Organic industry receives just under $1 million from federal government

The federal government this week announced it will provide $992,131 to the Canada Organic Trade Association to develop market opportunities for organic products, and build on the “Canada Organic Brand.”

The funding announcement was made by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau at Cooperative Alentour in Sherbrooke, QC, on Friday, when she also took the opportunity to announce that public consultations on the proposed revisions to the Canadian Organic Standards (COS) will begin this summer.

“Canadian organic farmers and food processors produce high quality products that meet the demands of consumers at home and abroad, while providing thousands of jobs across the country,” Bibeau said. “Our commitment to help update the Standards and develop markets for Canadian organic products will contribute to a strong and competitive organic industry.”

The over $992,000 will fund:

  • Trade show booths in international tradeshows;
  • Facilitating incoming trade missions;
  • Providing technical assistance to the establishment of organic equivalency agreements;
  • Promoting “Canada Organic Brand” internationally.

“With the government’s target of $75 billion in agricultural exports by 2025, it is crucial that booming sectors like organic be provided with equal opportunities to thrive in the global marketplace,” said Marie-Michèle Le Moine of the Canada Organic Trade Association. “We are pleased to see government recognition and the need to step up to support and build on the impressive momentum of Canadian organics, keeping our sector competitive with our largest trading partners.”

Related: MacAulay announces $8.3 million for organic research (08/18)

Canadians will have a 90-day public review period to analyze proposed changes to the COS, after which time the technical Committee will vote on the amendments, and publish the updated standards in the fall.

According to a press release, the federal government has provided support of around $300,000 to improve the review of the standards and the sector’s sustainability, and over $250,000 to help the Canadian General Standards Board complete their work on the COS.

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