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Canadian government invests in organic sector

More than $700,000 will be invested

By Diego Flammini,

As people become more conscious about the foods they eat and the movement for organic items continues to gain momentum, farmers and other organic producers are under more pressure than ever to keep up with consumer demands while still trying to operate a profitable farm.

As a result, the Canadian federal government is investing $785,660 to the Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA) that’ll be used to help with promoting the country’s organic sector and increasing the visibility of Canada’s organic products on an international scale.

Investing chart

The monies will allow COTA to attend international conferences, trade shows and lead missions to Europe, the United States, Asia and Latin America to raise awareness about Canada’s organic products.

"This significant investment in Canada’s organic sector will allow our farmers and businesses to be more strategic and more impactful in how they go to market, both here at home and abroad,” said Matthew Holmes, Executive Director of COTA.

Canada is currently the 5th largest organic market in the world with over 4,500 organic farms and 1,000 organic processors and handlers. Organic exports are valued at more than $458 million with most of the products going to the USA, European Union and Japan.

"Canada’s organic sector is thriving, and as it continues to grow and diversify it is also becoming a core part of our country’s economy,” said Paul Calandra, Member of Parliament for Oak Ridges-Markham on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “Our government is proud to be able to support this sector in its efforts to increase its competitiveness and sustainability by creating economic opportunities and market growth in domestic and international markets."

A study in 2008 commissioned by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada showed that total annual sales of certified organic products in Canada is around $2 billion.

Tell us your thoughts about the government’s investment into Canada’s organic sector. As an organic producer are you encouraged that your products will be marketed internationally?

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