Organic Conversion

in Marketing/Organic Community/Organic Standards

With a booming $8.138 billion in annual sales, Canada is the sixth largest organic market in the world. Yet, despite double digit production growth, demand continuously outpaces supply in Canada. Two thirds of Canadians purchase organic products weekly, and organic is the fastest growing sector of the Canadian agricultural landscape.

Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) launched the Organic Conversion Support Program in 2019, through the Support Organic Change Fund, to assist producers as they convert their operations to certified organic to meet this global demand. The program is privately funded by sponsors Seeds of Change and Mill Street Brewery.

The program supports producers financially with their incurred transition costs by reimbursing part, or all, of their certification costs as a transition incentive. Since the program’s inception, 94 producers have been supported nationally to convert 8,483 acres.

Since 2019, the program participation numbers have increased steadily by 79%. The number of funded producers by region are: Quebec with 60, BC with 12, the Prairies with 7, the Maritimes with 4, and Ontario with 3. The program covered a staggering 64.18% of the total certification costs for producers across the country.

COTA is thrilled to announce that the program will be continuing into its third year with the proud support of industry sponsors. The Organic Conversion Support Program is accepting applications for the 2021 program which will be accepted until June 30th, 2022.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis for producers who are in the process of converting, or who become certified in 2021 or 2022. To qualify for the program, farmers must be in their pre-certification phase, or increasing their acreage or livestock on an already certified farm. The program covers organic certification and consultation expenses, up to a maximum reimbursement of $1,000.

Interested in applying? Verify your eligibility, complete an application and return it to info@canada-organic.ca.

Contact cbernard@canada-organic.ca with any questions.

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