Cultivation/Production, Fresh/ Table, North America

The Canadian grower who produces organic potatoes on a commercial scale

Organic potato production on a commercial scale is a challenge, but one Canadian grower in the province of Ontario is meeting it. Isaiah Swidersky offers a careful answer when asked if organic potato production is a risk worth taking. “To some degree it is, but there’s a reason I haven’t expanded it to 200 or 300 acres,” Swidersky says. “It’s a challenge to grow organic potatoes. But I’m optimistic. It’s a good challenge.” When Swidersky started his operation in 2003, his first target market for organic spuds was the gourmet and restaurant segment, but he found the market a “hard sell” with constant, seasonal demand for new potato varieties. These days he sells primarily to the table market, with most of his produce going to wholesaler packers who distribute to grocery stores. There are other risks to growing organic potatoes. Swidersky says that though prices are higher, yields are lower, and his organic spuds are at least as expensive to grow as conventional potatoes. More

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