Illinois Organic Farmers Adapt as Industry Changes

Illinois Organic Farmers Adapt as Industry Changes

ATLANTA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois farmers who grow local organic fruits and vegetables are adapting their business practices amid the changing market for organic produce.

The Chicago Tribune reports that many small Illinois farmers relied on sales through community-supported agriculture programs, where community members pay for a weekly box of vegetables.

Farmers say their CSA sales have decreased as competition changes. That includes large grocers offering organic produce and meal-kit startups gaining popularity.

Hans and Katie Bishop run PrairiErth Farm in Atlanta, Illinois, a rural area about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Peoria. The Bishops say they’re making many changes to how they run their business.

That includes expanding the company’s wholesale business, partnering with other farms and allowing CSA members to select what goes into their boxes for an additional cost.