Organic products do not necessarily cost more

Organic products do not necessarily cost more

According to the Agence Bio barometer, 74% of French people say they do not consume organic products more often because of their saltier flavor. Not without reason. A UFC-Que Choisir survey of mass retailers noted last May that organic products were sold between 59% (at Lidl) and 86% (Monoprix) more expensive than their conventional equivalents. However, prices do not always reach such heights in organic stores, Amap subscriptions, markets and farms. Difficult to know their exact amount, due to the lack of automatic cash registers which relay the information, like mass distribution.

Professionals, however, notice that specialized stores are offering more and more affordable products. “They are improving in logistics,” notes Laure Verdeau, director of the Organic Agency. They have poached competent people from mass distribution. » “In specialized stores, organic fruits and vegetables are sometimes even cheaper than conventional ones in supermarkets because each store has premium products,” adds Magali Catteau, from the network of chambers of agriculture.

A 2023 article from the monthly Capital noted that a kilo of organic apples was cheaper at Biocoop (3.55 euros) than at Auchan (4.29 euros). “You can buy your olive oil for 8 euros at Biocoop, more economical than at Leclerc. I saw organic potatoes for 1.35 euros per kilo at the Lunéville market, an organic egg for 30 cents. It’s less than in certain supermarkets,” observes Laure Verdeau.

She wants to shake the idea that organic would be overpriced. “The last person to tell me it was too expensive had just had a nail manicure and had a Starbucks coffee for 5 euros,” she scolds. Philippe Camburet, president of the National Federation of Organic Agriculture (Fnab), emphasizes that organic canteens have barely increased their prices, thanks to work on waste and partnerships with local farmers.

Favor reasoned purchases

To avoid running up the bill, there are still basic rules to follow: do not buy processed products; cooking raw products; buy seasonal and in bulk in organic stores; increase plant proteins (lentils, almonds, quinoa, etc.) and reduce the proportion of animal proteins.

“The problem comes from the fact that we have all become illiterate with cooking pots,” sighs Laure Verdeau. ” We are what we eat. I call for awareness about the way we eat,” warns Philippe Camburet.

Organic will surely always remain more expensive because farmers generally produce less per hectare than conventional ones. They cannot eliminate pests as well as they do and are not allowed to apply certain fertilizers. Yields, which are lower for organic cereals, are between 28% for sunflower and 57% for soft wheat (survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, 2023).

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