A recent Western Producer article featured Bert Dening's presentation at the 2015 Organic Alberta conference in Beaumont.
Farmers who want to sell beef directly to customers need to know their meat, says an Alberta Agriculture business development specialist.
  After years of talking to farmers about direct sales and selling his own meat at farmers markets, Bert Dening has learned that consumers know little about cuts of meat or how to cook them. If consumers don’t know their meat, the farmers should, Dening told producers at a meat marketing workshop at the Organic Alberta conference.
 Farmers need to know what makes meat tough, how to cook it and what recipes work best if they want customers coming back.
  Dening said farmers should take meat-cutting classes to help them explain to customers about the cuts of meat they’re buying. 
Producers also need to be flexible with the cuts they sell and listen to customers. There is more than one way to cut up a pork loin, he said. 
Roasts are popular in winter and steaks sell better in summer, so farmers should adjust the way the meat is cut to reflect the season.
  One of the most important secrets to selling directly to customers is finding a good butcher. Some butchers are flexible and will make changes to their cuts, but others are more rigid.
  “Often they are set in their ways and not willing to listen.”
  An alternative may be for farmers to build their own small butcher shop or rent an existing abattoir for one to two days and bring in their own crew to kill and cut meat.
  “If you want to sell meat and can’t find a good meat cutter, it can become an issue.”

Thursday, 26 March 2015 11:00

Bursary Available in Lac Ste Anne County

The Lac Ste Anne County Agricultural Services Board grants bursaries to bona fide farming producers within their County. The bursary may be used for conference registration fees or tuition for courses which assist with farming operations. Applications may be submitted throughout the year, with a maximum bursary of $500. per farm each year. Application forms are available from the County and on the website www.lsac.ca. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:47

More Canadians Choosing Organic

The Vancouver Sun published an article last week focusing on the broadening consumer base for organic products in Canada. Incorporating insights and market data provided by COTA, the Sun identifies millennials and aging boomers as key growth demographics joining new parents as entry-points for organic consumers in Canada. Furthermore, COTA identifies the next great growth opportunity for organic food is among people over 65, the demographic currently least likely to buy organic. For more information on COTA’s market data, contact Shauna MacKinnon.

Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:11

Share Your Story on Twitter

One of the latest ways to engage people and work to change perceptions about agriculture in a real, tangible way can be found on Twitter by typing in #Farm365.

Created by Ontario dairy and crop producer Andrew Campbell, #Farm365 is all about opening our barn doors and farm gates to the public, and sharing photos and stories of what’s really happening in agriculture. What started out as one person sharing one photo a day has turned into hundreds of people across Canada and around the world posting their own images using the same hashtag. Let’s make it happen. Share the faces and positive practices of organic agriculture by adding your pictures and stories to twitter #Farm365 as well as #AgMoreThanEver.

Thursday, 26 March 2015 09:29

2014 Edible Gardening Report

Gardening not only provides a connection with nature, it connects us to our food. As more and more people are concerned about the provenance of their food - where it came from and how it was grown - gardening has given "local" a new meaning. The  2014 Edible Gardening Report conducted for the Garden Writers Association Foundation notes that:


Among the 75 million gardening households that have a lawn, garden or grow plants in containers, this year more than two in five consumers (44%) said that they grew edible plants in the ground, while 15% used containers. Almost one-third (32%) grew edible plants both in the ground and in containers.  

A majority of consumers (58%) plan to grow edible plants in 2015. One-quarter of consumers plan to grow edible plants in the ground, while just under one in ten (9%) expect to use containers for growing edible plants. Those who plan on using both methods registered at 24%.


Thursday, 26 March 2015 09:13

Transition to Organic Farming Article

An article in Grainews magazine recently featured nine tips to get started down the path to organic transition, as well as some useful resources and suggestions for quelling those pre-organic transition fears. Check out pages 7-10 here.

For all media, website, or general inquiries please contact us at info@organicalberta.org or call 587-521-2400 (Toll-free: 1-855-521-2400)