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Canada funds update to organic standards

February 28, 2024  By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

In recent years, the Canadian agri-food sector has seen increasing demand for organic food products at home and around the world. Canada is among the top countries for sales of organic food products in the global market. Standardizing practices and substances that can be labelled as “organic” is vitally important for Canada to remain competitive in global trade. Regulations also ensure that imported products labelled as organic are complying with Canadian standards, to protect Canadian consumers.

On Feb. 28, Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC) will receive $502,374 to update the standards regulating the production and marketing of certified organic products.

“With this investment, we’re helping facilitate more trade opportunities for Canadian organic producers and keeping pace with the latest practices,” said MacAulay in a statement. “These standards are an important tool to help the industry so they can keep meeting the needs of folks here in Canada, and around the world.”

In consultation with the organic sector, the OFC will update the Canadian Organic Standards to add new practices and permitted substances and revise the sections on animal welfare. The OFC project will focus on innovative, sustainable and ecological organic practices that can reduce the impact of climate change by capturing and storing carbon in soil and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The OFC will also explore regenerative agriculture practices such as vertical agriculture and sunless crops, which will have positive long-term effects for the sector.

“Farmers are proud to apply the Canadian Organic Standards, which are based on principles shared with international markets,” said Jim Robbins, OFC president, in a statement. “These standards are being updated to clarify all the practices and substances that are applied at every stage of organic food production and processing. This will help maintain growth in the Canadian organic market.”

The funding is provided through the AgriAssurance Program – National Industry Association Component, an initiative under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

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