Organic farmers and processors have long recognized the benefit of organizations designed to support organic agriculture. In 1975 the Organic Gardeners and Farmers Association was formed nationally. Three years later it was renamed as Canadian Organic Growers or COG.
In 1988, fourteen individuals with an interest in the future of organic agriculture in Manitoba established the Organic Producers Association of Manitoba. OPAM is an incorporated not-for-profit cooperative which provides organic certification services, unites the organic community and promotes organic agriculture in Manitoba.
In 2000, a Manitoba chapter of COG was established and named the Organic Food Council of Manitoba. OFCM is registered as a charity with a mission to promote local, organic food through education and community building.
As organic sector grew, the need for an organization to lobby provincially became clear. In 2009, OPAM and OFCM partnered to found the Manitoba Organic Alliance (MOA) to be the “Voice” of the Manitoba organic sector. Then, in 2014, MOA, OFCM and OPAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding, outlining the roles which each of these organizations take in collectively advancing the capacity of Manitoba’s organic sector.
Under this agreement:
– MOA is the voice of organics, bringing the organic sector together to identify needs and develop solutions, presenting those solutions to government, and coordinating projects to develop the sector.
– OFCM promotes the benefits of organic food and organic production to the general public and to farmers, through education, materials, events and community building.
– OPAM offers certification services and collaborates on networking opportunities for farmers.