Now in its fifth year of publication, the Prairie Organic Agriculture Report provides up-to-date acreage and operator information for Canada’s Prairie Provinces. Consumer demand for organic products continues to grow, encouraging more farms, processors, and retailers to choose to participate in the organic sector.This has resulted in an increase in certified organic operations, along with an expansion of certified organic acreage across the Prairie landscape. Organic operations and acreage constitute approximately two per cent of farmland and two per cent of farms, as measured by the 2016 Census of Agriculture.
Organic farmnumbers and acres continue to grow, despite the overall decline in non-organic farms and lack of overall acreage growth in the Prairies. Consumer behaviour is also shifting towards plant-based products, resulting in a decrease of livestock operations.
- Certified organic operations went up from 1,840 in 2017 to 1,975 in 2018.
- In 2018, the Prairies represented 27% of Canadian organic operations and 56% of Canadian organic acres.
- In 2018, for the first time, land used for organic field crop production exceeded that used for livestock forage, green manures, wild crafting, and ecological acres.
- Since 2009, the number of organic processors in Canada increased by 61, reaching 266 in 2018. The Prairies made up an estimated 181 of these organic processors.
- As of 2018, the Prairie organic food and beverage markets were collectively valued at over $850 million.
- The operation and acreage data for the report was voluntarily supplied by certification bodies across Canada and the United States to COTA for analysis and release. COTA and experts in the organic sector conducted secondary research and analysis on the data provided to create this report.