New Farm Organic Price Index® (OPX®) is the
first-ever wholesale pricing tool organic farmers can use to market
their products competitively. Available free of charge on www.newfarm.org,
the index tracks selected prices from the fruit, vegetable and grain
Why create such a tool?
While conventionally grown or raised commodities have been tracked
with pricing indices for many years, the organic community has historically
been marginalized and has lacked access to pricing information.
Today, organic farmers hold only half the information necessary--the
cost of their production--to make sound business decisions. With
the OPX, they now have the other half of the equation: accurate
Without the OPX, the situation organic farmers and buyers face
is analogous to buying and selling stocks without having daily stock
valuation figures posted on the stock exchanges. Buyers and sellers
would not know what had recently been paid for a stock and no idea
of its current value. However, with the OPX in hand, farmers can
better plan their business strategies by tracking price trends over
time, have an educated idea of the true value of the products they
produce and determine production budgets based on organic sales
What foods does the OPX track?
A variety of fruit, vegetables and grains.
Where does the OPX get prices?
The OPX uses a variety of data sources, seeking the best available
data on the developing wholesale markets for certified organic fresh
produce and grains, as well as the emerging national market for
certified organic dairy and self-identified sustainably raised meats.
Data sources include:
Fruits and vegetables
Organic prices are provided by large wholesale distributors or sales
agencies that specialize in organic fruits and vegetables on the
East and West Coasts. These organizations perform a sales and distribution
function similar to the United States Department of Agriculture’s
(USDA’s) Agricultural Marketing Service terminal markets.
Conventional prices are gathered from AMS terminal markets in Boston
Grains Organic prices
are provided with the assistance of elevators that trade organic
grains throughout the year and the Organic Farmers’ Agency
for Relationship Marketing (OFARM). OFARM represents organic producer
groups in 18 states and Canada. Conventional prices are gathered
from AMS sources and from grain delivered to The Andersons, a large
private grain handling firm with elevators in Illinois and Ohio.
How does the OPX help farmers and wholesale buyers
Prices of organically grown and conventionally grown foods are seen
side by side, highlighting the premiums organic can often obtain.
Buyers and sellers of certified organic food now know what certain
items should and do sell for around the country.
Fair information for insurers. Organic
farmers, who have traditionally had to insure their crops according
to conventional pricing, now have better documented price information
for their goods, resulting in more appropriate coverage.
Helping retail consumers. The
OPX helps educate retail consumers, resulting in a better understanding
of organic vs. conventional pricing and the food marketplace.
The New Farm Organic