Canada invests in marketing for innovative organic farming

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Canada invests in marketing for innovative organic farming

The Canadian government has announced a CAD$330,000  investment to promote organic farming and food production.

The two-part initiative seeks to help organic farmers improve production and profits for the domestic market and abroad.

The Canadian Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz spoke positively of the grants, saying that the investment would help improve market competiveness for high-quality organic foods.

“Canada’s organic sector is innovative, fast-growing, and producing some of the world’s best organic food," Ritz told the press.

"These investments will help organic farmers get more of their high-quality products to consumers abroad and to their own neighbours, while putting more money in their pockets.”

The first grant, worth CAD$180,000, will provide the Canada Organic Trade Association with funding through the AgriMarketing Program to help the organization keep up with market trends. The association will participate in international trade shows, develop promotional materials and strategically plan for the future of the organic sector.

The AgriMarketing Program is a $88 million program to promote long-term international business strategies, including market development, industry-to-industry trade advocacy, and consumer awareness and branding activities.

In the second part of the initiative, the Organic Council of Ontario will receive $152,000 from the Canadian Agriculture Adaptation Program (CAAP)  for business planning, including the development of new tools and technologies and gathering business intelligence.

The grant aims to strengthen consumer relationships and attract investors through projects such as new co-op models, community-shared agriculture and online webinars.

CAAP is a five-year, $163 program aimed at keeping Canadian agriculture adaptable and competitive.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the regulatory body for organic foods, defines "organic"  in international and inter-provencial trade under the terms of the Canada Organic Product Regulations (OPR). Products that meet OPR requirements and have at least 95% organic content may carry an "organic" label featuring the Canada Organic logo.

According to government estimates, the Canadian organic retail market was valued at  CAD$2.6 billion in 2010, with agricultural food exports accounting for CAD$390 million.

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