Friday, 29 May 2015 14:41

$1.2 million from federal government kicks off Prairie wide organic program

May 29, 2015, Edmonton, AB:  Today the federal government announced their contribution of $1.2 million under the Western Diversification Program (WDP) to a $2.2 million, 4 year program targeted at achieving growth, resiliency and stability in the prairie organic sector. The initiative will focus on increasing both the quantity and quality of organic field crops while building stronger market relationships.


The Prairie Organic Grain Initiative (POGI) will be housed by Organic Alberta, however, it is a partnership across the entire prairie organic sector including the Provincial organic associations. Organic Alberta will be working closely with Sask Organics, Manitoba Organic Alliance, Certified Organic Association of BC, the Canadian Organic Trade Association, The Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada and USC Canada through The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security as well as with producers, grain buyers, processors, certification bodies and major organic brands to develop and deliver programming. 



The organic food industry is the most dynamic and rapidly growing sector of the global food industry, and is estimated to be a $63 billion (U.S.) global industry. According to Organic Alberta Executive Director Becky Lipton, “While the Canadian organic food market has tripled since 2006 from $1 billion to $3 billion, organic production has not kept pace. This project will support expansion of Canadian organic grain and field crops while simultaneously building resiliency and stability in the sector. By achieving increased quantity and quality we will not only meet the demand but be leaders in continued market expansion”.


POGI addresses the shortage of organic grain growers by initiating several programs that will entice conventional growers to transition, as well as developing and transferring the knowledge producers need to produce competitive crop yields and build profitability. The project also contains measures to build the profile and brand the Prairie organic grain sector as the destination for quality organic grains.


Industry partners, including The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, Grain Millers, Nature’s Path, General Mills, Dave’s Killer Bread, Cliff Bar and others are contributing just under $1 million to the project. “At Grain Millers, within our vision of providing our customers with safe, nutritious food, while exceeding their expectations for quality, service and value, we are also committed to providing them with an organic choice. We recognize the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative as a vital strategic step in helping keep pace with ever-increasing consumer demand, and we are pleased to invest in a strong future for the Western Canadian organic sector.” Rick L. Schwein, President, Grain Millers Canada Corp/Vice President, Grain Millers, Inc.


Organic Alberta is a non-profit umbrella organization that serves all certified organic and transitioning entities, including farms, businesses, processors, traders, marketers, certifiers, retailers and consumers. Their mission is “to represent and support Alberta’s entire organic industry”.


Media Inquiries may be directed to:

Becky Lipton, Executive Director

Ph: 1-587-521-2400

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



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