Last week, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau was at Cooperative Alentour in Sherbrooke where she announced an investment of $992,131 to the Canada Organic Trade Association to develop export and domestic market opportunities for high-quality organic food products, while continuing to build public trust and a positive reputation for the "Canada Organic Brand.” Minister Bibeau also announced that public consultations on proposed revisions to the Canadian Organic Standards (COS) will begin this summer.
The Minister made the announcement prior to a roundtable meeting with organic producers and association representatives, where she will highlight the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to the sector and discuss industry priorities.
The $992,131 will help the Canada Organic Trade Association fund trade show booths in international tradeshows, as well as facilitate incoming trade missions. It will also provide the technical assistance required for Canada to establish organic equivalency agreements with trade partners, and the trade advocacy to promote the “Canada Organic Brand” on the world stage.
The success of Canadian organic products is only possible at home and abroad with the consumer trust that comes from the Canadian Organic Standards, which are the backbone of the industry and the “Canada Organic Brand”.
In January 2018, the Government of Canada invested over $250,000 to help the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) complete their essential work on the Standards. The review is done every five years to ensure production methodologies reflect current practices and technological advancements being employed by the organic industry.
As part of the review, the CGSB will launch a 90-day public review in summer 2019, to allow Canadians to analyze the proposed changes to the COS. Following the consultations, the technical Committee, which is composed of experts from industry, government and other organic food associations, will vote in late 2019 on the amendments to the current COS. The updated standards will be published by the CGSB in the fall.
The Government of Canada has also provided program support of approximately $300,000 to the Organic Federation of Canada to help improve the review of the standards and the sector’s sustainability.