Government of Canada supports expanded market opportunities and supports collaboration to promote sustainability and growth for the organic industry

Government of Canada supports expanded market opportunities and supports collaboration to promote sustainability and growth for the organic industry

    March 1, 2022, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable  Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced funding of up to $770, 000 for the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) to support market development for organic products.  

     The funding will help create domestic and international export opportunities and promote the “Canada Organic” brand. The project includes the development of market activities at major food shows in Germany and the United States with additional activities related to market accessibility and technical assessments. The investment, made under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriMarketing Program, will support the association in welcoming incoming missions, offering retailer training, creating market reports and developing a directory of organic producers and exporters.

     With this investment, COTA has developed a 4-module retailer training program as well as a webinar training series on how to become ‘Export Ready’. It continues to expand the training program in order to deliver sessions virtually as well as in-person to a wide stakeholder audience. In the first two years of the program COTA has trained over 600 participants from 300 companies with estimated related sales close to $1.7 million.

     The organic industry is one of Canada’s fastest growing sectors, thanks to hardworking organic food producers and the organizations that support them. Collaboration and partnership are vital to ensuring this sector continues to grow to help meet increasing consumer demand.

    March 22, 2022, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $103,400 for the Organic Federation of Canada to enable a new collaboration that will promote sustainability and growth for Canada’s organics industry.

    This project brings together the three primary national organizations that support the organics industry: the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC), which is focused on standards maintenance and scientific research, Canadian Organic Growers (COG), which is focused on education for consumers and producers, and the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA), which supports market development.

     The Organic Federation of Canada is using the funds to develop a coordinated governance structure across the three organizations as well as to design, develop and implement a funding model that will be able to deliver the services required to support growth of the industry. Representing the entire value chain, this collaboration will consolidate and better coordinate efforts to strengthen the organic industry and assist producers in transitioning to organic production.

    Organic farming methods can improve soil health, promote biodiversity and boost farm resilience in the face of climate change. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting a strong and prosperous organic industry, which is good for both the environment and the economy.

    “Canada’s organic industry is one of our fastest growing sectors and demand for organic products continues to increase. The project brings together three key players to coordinate an approach that draws on each organization’s strengths. A stronger organic industry is not only good for Canada’s economy, but also for the environment.” – The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

     “I am very pleased to see the Government of Canada support the Organic Federation of Canada, headquartered here in Montreal. The organization plays an essential role in the adoption of high standards in organic farming through a rigorous scientific approach. This investment supports collaboration among the entire value chain to promote growth for the industry and help more producers transition to organic agricultural practices, which ultimately benefits both the consumer and the environment.” – The Honourable Marc Garneau, Member of Parliament for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount

    “Our organizations are thrilled to receive this timely funding to determine a long-term funding mechanism for organic’s future and that will provide the much needed stability our sector needs to further organic’s essential contribution to reducing GHGs, contributing to soil health and promoting sustainable business practices for domestic and global trade.” – Nicole Boudreau, Organic Federation of Canada, on behalf of the three organizations including Canada Organic Trade Association and Canadian Organic Growers

Quick Facts

  • The Canada Organic Trade Association is a not-for-profit industry association representing the organic value chain in Canada.
  • Globally, the organic sector shows a worth of $147.5 billion dollars in 2018, up from the $102 billion in 2016 and is expected to continue its burgeoning growth. The Canadian organic market is now the sixth largest organic market in the world valued at $8 billion, which is up from $5.4 billion in 2017.
  • There were more than 7,500 organic operations in Canada in 2019, accounting for roughly 2% of total agricultural land.
  • Last year, Canadian agri-food and seafood exports increased by 10.9%, reaching $82.2 billion — over $7 billion ahead of our target of $75 billion, and four years ahead of schedule. 
  • The funding announced today is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), a $50.3 million, five-year investment to help the agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive.