Federal funds allocated to update Canadian organic standards

The Canadian organic production industry received confirmation today that the federal government will provide financial support for updating organic standards.

Today in Guelph federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay annouced the Government of Canada’s commitment to 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, according to a press release.

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.

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.

Canada’s organic industry accounts for just over $5.4 billion in retail sales (2017), and growing the Canadian organic sector will contribute to our government’s goal of reaching $75 billion in annual agri-food exports by 2025, says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Currently, there are approximately 4,289 certified organic and transitional producers working on 2.3 million acres of land in Canada, according to the 2016 Census of Agriculture.

Related: Efforts intensify in Ontario to regulate organic products.

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