Economy and Business
Mon June 4, 2012
Organic processors optimistic about future
A recent survey has found Wisconsin organic processors expect to expand their businesses in the near future.
There are just over 200 organic processing companies in the state. A survey from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection indicates that most organic processors that responded to the survey were optimistic their businesses will grow 10 to 30% whether in production, jobs created, or both. Pumpkin seed oil company co-owner Ken Seguine says its best for growers to have processors nearby that are large enough to meet demand, “Local is a huge buzzword, locally produced products are very saleable and very popular, to be able to do that we need to have local organic processors for a variety of products.”
The survey also indicates that larger organic processing companies are open to helping new businesses get started. Laura Paine is an organics specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer protection. She says smaller startups can sell a product without buying a facility first, “So a company had a dairy plant can go through the process of being certified and they can do processing for another smaller start-up company.”
Paine presented the survey's findings to her agency at a board meeting last month. She says the number of farms in the state have grown nine percent every year since 2005.