How much does a product cost?

“It’s too expensive.” “In my local grocery store, I find it for half the price.” “Organic is more expensive.”

It is common to hear these expressions when talking about food. They are generally used when there is a price difference between products that look similar but are not exactly the same.

Each person has the ability to identify the differences between things that seem identical but are not. A computer scientist can see huge differences where other people only see 2 computers. A car fan can get angry if you compare a classic with a utility vehicle. A wine expert will not judge a young wine in the same way as a wine aged in oak barrels. A person can fall asleep while watching a critically acclaimed film that a film critic has noted as a masterpiece.

“Buying food is the most powerful daily act within anyone’s reach to achieve social and environmental impact.”

It’s the same with food. There may be clementines, oils, or similar oranges, but no two are alike. The differences are not only in the taste but in how it has been cultivated, under which working conditions, or what natural resources have been used. Some foods may be cheaper economically but very expensive environmentally.

What you buy, who you buy from, and the price you pay has direct and indirect impacts on society and the environment. As consumers, we should require this information to be visible at any time during the purchasing process. 

Do you know the approximatives costs of 1 kg of organic oranges at a farm that employs permanent staff throughout the year and is engaged in direct online sales?

Production costs and depreciation: €0.81/kg

– Water, organic fertilisers, insecticides: €0.30/kg
– Personnel and social security: €0.30/kg
– Insurance against inclement weather: €0.03/kg
– Depreciation of farm value (20 years): €0.13/kg
– Depreciation of plantation (20 years): €0.03/kg
– Depreciation of machinery (10 years): €0.02/kg

Order preparation costs: €0.4/kg

Home delivery costs (10 kg box): €12

Total (approximate) = €2.40/kg* + VAT

*On top of this, we’d need to add the cost of a website, payment commissions and the people who write these texts, answer comments and help you with any doubts or issues.

I'm a “farmeneur” working for farmers in CrowdFarming and as a farmer in Naranjas del Carmen. I enjoy reading and writing about logistics and discussing its impact on food supply chain.