The next time you hear of onion prices skyrocketing, don’t panic. Go organic! Despite the common perception that organic fruits and vegetables are expensive, there are stores in the city that sell onions for Rs 48 per kg, while the retail price hovers between Rs 67 and Rs 80.
At ReStore, an organic market in Adyar, onion prices have remained fixed since January and didn’t fluctuate even when the retail price touched the three digit mark. “We decide prices of every vegetable after discussion with the farmers, and the price is fixed. The price of onions has been Rs 48/kg since January and will not be revised till the end of the year,” said Ananthoo, the man behind ReStore and an organic farming activist.
On the flip side, organic onions were sold at this price even when market rates were as low as Rs 15/kg.
While expenses incurred due to lorry strikes, labour issues, natural disasters and spoilage can affect wholesale vegetable prices on a daily basis, organic retailers generally factor in all these costs beforehand. “We protect both the farmers and consumers. Market trends don’t worry us because our produce is procured from less than 100 km away,” he adds.
Railway clerk Sathyamoorthy said he stopped buying onions when the price hit Rs 90. But his wife noticed the organic section at a small shop in Villivakkam.
With the price of onions at other outlets between `50 and `80, Ananthoo said a cap of 2 kg per person had to be enforced to ensure their produce wasn’t used for undue profit.