By Glacier FarmMedia staff
The Canadian federal government announced a $640,000 investment to the Canadian Organic Growers (COG) on Sept. 10 during National Organic Week.
The demand for organic foods in Canada continues to rise and the investment is aimed at getting more consumers to buy Canadian-made organics produced locally by Canadian organic farmers. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more Canadians are buying local food more often and almost three-quarters are choosing to buy Canadian.
“Canada’s organic growers have reason to celebrate. More and more Canadians are buying the fresh organic produce that we have to offer, both locally and across the country. This strategy will help the organic industry seize new opportunities to ensure Canadian consumers have access to Canadian organic food,” said William Amos, Member of Parliament for Pontiac.
The investment, made through the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program, will allow COG to develop a strategy that identifies and finds solutions to organic supply chain barriers so that Canadian organic producers can realize their full economic potential and more Canadian consumers can buy locally produced Canadian organic food. In 2019, imports of organic goods were valued at $789 million.
Strategy recommendations will be assessed and evaluated by an independent industry-wide national advisory committee and a final report will be published that will explore investment opportunities to meet domestic demands and recommendations on how to best seize the opportunities. The report will also help quantify the economic and environmental benefits of increasing domestic organic production and supply chains.
“As we stand at the juncture of the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, the launch of this collaborative, industry-wide project is vital for Canadians. Gaining an understanding of the barriers that exist between organic farmers and consumers will help the organic industry meet the growing demand for organic food in Canada and abroad, and play a prominent role in Canada’s economic recovery. This project will also help Canada advance action on climate change through its support for sustainable agriculture practices and the Canadian farmers on the front lines of the climate crisis,” said Gillian Flies, president of the Canadian Organic Growers Board of Directors.
Canadian Organic Growers is Canada’s national organic farmer and consumer association, offering training and resources to raise awareness about organics and assist farmers and gardeners in adopting sustainable and commercially viable, organic production methods.