Canada is the sixth-largest organic market globally, with a booming $8.138 billion in annual sales. Yet, despite the tremendous production growth, demand keeps outpacing supply in Canada. In response to surging domestic and international demand, the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) launched the Organic Conversion Support Program in 2019 to support livestock producers and farms as they convert their operations to certified organic to meet this global demand. The program is privately funded by sponsors Mill Street Brewery and Seeds of Change.
The program assists future and present organic producers financially with the added costs incurred while transitioning to organic farming by reimbursing for certification costs up to $1,000. Almost a record 8483 acres were converted into organic farming land through the assistance of this program over the past two years. The Support Organic Change Fund is working tirelessly to meet the demand for more organic products by leveraging and incentivizing farmers to make the switch.
“Other countries have a fully funded organic transition program by their federal government and our goal is to show the Government of Canada that you can easily motivate more farmers to adopt best management practices to help mitigate climate change by assisting them during their transition phase. We hope that Agriculture Canada takes note of the success of this program and adopts a nationally funded program,” said Tia Loftsgard, Executive Director of the Canada Organic Trade Association.