Posted  17 Jul, 2017 
In: News

Event Date:  Jul 17, 2017

First Ever National Organic Sector Report Highlights Manitoba’s Strengths, Calls for Consumer Protections and Critical Measures for Sector Growth

 

July 17, 2017 — Ottawa — The State of Organics: Federal-Provincial-Territorial Performance Report 2017 analyzes the existing organic policy frameworks among Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments. As the first of its kind, the report is a benchmark, demonstrating the current state of affairs.

 

The report highlights Manitoba’s strengths, including:

  • Manitoba’s Organic Agricultural Products Act, which relies on federal standards, and therefore contributes to national sector strength.
  • The report also recognizes Manitoba’s leadership in creating and maintaining the most extensive provincial data collection the country, including production, processing, handling, crops planted, as well as buyers, input suppliers, seed cleaners, abattoirs, and more. This information drives projects to overcome obstacles to success.
  • The report also raises concerns that the provincial Organic Insurance Program is not extensive or effective enough.

 

Importantly, the report draws attention to gaps in organic regulations across the country. Jurisdictions with these gaps create an unequal playing field for organic businesses, hinder sector growth and fail to protect consumers.

 

The report also notes:

  • Quebec is leading the way by having the longest-standing organic regulations, extensive organic production support, market support and data collection.
  • Ontario is falling short. Ontario is the largest organic market in Canada. Yet, there are no provincial regulations and provincial government support is limited and inconsistent.
  • Organic data collection systems across the country are limited and inconsistently available.

 

The report is available for download from: www.ota.com/canada-ota/what-cota-does/government-relations-regulatory-affairs.

 

“Canadian consumers and businesses need to see more government support of the organic sector in Canada,” said Tia Loftsgard, executive director of the Canada Organic Trade Association. “A consistent framework across Canada would create a level playing field for organic businesses to thrive and increase consumer confidence. We have been encouraged by the positive conversations with government leading up to this report.”

 

“We are proud of Organic Sector achievements in Manitoba that contribute to national strength, and will continue advance our interests in collaboration with national partners.” said Kate Storey, President of the Manitoba Organic Alliance.

The Canada Organic Trade Association has three recommendations for government.

  1. Ensure that all provinces and territories adopt organic regulations.
  2. Invest in expanded and improved organic data collection systems.
  3. Increase organic policies and programs across jurisdictions.

 

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About the Canada Organic Trade Association

The Canada Organic Trade Association is the membership-based association for the organic sector in Canada: representing growers, processors, certifiers, provincial farmers’ associations, importers, exporters, retailers and others throughout the organic value chain. COTA’s mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. COTA brings together the diversity of Canada’s organic sector: from farmer and processor to retail, including food products, fibre and textiles, personal care, and emerging sectors such as organic aquaculture.

 

Media contact: Heather Badenoch, Village PR, 613-859-8232, heather@villagepr.ca

Local Contact: Kate Storey, Manitoba Organic Alliance, 204-546-2099


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