Our neighbor here in the countryside of France raises organic sheep. I asked him how much extra he earns for the organic label. He said he loses money because of it. The certification costs more than the price increment. Furthermore, only the most elite restaurants will buy French lamb. New Zealand lamb is cheaper.
Another farmer who is not in it for the money.
Our young neighbor is a first generation farmer from Belgium. His family didn’t farm, but as a child he fell in love with farming. After a university education as an engineer he visited the south of France and fell in love with the countryside.
On 60 hectares he grows organic sunflower, barley (for beer and for feed, two different types), and hay for the sheep.
And the French eat German dairy beef. (The French beef is bought in Spain.)
This is the consumption of quantity rather than quality. People who believe domestic meat is “too expensive” presume an arbitrary frequency. A rational and ethical perspective is to base the frequency of consumption on the fair price of the good that sustain’s your nation’s farmers, heritage, and landscape.
The prices are distorted. Free trade and subsidized long-distance transport artificially depress the price of distant goods, skewing the system against nearby farmers who use good practices, whose prices reflect the real cost of doing it properly and here.
Originally posted on Artisan Modern