Canada's organic sector recently celebrated its inaugural Organic Week (www.organicweek.ca) from October 9th to 16th, 2010 all across Canada. This event, which many industry representatives considered a large success, began Thanksgiving weekend and extended to World Food Day. During the week-long festivities, numerous consumers, producers and organic enthusiasts participated in a range of unique events planned across the country, including workshops, local farm tours and in-store promotions.
The Canadian organics sector has seen consistent growth over the past decade. The Canadian organic retail market was valued at roughly $2 billion in 2008, representing 66 per cent growth since 2006. Today, there is a variety of organic agricultural products available on store shelves that range across the entire organic food chain.
To help kick off the week-long festivities, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz announced an investment of more than $150,000 to assist the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) in promoting Canada's high quality organic products to consumers abroad. This investment will enable COTA to participate in international trade shows, develop a Canadian exporter toolkit, and establish web resources to profile the sector and launch the Canada Organic Brand. The Association will build upon its long-term international strategy and provide information and resources on markets to the Canadian organic sector.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) market development officers who work on the organics files and members of the Canada Brand group visited Rainbow Foods in Ottawa on October 14, to meet local producers and talk about the new organic standards and policies in Canada. The Canada Brand group contributed to Organic Week by funding promotional tools that were used at the retail level to highlight Canadian organic products. Participation in the event emphasized consumers' interest in organic products, and also allowed members from the Canadian Organic Growers association to meet with consumers.
As of June 30, 2009, the Government of Canada established the Organic Products Regulations, and Organic Week organizers couldn't be more pleased with the growing awareness of the government's new organic certification logo. The Canada Organic Logo is the consumer's guarantee that the product complies with the regulations and related organic standards. In addition, the logo is backed by yearly on-site inspections, democratically-developed standards and enforcement by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
It is expected that CFIA's Organic Products Regulations will foster continued growth and development of the organic sector. The regulations require mandatory certification for agricultural products represented as organic in international and inter-provincial trade, or that bear the federal organic agricultural products logo (as shown below). Organic products that meet the requirements of the Organic Products Regulations and have been certified by CFIA accredited certification bodies may use the Canada organic certification logo.
Canada's first designated Organic Week enabled Canada's organic industry to proactively inform Canadian consumers about the Canadian organic regulations. Additionally, organizers of the event were pleased with the amount of interest and participation from retailers and producers, and look forward to celebrating organic week on an annual basis.
For more information on the Canadian organic sector, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/organic and for more information on CFIA's Organic Products Regulations please visit www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/orgbio/orgbioe.shtml.
Senior Market Development Officer
Organics Section, Food Industry Division
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Cornelia // 1-Jul-11
"Now I'm like, well duh! Truly thankful for your help"
Comments on this story are pre-moderated. Before they appear, comments are reviewed by moderators.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.
Provision of the information requested on this form is voluntary. The information is being collected for the purpose of responding to your query/comments, and to improve our Internet suite of products and services. Personal information that you provide is protected under the provisions of the Privacy Act. Your personal information will be stored in Personal Information Bank number AAFC PSU 914. The Act provides you with a right of access to your information. If you wish to avail yourself of this right or require clarification about this Statement, contact our Privacy Co-ordinator.