With organic products becoming more popular, it’s as important than ever for growers to know the ins and outs of organic production. Below, Jiffy Director of Marketing Roelof Drost shares his insight.
Produce Grower: Organic production has seen an upward trend over the past few years, and companies seem eager to be able to supply organic growers with products that are suitable for organic applications. What is Jiffy’s view on this?
Roelof Drost: Jiffy looks at it this way; at the time the Jiffypot was developed in the mid 1950s, most growers worldwide grew organic without the need of organic certification. Most small farmers would sell their products directly to farmers markets. But times have changed, there are much larger farms today and food is shipped over long distances from farm to store. Most consumers now purchase their food at a supermarket, and much of the food on the market is grown using pesticides. For today’s consumer, to know for sure that the food is grown the healthiest way possible, organic certification is a must.
PG: Why does Jiffy believe offering products suitable for organic growing methods is important?
RD: Jiffy’s products such as the Jiffypot and Jiffy-7 are natural products that have been around for many years now. No chemicals, no gimmicks, 100 percent natural. Today, we still produce most of our products the same way as we did when we first produced them, natural ingredients only. This is why our products are naturally suitable to be used in organic applications. It is a natural fit, and we aim to have as many products as possible we manufacture OMRI listed.
PG: What other changes might we see in our industry, especially looking at this trend toward certified organic?
RD: We will see organic food growers establishing closer to where the food is consumed. Jiffy plays in on this trend by offering organic Jiffy-7 pellets and Grow Block systems to be used by the future organic farmers, such as organic solutions for hydroponic farming and vertical farming.
PG: How are products you supply to the organic grower different from Jiffy’s regular products?
RD: If we look at a Jiffypot, the original biodegradable pot, then nothing is different. All of our pots therefore are good to be used in organic applications. The pot is made of natural ingredients, peat and wood fiber. It always has been this way. We will not even use recycled paper because the printing ink on the pages might contain something we might not like to have in our pots. So, our Jiffypot has always been pure nature.
For other products, such the Jiffy-7 pellets, we would change to an organic approved lime and fertilizer, or leave the fertilizer out altogether. In the case of our Organic Grow Blocks and Grow Bags, treating the coir product differently is important, still making sure the salts are removed from the product to get the best possible results for the organic application the item is used for. — Interviewed by Chris Manning