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 federal government announced a $785,660 investment in Canada's organic sector to build and expand markets at home and abroad. The investment is part of the AgriMarketing Program (AMP), a federal fund that helps support Canadian companies build a strong Canadian brand and develop global market opportunities.
The Organic Center outlines techniques to protect pollinator population
The Standards Interpretation Committee has posted questions raised by organic stakeholders, regarding the National Standards for Organic Agriculture.
Question Topics include:
- Crop Production
- Livestock Production
- Preparation and Handling of Organic Products
- Permitted Substances Lists
"Can the use of feed from transitional land allowed in 6.3.3 be extended to apply after the transition of the livestock is complete?" (257)
"Can an operator engage in hydroponic production (not organic) and produce the same products using organic methods?" (259)
The full document is below
The CFIA is engaging more micro and small businesses across the country to take part in consultations on the Safe Food for Canadians Act until June 30, 2015.
In 2013 and 2014, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) held extensive consultations with industry and other stakeholders on the new food framework. Some of those stakeholders have raised concerns over the ability of micro and small businesses to meet some of the requirements being considered in the Act.
This consultation will help the CFIA better understand the food safety challenges and costs that micro and small businesses face, and to seek feedback on options that could reduce the burden associated with certain requirements. Additionally, the CFIA is also interested in hearing about the types of tools, guidance resources and support these businesses need to produce safe and compliant food.
Small businesses are those that generate $100,000 or less in annual food gross sales. Microbusinesses have annual food gross sales of $30,000 or less.
The CFIA is hosting webinar sessions to seek input from micro and small businesses on proposed approach to Safe Food for Canadians Act. For information on when the webinars are and to register click here.
For more information on Safe Food for Canadians: Strengthening Canada's Food Safety System click here.
A Letter from OTA's CEO/Executive Director
Forty years, 55 crops and 5 continents. That’s the scope of a just-published study on organic farming, and it’s a must-read piece. I don’t often recommend a report in an academic journal to read with your morning coffee, but I don’t want you to miss this one. Here is a summary of the global study from Washington State University that conclusively shows that organic agriculture is significantly more profitable than conventional agriculture -- and that profitability is key to expansion of organic acres. The study concludes that “with its environmental benefits, organic agriculture can contribute a larger share in sustainably feeding the world”.