Who owns the US organic market?

US organic mrketWhere the US corporations lead the rest of the world follows, the organic market is no different.

The US organic market is the world’s leading organic market, in 2013 Statista estimated it at 24, 347 million Euros, as opposed to Europe’s largest organic market Germany 7,550 million Euros (See http://www.statista.com/statistics/244375/revenue-of-organic-food-in-europe-and-the-united-states/) :

Organically certified food is in that premium food category loved by corporations, a niche market that is up to a point price insensitive. Organic buyers motivated primarily by perceived health benefits, and secondly by the environmental benefits of organic production allow corporations to increase their profit yields by paying a larger premium for organic. The major US food corporations have been quick to step in. The reality is that in the US, as in Europe, the majority of organic produce is not bought at farmers markets or direct from producers, they are just a side show, the real business is through major retailers.

Large food corporations are of a size that can negotiate with large retailers and the wider range of produce they can offer the more powerful negotiating hand they hold.

According to Dr. Phil Howard, an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State the first acquisition wave was between December 1997 and October 2002, this coincided with the launch and implementation of the US organic standards which regularised the rules for certified organic produce. A second wave started after 2012, 

Dr. Howard observes, “I expect more deals to occur, since organic foods sales continue to increase faster than sales of conventional foods, and corporations are flush with cash and/or access to cheap credit.”

Source: The Cornucopia Institute

Back to work- at last



Sitting down for a well deserved cup of tea. After five weeks in hospital over Christmas and New Year, and a couple of weeks of fiddling around the Domaine repairing the damage the wild boar have done, finally I have restarted work on the plants. Being able to work in a T Shirt with a wonderful view of a snow covered Canagou probably helps.

Caroline was up before me and kindly labelled all the Moroccan Mints (Mentha spicata var. crispa) which I had separated out yesterday, as well as sowing 65 pots of parsley who’s seeds she had soaked for a good 24 hours before hand. The Moroccan mints are truly incredible, a variety of Spear Mint with such a powerful aroma, makes a fantastic tea, great for adding to salads, mixing in with fruit salad. A client from the Perpignan market brought me back some cuttings from an organic farm her brother runs in Algeria .

Finally I got round to digging out the Aquatic Mint barrel, killing all the horrible moth larva, cutworms I think, that infests all the barrels and replacing it with Chocolate Mint (Mentha × piperita ‘Chocolate Mint’) to create a mother plant for the years to come. What on earth possessed me to buy an aquatic mint in the first place eludes me, they are wonderful if you have a stream running at the bottom of the garden, or a pond, half way up a mountain in the south of France is however a less than optimal location.



The French Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa ) is way ahead of schedule, so I lifted out the smaller of the mother plants and separated out 35 side shoots- if we don’t get a late winter they should rapidly flourish. I did however pop them into small pots, so if no hard frosts arrive then they will have to be repotted in April/May.

I may be completely wrong but I have a suspicious feeling that Winter isn’t finished with us yet, usually she waits until the Pyrenees ski stations close, after Easter, and then dumps a load of snow.

After the devastation caused by the wild boar all around our garden I finally took a deep breath and rebuilt the wall of the last years tomato patch. I clipped back and replanted the Loch Ness blackberries that the pigs had dug up, hopefully saving them. In front of them I put I a line of rosemary, then sage and in the front marjoram oregano, if all goes to plan and they are not dug up again they will be great from cutting and drying by the end of summer- although I do find that Rosemary takes at least two years to get its roots down before it starts growing noticeably above ground, I think I will clip their heads off and see if that encourages side growth earlier. Now onto the rest of the garden that has been dug up.

Foire Plantes et Nature de Prades 2016

foire de plantes et nature prades

foire de plantes et nature prades

Foire Plantes et Nature de Prades, the Spring Prades plant festival has been announced for the 10th April. It is a really nice plant festival, usually with a bbq and bar/buvette. As well as plants there are usually a number of environmental / green associations, honey sellers, dried herb sellers (Please check out our new selection first), lombiculure folks, and other assorted greenery stands. About a third of the sellers are certified organic producers, and the food has a gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options, well they did at last year’s Autumn foire de plantes.

If the weather is good then the Foire Plantes et Nature is held in the central square under the plantain trees, if not then in the Sports centre just off the road to the Pyrenees.

Here are a few photos of the 2014 event  http://prades.blogs.lindependant.com/tag/herbes+folles





Here is a list of those sellers who where at the Autumn Foire de Plantes  https://sites.google.com/site/foireplantesetnature/home/pepinieristes-exposants

If you are interested in booking a stall then the contact details of the Association herb folles an be seen here https://www.cactuspro.com/agenda/foire-plantes-et-nature-a-prades They are also just visible on the poster on the left.

Opening time 9am until 5pm

Hope to see you there

Court Circuit en Corbieres new blog

Court Circuit en Corbieres

Court Circuit en Corbieres

Court Circuit en Corbieres, our local association has launched s new blog. Court Circuit en Corbieres is now entering their third year of bringing local producers together with local clients. Court Circuit en Corbieres was formed as a response to the atomisation and economic decline of the Haut Corbieres. Drawing its inspiration from the ideas of the Slow Food Movement and also Transition Network, but also reaching back to the neo-ruralists of the late 1960s  Circuit en Corbieres seeks to encourage local residents and visitors alike to meet and support local producers, they work to encourage new producers to move and establish themselves in the Haut Corbieres.

Court Ciucuit en Corbieres acivities


Court Circuit en Corbieres runs a local producer delivery system, whereby you can order from a monthly updated list of local suppliers produce, see http://court-circuitencorbieres.eklablog.com/le-groupement-d-achat-c27186122

From June to September Court Circuit en Corbieres also organise a lovely little evening market in Laroque de Fa every Friday evening, from 5pm to 9pm, with a buvette, a bbq and food, often music so you can make a pleasant evening chatting with local producers and meeting locals and visitors alike.  See http://court-circuitencorbieres.eklablog.com/le-marche-c27186126 for more details.  We try and attend every month but because we do Narbonne Organic market and the Perpignan local producers market in Place de la Republique  every Saturday, as well as organic festivals and flower markets on Sundays it not possible to do every week. We need some sleep after all.

(Court Circuit en Corbieres is trying to keep local money local, as opposed to buying from the large national and international food retailers, so they are also looking at local money schemes such as the Cers complementary local money scheme based around Narbonne, but used throughout the Aude.

Slow Food Roussillon