Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

May 29, 2015 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports Western Organic Grain Growers

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - May 29, 2015) - Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced $1.2 million under the Western Diversification Program (WDP), to help Prairie organic grain growers expand into growing international markets.

Federal support for this project will go towards enhancing the Organic Alberta Council's leadership in the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative (POGI), which works to enhance organic grain and field crop growers' production, quality and profitability, and to support their participation in trade shows and international missions.

The POGI initiative is a pan-western partnership between the Organic Alberta Council, the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate, the Manitoba Organic Alliance and the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia. The project has also received funding from a number of industry partners, including USC Canada, Dave's Killer Bread, Nature's Path, and Grain Miller's Inc.

Quick Facts

  • The organic food industry is the most dynamic and rapidly growing sector of the global food industry, and is estimated to be a $63 billion (U.S.) global industry.
  • The value of the Canadian organic food market has increased 300 per cent since 2006.
  • In Canada alone, the organic market is worth an estimated $3.7 billion, and continues to outpace the growth of other agri-food sectors
  • Certified organic operations represent just 1.8 percent of all farms in Canada, while 58% of Canadians buy organic products every week.
  • There are 400 western Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises that add value to the organic grains sector for further processing.

Quotes

"Our Government is pleased to support new opportunities for organic farmers to improve production and sell their products internationally. By helping to increase the capacity of western organic growers to compete in the global organic food market, we are ensuring that the western Canadian economy can continue to grow and prosper."

- The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

"While the Canadian organic food market has tripled since 2006 from $1 billion to $3 billion, organic production has not kept pace. This project will support expansion of Canadian organic grain and field crops while simultaneously building resiliency and stability in the sector. By achieving increased quantity and quality we will not only meet the demand but be leaders in continued market expansion."

- Becky Lipton, Executive Director, Organic Alberta Council

"Organic agriculture promotes biodiversity, which is critical for resilient farming systems, and to buffer the impacts of climate change. USC Canada is proud to help develop Canada's organic sector, and sees it as an important vehicle to build fertile soils, secure seed systems, and healthy communities around the world."

- Jane Rabinowicz, Director, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, USC Canada

"Dave's Killer Bread is proud to be a sponsor of Organic Alberta and their mission to support sustainable Organic Farming. We have been so honored with how our bread has been accepted by the organic conscious consumers in Canada. Our support of Organic Alberta is a key part of our Supply Chain plan of growing, milling, and baking, the bread we sell in Canada, in Canada. "

- John Tucker, CEO, Dave's Killer Bread"

"At Grain Millers, within our vision of providing our customers with safe, nutritious food, while exceeding their expectations for quality, service and value, we are also committed to providing them with an organic choice. We recognize the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative as a vital strategic step in helping keep pace with ever-increasing consumer demand, and we are pleased to invest in a strong future for the Western Canadian organic sector."

- Rick L. Schwein, President, Grain Millers Canada Corp. / Vice President, Grain Millers, Inc.

"As a Canadian, family-owned, organic food company, we are proud to support our home-grown organic grain farmers who work so hard to produce top quality crops that nourish both people and planet."

- Arran Stephens, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Nature's Path Foods

Additional Links

- Organic Alberta Council

- The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security (a project of USC Canada)

- Dave's Killer Bread

- Grain Millers, Inc.

- Nature's Path

- Saskatchewan Organic Directorate

- Manitoba Organic Alliance

- Certified Organic Associations of B.C.

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