Initiatives to foster a transition toward organic agriculture have drawn policy-makers' interest worldwide. However, research studies evaluating the effectiveness of policies intended to promote ‘scaling-out’ organic production systems to more farms and larger production areas are still rare. To better understand the role that public procurement and price incentive policies have in scaling-out organic transitions, we assessed the effects of the Brazilian Food Acquisition Program (PAA) in a group of municipalities. PAA offers both markets for family farmers and price incentives for certified organic products. However, our findings suggest that farmers who establish organic production systems and become certified also gain access to other markets; ones that they find more attractive than those created by the PAA. Thus, we find that the PAA offers insufficient incentives for adopting organic practices among peasant and family farmers and supports the argument that scaling-out organic production is a multilevel process that depends on different, but interrelated drivers.