Research and innovation are vital to ensuring this sector continues to grow to help meet consumer demands. Retail sales of organic food products have grown, on average, by double digits over the past decade, with current sales estimated at $5.4 billion across Canada.
Today, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay announced a federal investment of up to $8.3 million to the Organic Federation of Canada, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Clusters.
This research investment, which includes an additional $4.4 million in contributions from industry, will help the organic sector enhance productivity through better soil health and fertility management, advance crop breeding research, improve pest management, and evaluate the environmental impacts of organic farm practices.
Minister MacAulay also announced an additional investment of $292,555 to the Organic Federation of Canada under the federal Canadian Agricultural Adaptation program. The funding will assist industry in streamlining the review process of the Canadian Organic Standards and improve the Canadian organic industry's competitiveness and international market access. This funding builds upon the $250,000 announced by the Minister on January 26, towards the Canadian General Standards Board to complete the 2020 review of the Canadian Organic Standards.
Today’s announcement is part of Minister MacAulay’s 'Growing Canadian Agriculture' tour, where he will meet with farmers, processors and industry leaders, as well as participate in rural agricultural events across the country, to hear ideas on how to capture new growth opportunities for the sector.
“Demand for our world-class Canadian organic products continues to grow around the world and our Government is proud to support our organic farmers and food processors so they can meet that demand. Today’s significant investment into the science of organic agriculture will help our organic farmers grow more and grow better. And, we are pleased to support the Canadian Organic Standards, which are the backbone of the organic industry.”
- Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“The Organic Federation of Canada is very pleased with AAFC’s commitment to develop Canadian organic agriculture science and sustainability. This funding will allow researchers to continue improving the sustainability of agricultural practices, which is at the heart of organic production. The Canadian Organic Sustainability Framework supports the entire organic value-chain and review of the Canadian Organic Standards, which is essential for maintaining our integrity and competitiveness on the world stage. We value the Government of Canada as a partner of choice for the Canadian organic sector.”
- James Robbins, President, Organic Federation of Canada
The Government of Canada has identified the agriculture and agri-food sector as a core driver of jobs, growth and prosperity, setting an ambitious target to grow Canada's agri-food exports to $75 billion annually by 2025.
In 2016, 4,289 farms reported organic farming in Canada with the total acreage of organically farmed land at 2,433,602 acres. The organic acreage in Canada grew by 5% per year between 2006 and 2015.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. The Partnership builds on Growing Forward 2, the previous five-year agreement that ended on March 31, 2018.
The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation. Through the AgriScience Program, a five-year, up to $338 million initiative, the government is supporting leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.
Canadian Agricultural Adaptation program (CAAP) (2014-2019) is a five-year $50.3 million program. Its objective is to help the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector seize opportunities, respond to new and/or emerging issues, and find and/or pilot solutions to new and ongoing issues, so it can adapt and remain competitive.
Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay