The provincial government is moving to stamp out bogus organic claims being made by farmers that do not have third-party certification.
New regulations will restrict the use of the word “organic” to describe only products that have been certified by a national or provincial certification program, effectively closing a loophole that had allowed B.C. farmers to use the term without being certified, provided they were not selling their products outside B.C.
Organic wheat is selling for 500 percent higher than conventional wheat and there is no indication it will drop soon.
Jay Crandall, a grain commodity merchant with Wetaskiwin Co-op, said the little organic wheat that is available is selling into the milling market for $20 a bushel, or $735 per tonne.
This year, organic feed wheat is selling for $16.50 per bu., or $610 a tonne, if it is available, compared to $585 a tonne last year.
In the spring of 2014, the Working Group on Small Scale Organic Certification administered a survey to small-scale farmers. 200 responses were received. The data highlights how the current “one size fits all” model of organic certification is often not feasible for small-scale operators.
Read the full results on the OFC blog.
On November 25, the Ontario government became the first government in North America to announce a plan for regulations to restrict the use of seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides. Ontario has proposed reducing use of neonics by 80 per cent by 2017. It is an encouraging step forward in the growing movement to save the bees. Please help keep the momentum going by demanding action from the federal government and other provinces.
On November 24th Bill C-18, also known as the “Agricultural Growth Act”, passed in the House of Commons. This omnibus bill amends nine acts relating to Agriculture and Agrifood, including the Plant Breeders’ Right Act. COTA and other organic organization called on the government to amend the bill to better protect farmers’ right to save seed. As a result of this pressure, the government made amendments to the final bill; COTA is evaluating the full impact and will share with Organic Alberta and our members soon.