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Supporting the growth of Canada’s organic sector

29 January 2018

Guelph, Ontario - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - The Canadian organic industry is one of Canada’s fastest growing agricultural sectors, thanks to Canada’s hardworking organic farmers and food processors who supply 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 the Canadian government’s ambitious goal of reaching $75 billion in annual agri-food exports by 2025.

Speaking on Friday 26th January at the Guelph Organic Conference and Tradeshow, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced that 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.

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.

Quick Facts

  • Leading up to this announcement, AAFC facilitated discussions with the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) to streamline the process of updating the standards and have reduced the cost to $250,000.
  • Over the next three years, the Government of Canada will provide up to $250,000 to the CGSB to cover costs associated with the 2020 Canadian Organic Standards review.
  • Annual retail sales of certified organic products in Canada are approximately $5.4 billion.
  • The $72,500 for the Canadian Organic Growers for the development of a user friendly guide to the Canadian Organic Standards comes through the Growing Forward 2 AgriMarketing Program.
  • Approximately 4,289 certified organic and transitional producers are working on over 930 thousand hectares of land in Canada (Source: 2016 Census of Agriculture)
  • Since October 2015, our Government has invested nearly $20 million in support of the organic sector, focusing on: facilitating adoption of innovative organic technologies,
    • helping organic farmers and processors take advantage of market opportunities,
    • funding youth jobs in the organic sector; and,
    • conducting organic research activities.
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada’s CGSB is a federal government organization that offers client-centred, comprehensive standards development and conformity assessment services in support of the economic, regulatory, procurement, health, safety and environmental interests of government, industry and consumers.
  • In July 2017, federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) ministers of agriculture reached agreement in principle on the key elements of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3-billion investment that will set a solid foundation for the future of Canada’s farmers and food processors, and continue to help them grow, innovate and prosper. The Partnership is set to launch on April 1, 2018.

Associated Links

Canadian Agricultural Partnership
Canadian Organic Standards
Organic Federation of Canada
Canada Organic Trade Association
The Canadian Organic Market Report 2017
Guelph Organic and Trade Conference
Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Canadian General Standards Board

As reported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

 





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