Manitoba Organic Alliance

Your Connection to Organics in Manitoba

MEDIA RELEASE- AUGUST 16, 2021

The Manitoba Government registered a new producer check-off regulation to spur development of the province’s nascent organic sector on August 12, 2021. The regulation designates the Manitoba Organic Alliance (MOA) under the Agricultural Producers Organization Funding Act as the recipient of a 0.5% levy at source on sales of organic cereals, pulses and oilseeds grown in the province. 

“This is great news for the Manitoba organic sector that will help to level the playing field for organic farmers in the province. The levy will help the sector to address the specific research questions limiting organic production. For instance, this drought year has shown us just how difficult it is to manage weeds while limiting the loss of soil moisture associated with tillage. We need more research and more solutions”, said Royden Loewen, organic grain farmer and head of the newly formed Manitoba Organic Development Fund (MODF), a producer-led board that was set up to manage the levy on MOA’s behalf. Loewen added, “MOA currently relies on project funding from Governments which generally ask for at least half of the funding to come from private sources. The new check-off will help us to raise the private contributions to up our game in research, extension and market development.”

The regulation will require grain buyers with offices in Manitoba that purchase organic grains to remit check-off fees to MOA on a quarterly basis. Buyers that do not have offices in Manitoba will be asked to voluntarily remit the fees. The check-off comes into force immediately.

A majority of certified organic grain producers voted in support of the levy in an April 2020 mail-in ballot. 

The designation regulation is published here: https://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/regs/annual/2021/062.pdf

BACKGROUND

The Manitoba Organic Alliance is the voice of the organic sector in Manitoba. The non-profit organization represents the organic sector across the value chain, including production, inputs, distribution, processing and sales.

Organic is federally regulated through the Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations and in Manitoba through the Organic Agricultural Products Act and Regulations. These laws enshrine organic standards that provide detailed rules governing organic production, food processing and marketing of organic products. They also accredit third party certification bodies to annually verify that the rules are followed.

At the last official count, there were 233 organic operators in the province, of which 178 are primary producers and 74 are processors. Total organic acreage in the province is 127,597 acres.

MOA supports organic farmers through its extension work, which includes hosting educational events such as field tours, workshops, conferences and the podcast Grain on the Brain. The organization works with MASC to improve crop insurance options for organic growers and with researchers in the Natural Systems Agriculture department at the University of Manitoba to ensure that research reflects the needs of organic producers. 

FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS CONTACT

Karen Klassen- communications@manitobaorganicalliance.com

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Manitoba Organic Alliance is a membership driven, non-profit alliance which unites and represents organic associations, farmers, processors, buyers, retailers and researchers in Manitoba. We are working to grow the organic sector in Manitoba through networking, education and advocacy.

Our founding partners include Organic Producer’s Association of Manitoba, which provides organic certification services, and Organic Food Council of Manitoba, which focuses on education organic community outreach.

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info@manitobaorganicalliance.com

Box 1193, Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3J9