VICTORIAVILLE, QC, Feb. 21, 2018 /CNW/ - The Canadian organic industry is one of Canada's fastest growing agricultural sectors, thanks to Canada's hardworking organic farmers and food processors who are respected around the world for supplying nutritious, sustainable, and high-quality organic products. Growing the Canadian organic sector, which had more than $5.4 billion in retail sales in 2017, will contribute to our government's ambitious goal of reaching $75 billion in annual agri-food exports by 2025.
Speaking last month at the Guelph Organic Conference and Tradeshow, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced that the Government of Canada is providing essential support to update the Canadian Organic Standards.
The Government of Canada will provide the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) with the necessary funds to cover costs associated with the 2020 Canadian Organic Standards review. The review is done every five years to ensure that production methodologies reflect current practices and technological advances being used by the organic industry. Recognized product standards are a key factor in the facilitation of international trade, and officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue working with the sector to further support its sustainability and growth.
"Our farmers and processors are responding more and more to the growing demand from consumers in Canada and around the world for high-quality organic products. Updating the Canadian Organics Standards is important since they ensure our organic products are recognized in Canada and around the world. The government is proud to support this rapidly expanding sector, which is helping reach our goal of $75 billion in agri-food exports by 2025 and access to good-paying jobs for the middle class."
- Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"Here at the Bio pour tous! conference, which is organized by the Cégep de Victoriaville's Centre d'expertise et de transfert en agriculture biologique et de proximité (CETAB+), we are delighted that the federal government is reaffirming its commitment to funding for the organic standards review. This review is an important matter for all businesses in our sector."
- Jean Duval, agronomist and CETAB+ coordinator
- Leading up to this announcement, AAFC facilitated discussions with the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) to streamline the process of updating the standards and reduced the cost to $250,000.
- 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.
- Annual retail sales of certified organic products in Canada are approximately $5.4 billion, and exports are more than $500 million, with $85 million of that amount coming from Quebec.
- Canada has approximately 4,289 certified organic and transitional farm businesses, including 448 maple syrup operations, on over 930,000 hectares of land.
- Quebec has 1,268 farms and 416 maple syrup operations that are certified organic or transitional.
- The Bio pour tous! conference was first held by CETAB+ in 2015. Each year, the conference draws more than 200 agricultural producers and stakeholders as well as many participants from a variety of backgrounds who are interested in organic farming.
- Since October 2015, our government has invested nearly $20 million in support of the organic sector, focusing on
- facilitating adoption of innovative organic technologies;
- helping organic farmers and processors take advantage of market opportunities;
- funding youth jobs in the organic sector; and
- conducting organic research activities.
- Public Services and Procurement Canada's CGSB is a federal government organization that offers client-centred, comprehensive standards development and conformity assessment services in support of the economic, regulatory, procurement, health, safety and environmental interests of government, industry and consumers.
- In July 2017, federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) ministers of agriculture reached an agreement in principle on the key elements of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3‑billion investment that will set a solid foundation for the future of Canada's farmers and food processors and continue to help them grow, innovate and prosper. The Partnership is set to launch on April 1, 2018.
- Canadian Agricultural Partnership
- Canadian Organic Standards
- Organic Federation of Canada
- The Canadian Organic Market: Trends and Opportunities 2017 (report) and Canada Organic Trade Association
- Public Services and Procurement Canada's Canadian General Standards Board
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Halifax
For further information: Guy Gallant, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, 613-773-1059; Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 613-773-7972, 1-866-345-7972; Martin Sylvestre, Communications Advisor, Cégep de Victoriaville, 819-758-6401, ext. 2408