Mar 22 2022

The Food Biz Ep 22 Recap: Outlandish Organic Prices

Joining hosts Kristyn Tarpey and Ryan Nelson on this week's episode of The Food Biz is Ryan Corey.  Ryan is the Vice President of Economics for Mercaris, with past experience in organic, biofuel, dairy, and livestock markets. He joins the podcast to discuss Mercaris’ Monthly Market Update Report and the recent global organic market. 

Mercaris Monthly Market Update Report gives static perspectives in commodity prices, as well as trade and livestock inventories. It also includes a deeper dive into current industry issues. The latest update focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, pertaining to the organic market. Ryan also notes the impact the existing shortage of organic oilseeds will have due to a heavy reliance on soy meal imports that were disrupted in the previous year. Ryan states that the preexisting importation of canola and sunflower imported from Ukraine and soy from Russia will tighten constraints in an already limited organic market. 

Carey states that the overarching threat to the industry will be if growers in Ukraine could not recertify their organic acres. It would take longer for organic markets to bounce back due to additional barriers compared to conventional production. Ryan also states that there are many variables at play which could nullify their ability to be certified moving forward. All these unknowns contribute to the additional risk of participating in organic production. 

Ryan Nelson transitions into a conversation regarding price increases as Ryan Carey says that it is difficult to accurately project due to all the variables that are unknown. Due to the limited options to replace organic feed, producers are currently stuck in the middle of current market volatility. 

The conversation shifts to market volatility and the history of organic markets, where Carey states that the organic markets traditionally do not see as much change. However, the current rally actions are fundamental changes likely to stay. Carey wraps up by simply stating that “global supply chains have been completely rearranged”. 

Kristyn transitions to the next section of the market update to focus on what stood out to Ryan Carey in the cumulative marketing year-to-date section. A rally of whole bean imports was projected yet the opposite has occurred. Organic corn imports are also at a record high, which raises questions about where high corn prices are coming from as a high supply exists in the market. 

Kristyn wraps up the conversation by asking Ryan Carey what has stood out in this report compared to previous reports, to which he says it is imperative to think broadly about international happenings and watch decisions made in the coming months as he predicts they will have heavy implications over the next year. 

For anyone interested in reading the Mercaris Market Update, the report is available on Mercaris’ website. Organic producers are also eligible for a free farmer plan, which includes organic bi-weekly reports on organic commodity prices and market information. 

Make sure to listen to the entire episode on Spotify or in the Apple Podcasts App!  While you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe. Also, feel free to reach out to us by email at with any discussion topics, questions, comments, or overall feedback; Ryan and Kristyn would love to hear from you!