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Organic Production in Canada

A Thriving Industry
Organic Production in Canada - Organic Federation of Canada

Overview

Canada, with its large and varied land base, combined with its cooler climate, is an ideal country for producing organic food.

“The cold weather and freezing conditions reduce pest pressure and keep a lot of insect pests out of the country. So, pest control is free: winter does the job. Furthermore, our soil is fairly young; it was glaciated only 10,000 years ago and there are many nutrients in it, compared with weathered tropical soils near the equator. The presence of many minerals in the Canadian soil is certainly beneficial for organic producers.” (Dr. Andrew Hammermeister, Director, Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada)

Consumer confidence and demand has grown, as has trust in the Canada Organic Brand, since the Canadian organic regulatory system was set in place in 2009.

The growth rate is steady – up to 8% year-over-year – and is expected to increase even faster in coming years as the sector is diversifying and expanding into new markets.

Oilseed and grain type farms represented the highest proportion of organic farms in Canada at 29.8% (2016), while organic fruit and vegetable production increased 8.2% to 19 506 hectares in 2020. But Canada imports far more certified organic fresh fruit than is grown and sold domestically. For example, Canada only produced 3% of organic strawberries sold on Canadian market.

  • Out of the 8,000 certified operators in Canada, 1096 are producing maple products.
  • Green peas (1 236 hectares) accounted for the largest total certified organic vegetable cultivated area, followed by sweet corn (868 hectares), beans (534 hectares), broccoli (262 hectares), cauliflower (255 hectares) and carrots (248 hectares).(Statistics Canada)
  • Carrots are Canada’s leading certified organic vegetable import.

To access additional data on the Canadian organic market, you can consult the Quick Facts about Organic in Canada, produced by the Canada Organic Trade Association.

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