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Originally published by AltHealth Words

By Nick Meyer On November 3, 2014

When most people think of organic food, they think of small farms, health food stores and of course the growing Whole Foods chain as the top suppliers. But what if organic foods were more readily available, and the entire country had access to a large selection even at the neighborhood grocery store? It’s not a reality just yet in many parts of the country, but things are changing fast, and now the United States’ top supermarket chain appears ready to throw its hat into the “organic arms race.” The combination of recent sales figures and a recent proclamation by the company’s CEO have many people thinking that Cincinnati, OH-based Kroger could be poised to take down Whole Foods as the country’s top seller of organic and natural foods as well.

From the May 26, 2015 Broadcast of Call of the Land

First off today, we meet the new Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier, who is the MLA for Whitecourt-Ste. Anne.

Interview with Minister Carlier (3:11 minutes)

Listen to interview here...

From free-range organic birds, to those raised via the latest technological innovations on the conventional production side, consumers in Alberta have a lot of choice for the chicken on their plates.

“When it comes to production in Alberta, chicken is grown by family farms, it’s local and fresh and grown to standards (consumers) can trust, with credible, third-party audited animal care programs, and an on-farm food safety assurance program,” says Karen Kirkwood, executive director of Alberta Chicken Producers.

Black Diamond chicken farmer Erna Ference represents the conventional choice available to consumers, which accounts for over 90 per cent of the market. Ference is a second-generation chicken farmer, having purchased Foothills Poultry Farm, along with her husband Reg, from his parents more than 25 years ago.

Demand feared to soon outstrip supply of organic grains

By Bill Mah, Edmonton Journal May 29, 2015

EDMONTON - The rapidly expanding North American organic food industry is suffering from growing pains — a limited number of organic farmers can’t keep up with swelling demand for their crops.

That’s why several organic food processors, other industry players and the federal government are contributing money to boost production in Western Canada with a $2.2-million market-expansion initiative announced Friday.

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. 

 

Quebec Minister of Agriculture Pierre Paradis last week announced a $9-million investment over three years to help increase the number of organic growers in Quebec. Quebec currently has more organic producers than any other province. Paradis claimed to be a strong believer in organic products, but wishes to see Quebec companies occupy a larger market share. Organic sales in Quebec are currently valued at $400 million per year. However, only 30% is contributed by companies based in Quebec. This is the latest in a series of recent announcements in Quebec supporting organic, including Montreal’s organic farm initiative and Equiterre’s family farmers network.

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