The Canadian organic industry is one of Canada’s fastest growing agricultural sectors. Statistics Canada reports that there are 4,289 certified organic and transitional producers working on more than 930,000 hectares of land (2016 Census of Agriculture).
With more than $5.4 billion in retail sales in 2017, growing the Canadian organic sector will contribute to the government’s ambitious goal of reaching $75 billion in annual agri-food exports by 2025.
Speaking recently at the Guelph Organic Conference and Tradeshow, Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced federal funding to update the Canadian Organic Standards.
The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) will be provided 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 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.
Minister 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.
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.