved in summer 2005. We were able to obtain the names and contact information for all certified (or exempt) organic producers in the states of AZ, CO, NM and UT from public access records. Concurrently, a survey instrument was developed and approved by the Human Research Committee at Colorado State University. The survey was mailed to 288 producers in January 2006 and to date (April 17, 2006) we have received 154 completed surveys. We found 13 producers were ineligible so we now have a response rate of 56%. Eighteen of 24 phone interviews have also been completed.
Objective 1 of the project is to better understand the organic market through a comprehensive market supply analysis. To do so, we will develop and implement a survey of all certified organic producers in the Four Corners states. Objective 2 of the project is to identify market opportunities that are as yet untapped and to develop solutions to barriers that exist to those markets. A comprehensive literature search and interviews with organic producers, state experts, and industry members in the region will be utilized as a first step. Objective 3 is to communicate findings to organic and organic-interested producers, extension agents, industry members, and non-profit organizations that work with these producers. We will develop a final report for dissemination to target audiences that will include the full analysis of our research.
As of April 2006 we have completed Objective 1 and have 75% of Objective 2 completed. The remaining interviews should be completed by May 10, 2006. In the meantime the survey data are being entered into a spreadsheet for subsequent analysis, and interview recordings are being transcribed. The information dissemination phase of the project, or Objective 3, will occur after the research findings have been analyzed. This work will occur between now and April 2007 or approximately Year 2 of the project. We feel we have met all our projected timelines and expect to complete the overall project on time and on budget.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
In terms of resources impacted, we feel that completion of the project will positively affect, in the long-term, land, air, and water resources by increasing acreage in organic production, as organic production uses fewer petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that can harm these resources. Animal resources being produced under organic systems will be provided with higher quality environments and increased access to free-range/grazing systems. Finally, consumers will have more organic food available from the region. The economic impact of the research will be realized through the growth of local and regional organic agricultural markets for the economy as a whole, as well as for producers, including increased income opportunities for organic producers who take advantage of new local and national market opportunities identified through the project.
Professor and Extension Specialist
University of Arizona
Washington, DC 20036
Southwest Marketing Network
Office Phone: 9705882292
Takoma Park, MD 20912