The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) is the membership-based association for organic agriculture and products in Canada. Our members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and all points along the organic value chain.
Thriving, resilient communities and ecosystems rooted in organic's holistic principles and practices.
We promote and protect the organic sector and encourage the universal adoption of organic.
Collaboration: We thrive in environments that encourage cooperation, where all voices are heard, and valued.
Courage: We are conscientious advocates; we persist with vigor and ingenuity in pursuit of our goals.
Adaptability: We navigate unforeseen issues with resilience, with a view to the creation of new opportunities.
Our Statement of Principle
With farming as the foundation of organic, COTA acts as a cultivator, connector and advocate for organic in Canada and abroad.
Strategic Areas of Focus 2021-2023
In 2021, COTA's Board of Directors set out a three-year strategic plan with distinct areas of focus.
In 2007, the Canada Organic Trade Association was legally incorporated as a not-for-profit in Canada. Yet, our roots start much earlier than that as our work used to be done through the North American Organic Trade Association (OTA) which was founded by both Americans and Canadians. There was a Canadian committee and, later, in 2002, a part-time staff person was hired in Canada, to determine whether an affiliate organization could be viable. In 2007, the organization hired an Executive Director in Canada and legally separated into a distinct national association. With the Canadian government’s regulation of organic and the discussions around an organic equivalency arrangement with the USA, the entities needed to be legally independent. In the first decade of the Canada Organic Trade Association, it has blossomed into a thriving, independent operation, holding the title of the largest trade association for organic in Canada and is located steps from Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The relationship with the OTA remains important with complementary priorities on international issues, institutional collaboration and knowledge sharing.