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Industry NewsPush for organic sector gains momentum in Parliament

Push for organic sector gains momentum in Parliament

A petition pushing for stronger policies and investments in the organic sector gained traction on May 7, led by Member of Parliament for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, Alistair MacGregor. Supported by nearly 1,600 Canadians, the petition signals a need for heightened recognition and support for organic food and farming.

Recent figures show that Canada’s organic market exceeded $10 billion in 2022, ranking fifth globally. Experts predict the North American organic market could triple in the next decade, largely due to increasing consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable food options.

“Investing in organic not only helps us deal with climate-related risks but also meets changing consumer preferences,” says Tia Loftsgard, head of the Canada Organic Trade Association. 

However, the sector says Canada currently lacks a clear plan to support organic farming and markets, unlike countries like the U.S. and the European Union. This gap in strategy not only risks the livelihoods of Canadian farmers but also overlooks the many benefits of organic production.

“Canadians want healthy options, but high costs often force them to leave nutritious food on the shelves,” says MacGregor.

As a result, the organic sector is drafting an Organic Action Plan focusing on infrastructure, regulations, market development, production growth and research.

“This petition showed us Canadians want policies and support for organic farmers to seize new market opportunities, build a more resilient food system, and fulfill federal environmental commitments,” says Karen Murchison, executive director of Canadian Organic Growers. 

With concerted efforts and strong government backing, the organic sector says Canada can meet the rising demand for organic products and solidify its position as a leader in sustainable agriculture.

“It’s time to leverage this standard through a national strategy that boosts organic production’s role in soil health, biodiversity, climate resilience, farm incomes, and public health,” says Nicole Boudreau, coordinator of the Organic Federation of Canada. 

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