Federal grant will help famers adopt best practices in organics

Barley in a bucket

On Dec. 21 the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $297,330 for the Prairie Organic Development Fund (PODF) to enable farmers to adopt best practices in organic farming production.

The Government of Canada investment will be matched by industry bringing the investment in the adoption of best practices to $594,660 over the next two years.

“The global demand for certified organic food and beverages is expected to increase from $198.1 Billion (US) in 2020 to $495.9 Billion by 2027.  The Canadian Organic Ingredient Strategy is a significant investment in the organic sector and will help support organic farmers meet consumer demand and at the same time improve soil health, increase operational resiliency and help mitigate climate change,” Jim Robbins, Prairie Organic Development Fund President and Organic Farmer said in a release.
This investment will help PODF deliver its Canada Organic Ingredient Strategy, which transfers specialized skills, knowledge and best practices to existing organic farmers and those interested in adopting more organic production methods. PODF will also raise awareness and understanding about the benefits of organic farming to help strengthen public trust in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system.
Through this project, PODF will offer business extension tools and skills development to farmers across Canada through producer conferences and webinars, podcasts, online agronomic tools and training to support the adoption of organic best practices.

“This investment will accelerate the adoption of organic best practices among farmers and increase the supply and quality of organic grains, fruits and vegetables, and livestock, fostering the expansion of the Canadian organic food processing sector. The development of the organic sector creates opportunities for Canadian farmers and processors to meet the increasing demand for organic food domestically and internationally.”
Marla Carlson, Program Manager, Prairie Organic Development Fund said.
This initiative will help Canadian farmers to benefit from increased knowledge and skills in organic farming methods, which can improve soil health and boost farm resilience in the face of changing markets and climate change.  Climate change mitigation is built into organics.  The government wants to reduce nitrogen (N) fertilizer use by thirty per-cent (30%). Organic farmers have reduced it by one hundred per cent (100%).
In 2020, amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for organic foods and beverages was estimated to be US$198.1 Billion.  The global market is projected to reach US$495.9 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 14% between 2020-2027. 

In 2020, Canadians spent just over $8 B on organics with 23% of Canadians buying more organic than a year ago and 54% of Canadians say they trust the Canada Organic certification. 

Canadian organic exports in 2020 reached $607.9 million a 31.8% increase over 2019.

The Prairie Organic Development Fund is an innovative not-for-profit association that provides a vehicle to invest in the development of the Canadian organic sector.