University of California

California handlers describe marketing issues for organic kiwifruit


Hoy F. Carman
Karen M. Klonsky

Authors Affiliations

H.F. Carman is Professor, Depatment of Agricutural and Resource Economics, UC Davis; K.M. Klonsky is Farm Management Specilalist, Depatment of Agricutural and Resource Economics, UC Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 58(3):169-175. DOI:10.3733/ca.v058n03p169. July 2004.

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California kiwifruit is one of several commodities with a federal marketing order covering both conventional and organic products. Organic kiwifruit handlers were asked for their views on marketing issues for organic kiwifruit and how they differ from those for conventional kiwifruit. Organically produced kiwifruit accounted for 6.1% of total 2001-2002 California kiwifruit production. There are several differences between organic and conventional kiwifruit. The average size of organic kiwifruit is smaller than conventional kiwifruit; sales tend to occur later in the marketing year; there are more intermediaries (middlemen) in the marketing channel; and a larger proportion of organic product is packed in smaller shipping containers. The traditional price premium for organic product is decreasing as organic production increases, and it is not unusual for organically produced kiwifruit to be sold as conventional fruit in conventional marketing channels. Product appearance is becoming more important to consumers of organic fruit, who are now less willing to pay premium prices for cosmetically challenged product.


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Further reading

Demitri C, Greene C. Recent Growth Patterns in the U.S. Organic Foods Market. Ag Info Bull 777. 2002. USDA Economic Research Service. www.ers.usda.gov/publications/aib777

Greene C, Kremen A. U.S. Organic Farming in 2000-2001. Ag Info Bull 780. 2003. USDA Economic Research Service. www.ers.usda.gov/publications/aib780/

Klonsky K, Tourte L, Kozloff R, Shouse B. Statistical Review of California's Organic Agriculture 1995-1998. 2002. DANR Pub 3425. UC DANR and Agricultural Issues Center. http://aic.ucdavis.edu/Organic 1995-98.pdf

Carman H, Klonsky K. 2004. California handlers describe marketing issues for organic kiwifruit. Hilgardia 58(3):169-175. DOI:10.3733/ca.v058n03p169
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