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Aquaculture, including aquatic animal and plant production, as well as plants grown under aquaponics  systems, will soon be integrated into the Organic Products Regulations (OPR). Principles guiding organic aquaculture and aquaponics are similar to the principles established in organic agriculture production: GMOs, synthetic growth regulators, antibiotics, clones and other synthetic substances are prohibited. But, there is also a significant difference. The roots of terrestrial plants grown in aquaponics systems are immersed in water. This contradicts clause 7.5.3 of the agricultural organic standard, CAN/CGSB-32.310-2015, which prohibits hydroponics and promotes soil fertility management, rather than the ‘cultivation of plants in aqueous nutrient solutions without the aid of the soil’ (Terms and definitions -3.29). The Organic Federation of Canada wants to know what you think about this. Is aquaponics different from hydroponics? Click here to comment.

 

aquaponie

 
Aquaponics combines aquaculture with the cultivation of plants in a symbiotic relationship. Fish manure as well as feed waste are metabolized by bacteria and absorbed by plants grown on the surface of the aquaculture tank. When absorbing nutrients, plants also filter the water that is recirculated in the system.

Principles guiding organic aquaculture and aquaponics are similar to the principles established in organic agriculture production: GMOs, synthetic growth regulators, antibiotics, clones and other synthetic substances are prohibited.

But, there is also a significant difference. The roots of terrestrial plants grown in aquaponics systems are immersed in water. This contradicts clause 7.5.3 of the agricultural organic standard, CAN/CGSB-32.310-2015, which prohibits hydroponics and promotes soil fertility management, rather than the ‘cultivation of plants in aqueous nutrient solutions without the aid of the soil’ (Terms and definitions -3.29).

The OFC wants to know your opinion. Is aquaponics different from hydroponics?

Does organic lettuce grown in water in symbiosis with cultured fish meet organic consumer expectations?  How can we reconcile the marketing of a the same product certified under two different organic standards that have contradictory clauses?

Monday, 13 June 2016 10:33

Career Opportunity - Grain Buyer

Praririe Heritage Seeds Inc from Saskatchewan is looking for a grain buyer. This position is responsible for building and sustaining long term partnerships with new and existing producers and expanding merchandising potential to accommodate increasing market share. 

Duties will include purchasing grain, managing the supply base, analyzing and managing customer databases, developing and maintaining customer relatinships, developing procedures, system improvements and cost effective measures.

Deadline to apply is June 17, 2016. For more information email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Minister MacAulay is urged by 15 agricultural associations, including Organic Alberta, to stop the sale of GM alfalfa:

'Firstly, we ask you to take immediate action to stop the further commercial release of GM alfalfa seeds by removing variety registration for all GM alfalfa varieties, until a full economic impact assessment is conducted'.

Joint Letter to Minister MacAulay on GM alfalfa April 20 2016 Page 1Joint Letter to Minister MacAulay on GM alfalfa April 20 2016 Page 2Joint Letter to Minister MacAulay on GM alfalfa April 20 2016 Page 3

Thursday, 12 May 2016 14:23

Help Us Feed Fort McMurray

We have all seen the photos and heard the stories of the devastating wildfires in and around Fort McMurray. While the full scope of the damage is still unfolding, there is at least one thing we know for sure. There are thousands of people who are and will be hungry. The Wood Buffalo Food Bank needs support to continue to provide vital services across the region.  This is where you come in. When it comes to feeding people, nobody does it better than Alberta organic farmers!

Organic Alberta is partnering with the Organic Box and others to raise funds and supply local, organic food to the Wood Buffalo food bank. Our members are supporting this effort by donating food to match the donations received.   Read more here . . .

If you would like to donate food to help the people of Fort McMurray once they return home, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it today to arrange delivery of your food contribution. Tell us:

- What you have available
- How much you are able to provide
- What form is it in? For example, bulk, packaged, raw, processed, etc.
- Any special storage or transportation requirements. For example, refrigeration
- Where it is located, and where you may be able to deliver it to

Thank you so much for your support. Together, we can ensure a good supply of local, organic food to those most affected by the fires.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016 13:52

Prairie Organic Statistics Released

The Canadian Prairies are Canada's organic breadbasket, with 89% of all organic wheat and oats, 85% of the rye and 99% of all organic protein crops (beans, legumes, vetch, etc) grown in the country. We are also the third largest producer of organic pulses in the world. Check out these and more statistics in this report compiled by the Canada Organic Trade Association in partnership with the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative. Thank you to all the certification bodies for their cooperation in gathering this important data.

View the Prairie Organic Statistics

Monday, 11 April 2016 14:50

Family Farmers Wanted For Survey

"Canadian family farms in the twenty-first century" aims to better understand how well the term "family farm" applies today and how family farms contribute to the Canadian economy, communities, and politics. The research will be conducted by doctoral candidate Chantal Clement, with Drs. Irena Knezevic and Kelly Bronson out of Carleton University in Ottawa and St Thomas University in NB. They are interested in speaking to Canadian farmers over the age of 18, whose farms fit the designation of a "family farm". (A family farm is any farm not managed by a commune, co-operative, or a non-family corporation). 

The questions asked will consist in understanding some of the day-to-day activities on your farm, the importance you place on the ideas and values around "family farming", and changes or experiences you may have on the broader Canadian agricultural landscape or in your community. The interview should last about 30-45 minutes over the phone and they are offering a modest $20 gift card as a small thank you to each participant. If you have any questions or insights, please contact Chantal at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (613)862-2588.


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