Viewpoint: Conventional, organic farmers risk alienating consumers by ‘trashing’ each other’s products

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Credit: Oscar Health Insurance

I once rescued a car from a mechanic who was pushing much unnecessary “repair” work.

The ethical mechanic I took it to next, recommended by locals, found what needed fixing, fixed it, and gave me my car back for a fraction of what the other guy had proposed. “We don’t talk-down our competition here,” he replied to me, when I told him about the first mechanic ….

[Editor’s note: Ed White covers agriculture markets for Western Producer.]

That’s a good approach for farmers to take when dealing with production and marketing systems that are different from their own. Trashing people who aren’t even your direct competitors achieves little, but it may raise suspicion and skepticism about farmers and farming among consumers. It tarnishes everybody.

Related article:  Is the anti-GMO movement following PETA's animal rights activist playbook?

The danger of farmers badmouthing one another is that it raises the general suspicions about farming and agriculture in general. It’s not a zero-sum game. And increasing public skepticism about farming is likely to result in more regulations, a bigger burden or reporting requirements on everybody, and more red tape.

Read full, original article: Resist the urge to trash talk other parts of agriculture

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