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Number of organic farms up almost 60 per cent in five years: StatCan


March 31, 2008
By The Canadian Press

Topics

March 31, 2008; Ottawa, Ont. – The
number of organic farms in Canada increased by almost 60 per cent in
five years and continues growing, though they still fill only a tiny
part of the food supply, Statistics Canada says.

March 31, 2008; Ottawa, Ont. – The number of organic farms in Canada increased by almost 60 per cent in five years and continues growing, though they still fill only a tiny part of the food supply, Statistics Canada says.

The agency reported Friday that Canada had 3,555 farms offering certified organic products in 2006 – largely grain, oilseeds and hay – up from 2,230 in 2001.

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Another 640 farms were in transition and 11,937 were producing food described as organic but not formally certified, largely meat.

Statistics Canada noted that organic products accounted for less than one per cent of the $46.5 billion Canadians spent in grocery stores in 2006.

In fact, the agency said, the most common certified organic crops are hay and field crops, and most of this production is exported.

Between 2001 and 2006, the amount of certified organic grain sold through the Canadian Wheat Board increased 87.3 per cent.
Of the 2,462 farms producing these crops in 2006, almost half were in Saskatchewan.

Fruits, vegetables and greenhouse products were the second most common certified organic products.
Canada has had national organic standards since 1999, but these have been voluntary.

Federal regulations for organic products are scheduled to take effect next December, when organic products marketed inter-provincially or internationally must be certified by an approval body accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.