Canadian Govt invests in organic farmers

09-09-2010 | | |

The Government of Canada is investing in cutting-edge research to grow market opportunities and maintain a bright future for the Canadian organic industry.

An investment of $6.5 million will bring together scientific expertise from academia, industry and government to develop more efficient and profitable processes for organic farmers, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and MP Scott Armstrong (Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley) announced.

“Demand for organic products is growing and this Government wants to help our hardworking Canadian farmers capture as much of this market as possible,” said Minister Ritz. “By creating this all-star team, we can maximise the investment and focus Canada’s organic expertise on the research that shows the most promise in delivering a profitable, competitive edge to farmers.”

The Organic Federation of Canada will manage this investment to address the priorities of organic producers. The research will focus on soil fertility, grain cropping, greenhouse production and food processing. This cluster will also help develop a recognisable, high-quality brand to help establish Canada as a leader in organic production and help farmers expand their businesses.

“In this challenging period of declining oil supplies, increasing climate change and economic shifts, research results in organic agriculture offer options for all farmers and consumers,” said Dr. Ralph Martin, Founding Director of the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada. “As Canadian consumers look for more organic products, this research will help Canadian farmers to benefit from this opportunity.”

The Canadian organic sector has grown considerably in the last 10-15 years. Retail sales of organic food products in Canada were valued at over $2 billion in 2008.