Seed World

The Organic Sector is Getting a Big Financial Boost

The Canadian organic industry is one of Canada’s fastest growing agricultural sectors, thanks to Canada’s hardworking organic farmers and food processors who are respected around the world for supplying nutritious, sustainable, and high-quality organic products. With more than $5.4 billion in retail sales in 2017, growing the Canadian organic sector will contribute to our government’s ambitious goal of reaching $75 billion in annual agri-food exports by 2025.

Speaking at the Guelph Organic Conference and Tradeshow, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced the Government of Canada is providing the essential support to update the Canadian Organic Standards.The Government of Canada will provide the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) the necessary funds to cover costs associated with the 2020 Canadian Organic Standards review.

The review is done every five years to ensure production methodologies reflect current practices and technological advancements being employed by the organic industry.Recognized product standards are a key factor in the facilitation of international trade and AAFC officials will continue working with the sector to further support its sustainability and growth.

MacAulay also announced $72,500 for the Canadian Organic Growers for the development of a user friendly guide to the Canadian Organic Standards. This guide will provide organic producers, processors, handlers and manufacturers in Canada as well as those wishing to enter it, a clear understanding of what is required to become a certified organic producer in Canada.

“The Canadian Organic Standards are the backbone of our entire organic industry. They define ecological agricultural practices that target productivity, profitability, the protection of our environment, and the humane treatment of livestock. Canadian Organic Growers are pleased to see the Government of Canada funding the Canadian Organic Standards, which will ensure continued consumer confidence alongside the long-term success of the Canadian Organic industry,” said Ashley St Hilaire, Director of Programs and Government Relations, Canadian Organic Growers.

As well, the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) has received an additional $95,114 through the AgriMarketing Program, towards their international market development strategy. This investment will enable COTA to attend international conferences and trade shows and lead outgoing missions to raise awareness of Canadian organic products in key markets in Europe, United States, Asia and Latin America.

“As Canada presently holds a leadership position on organics on the world stage, the export opportunities for organic were at risk if the funding had not come through. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Canadian government to continue to grow the domestic and export opportunities for the Canadian organic industry and meet increasing consumer demand for organic products,” added Tia Loftsgard, Executive Director, Canada Organic Trade Association.