A National Organic Action Plan for Canada
The time is ripe
Canadians are committed to organic – as evidenced by the continued expansion of the organic sector in many segments of the economy. Canada is now the 5th largest organic market in the world worth more than $10.26 billion in 2022 and growing.
A policy framework is needed to ensure that our future food system includes a strong foundation in organic agriculture.
Building on similar actions to grow the organic sector in the United States and the European Union, an Organic Action Plan (OAP) is a comprehensive plan that will recognize the important role that organic plays in the future of sustainable agriculture in Canada.
Organic has positive benefits on climate, biodiversity and social outcomes. It expands on opportunities for value-added products, builds on-farm resilience in the face of extreme weather, strengthens supply chains and increases revenues for producers. These environmental and economic benefits are recognized by major trading partners through concrete support and financial investments.
A comprehensive plan for a resilient food system
The three national organizations, Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA), Canadian Organic Growers (COG) and the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC), have developed in consultation with the industry an Organic Action Plan for Canada as an accelerator for growth.
The OAP proposes benchmarks, targets and policies that look at incentivizing production, reinforcing the organic supply chain and increasing the overall demand for organic. It provides a blueprint to mobilize government resources and organic sector stakeholders.
The Organic Action Plan is based on four (4) pillars to develop all segments of the organic value chain. The 4 pillars address:
- Framework and Infrastructure Growth
- Accelerate Growth and Innovation in Organic Production
- Stimulate Organic Market Development
- Advance Research with Impact
The OAP is a comprehensive multi-year plan. More immediately, however, the government can acknowledge the overall contribution of the sector to sustainable agriculture by incorporating the Production Pillar of the Plan in the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy which is currently being drafted. Organic’s track record of farm profitability, attracting youth and women into rural livelihoods, and positive environmental contributions highlights the need to step up and embed policy solutions to continue to grow in Canada.
A successful plan depends on the commitment and support of both the organic sector and government.
For further information:
Canada Organic Trade Association
Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Manager