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Canadian organic grain growers get a boost

COTA celebrates support for Prairie organic growers

Ottawa , ON
May 29, 2015
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The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) is celebrating today’s announcement of an $1.2 million federal funding towards a $2.2 million four-year program to achieve growth in the organic field crop sector of the Canadian Prairies. Western Economic Diversification made the announcement today in Edmonton, outlining support for Western organic growers to access global markets.

The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative (POGI) focuses on building resiliency and stability in the organic field crop sector while increasing the quantity and quality of organic field crops. COTA is an official partner in the POGI initiative, providing expertise and support in developing data and tracking systems, as well as a strategy for Prairie organic grain growers and provincial associations to build strong market relationships.

“This funding will help Western Canadian farmers meet accelerating consumer demand for organic products,” stated Matthew Holmes, Executive Director of the Canada Organic Trade Association, “this benefits Prairie communities as well as the companies in Canada’s growing organic processing sector who depend on our farmers’ high-quality organic ingredients. COTA congratulates Organic Alberta and our provincial partners for their leadership in this initiative.”

The Canadian organic market is worth $4 billion per year, more than tripling in value since 2006. Canadian field crops are an important part of Canada’s organic exports, now estimated at over $554 million per year. In May 2015, Agriculture and AgriFood Canada announced matching funds under the AgriMarketing Program for COTA’s four-year, $1.5 million project to support domestic and export marketing for Canada’s organic sector.

Investment in the organic sector is particularly valuable for Canada’s agricultural communities: Canadian organic farms create jobs at an average of twice the rate of all farms, while organic farming attracts younger farmers and new entrants into the general farming community.




Contact: Matthew Holmes, Executive Director
Canada Organic Trade Association                                                      

The Canada Organic Trade Association is the membership-based trade association for the organic sector in Canada, representing growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others in the organic value chain. COTA’s mission is to promote and protect the growth of the organic sector to benefit farmers, the public, the economy and the environment.

The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative is coordinated by Organic Alberta, however, it is a partnership across the entire organic sector and between the organic associations in each province. Organic Alberta is working closely with Sask Organics, Manitoba Organic Alliance, Certified Organic Association of BC, The Canada Organic Trade Association, The Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada and The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security as well as with producers, grain buyers, processors, certification bodies and major organic brands to develop and deliver programming. The Initiative is truly an industry-wide project.