Collaborative regional alliances for farmer training

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the Canadian economy which largely influenced the GDP of the country. Till 19th century the agricultural outcome was considered to be the backbone of Canadian GDP but the share of it was decreased in the 20th century. But it did not change the game significantly and therefore it is regarded as one of the main productions of Canada. Canadian farmers are highly trained as there are many organizations which are working to make sure that the best agricultural products are grown. The best part of such organizations is that it allows the participants i.e. the farmers to put forward the questions which are of vital importance. The Central Banks and the stock exchanges in the most parts of the world support the agricultural sector as in Canada. The scope of agriculture is very vast in Canada and it consists of grains, livestock, dairy farming, horticulture, viticulture, poultry, and aquaculture.

The Organic Council of Ontario

There are many training institutes for farmers which work under this council. The organization is highly rated for providing state of the art training in the sectors of organic and ordinary farming. From poultry to aquaculture there are hundreds of subjects which the farmers are taught about. The organization also holds many meetings, workshops, and seminars to make sure that the farmers get the knowledge about the new technologies which have emerged with the passage of time. The Ecological Farmers of Canada, Canadian Organic Growers, Everdale Environmental Learning Center and CRAFT Southwest Ontario are some of the important organizations working under the council. The organization has nationwide reach; farmers from all over Canada visit and participate in lectures to learn more about farming.

SGS Canada

SGS Canada is one of the best and most advanced companies that works all over the world and verifies the agricultural standards. The best part of the SGS Canada is that the farmers are guided with complete processes and their queries are also resolved. It is also important to make sure that the experts of the group also offer on-site training to the farmers to increase per acre crop yield. The SGS Canada also provides the certifications which will make sure that the best talent is brought forward. The testing which is done by the group is state of the art and ensures that the best technology is provided to the farmers.

Northern Farm Training Institute

It is the institute which is highly regarded by the farmers from all over North America. There are literally hundreds of domains which the institute works on to make sure that the best outcome is generated and the farmers get the increase in production. The institute also has a factory where the farm-related equipment is produced in general. The research and development are also done so that the farmers get the best outcome. The farmers can also call on the experts of the institute to get the best ideas about agriculture. The institute aims at providing top-notch services to the farmers from all over North America.

Farming in organic way in Canada – how does it happen?

Organic farming has become a huge part of the Canadian economy since the emergence of the organic farming movement in the 1950s. After this, there have been significant developments regarding the same.

According to Statistics Canada, Canada has almost 3,713 certified organic operations in 2011 with an increase of 66% in the national number of organic farms between 2001 and 2011. In 2012, the organic market of Canada was worth almost #3.7 billion with 1.7% of the total food sales was organic foods in 2013.

Organic product certification in Canada

For any agricultural product to be labeled as organic in Canada, a certification by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is mandatory.

The producers have to meet all the commodity-specific requirements and have to prove that the claims made are not misleading but truthful. Additionally, they also have to ensure that they meet the requirements as enumerated under the two main Acts in this regard, which are:

Other than this, the producers may also have to comply with the Organic Product Regulations, 2009 Act, if the organic product falls under the following categories:

  • If the product sale or import is between territories or provinces
  • If the product sale is outside the country’s territory, it needs to display the Canadian Organic Logo.

The Organic Products Regulations 2009 says that products should have the organic certification which should in accordance with the Canadian Organic Standards. Canada Organic Regime is an organic certification system which was established under the Organic Product Regulations 2009. The Canada Organic Regime is for all those who are looking for a certification in this regard. The parties include all the certification bodies, producers who produce organic products. This regime also ensures that the varied regulatory requirements and the prescribed standards are adhered to.

Community supported agriculture

The community supported agriculture is a model that promotes the relationship between the producers and consumers. It provides the producers with an equitable return for their work and helps the consumers to have a greater and more active role in the agricultural community. By becoming a member of CSA, one selects a range of in-season organic vegetables from the farm or drop-off locations every week. This way the consumers can interact with the farmers and know the organic methods of harvesting and producing the food that they are eating. The members are also helping farmers earn a reliable income while also preserving biodiversity, supporting sustainable farming and building a healthier sustainable food system.

Currently, in Canada, there are many farms who participate in CSA like Willo’ Wind, Fiddle Foot Farm and many more.

Should you go for organic products?

The organic farming community is on a rise in Canada with the government doing their best to promote organic food.

New regulations are coming up to ensure that producers do not mislead the consumers, making Canada a completely organic food country in the near future.

An overview of organic farming in Canada

When you are out at the supermarkets, do you just tick off items from your grocery list or do you look for the organic label?

For many Canadians, the need for going natural is because of the fact that organic products don’t contain most of the pesticides that you would see otherwise.

The rising popularity of organic farming

Organic farming in Canada was earlier limited only to small-scale producers and consumers. However, today, we are experiencing a massive growth in this arena. Organic products have created a lot of hype in the recent years, and it is precisely this interest that has provoked farms in Canada to go organic.

According to the 1998 data from the Canadian Organic Advisory Board (COAB), the annual Canadian production was almost worth a whopping $1 billion on an average per year. This was the time when the Canadian government in tandem with the COAB considered organic farming as a sustainable model for agriculture.

How can organic farms in Canada be certified?

Organic Farms in Canada can get the certification through third-party certification bodies. These certification bodies, however, must be first pre-approved by the CFIA, which is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

A certification of these organic farms is vital because it is a testimony to of the fact that they meet all necessary requirements and benchmarks set by the Canadian Organic Standards to be treated as organic products. The transition process to become a certified organic farm takes up to 3 years, but it can take about 15 months if it’s proved that no prohibited substances have been used in the farm in the last 3 years.

What is CSA community supported agriculture?

CSA community supported agriculture is essentially a partnership or a pact between the farmers and consumers.

Owing to this partnership, the farmers and the consumers share the responsibilities, rewards. and risks of farming equally.

The benefits

So, how does the CSA community supported agriculture help farmers? Here are a few ways how.

  • Enables the community of residents to enjoy direct access to local, farm-fresh and high-quality produce.
  • The partnership aims to connect the farmers and consumers directly leaving out the scope of intermediaries
  • Consumers buy shares or a portion of a farm pre-harvest and then receive their share of the harvested crops directly from the farmers.
  • This kind of farming is ingenious because it lets the consumers know exactly where the produce is coming from and how it is produced in the first place.

This, in turn, increases the quality of products and enhances the community spirit among the residents of a city.

The future of organic farming in Canada

The Canadian government has started several initiatives like “Think Canada Organic” that is a step in the right direction towards aiming for a more sustainable farming approach. In addition to that, with the advent of community supported agriculture, the future of organic farming in Canada is, indeed, sparkling!

The top 5 organic farms in Canada

You might be enjoying the organic foods that you get each week from the supermarket, but have you ever wondered about the top sources for organic products in Canada? Where does the organic vegetable you buy come from?

According to 2011 data, Canada in that year was home to more than 3700 certified organic farming operations that amount to a total of 1.8% of the entire operations. In the subsequent year, the net worth of the Canadian organic market was estimated to be a staggering $3.7 billion. The statistics also clearly state that 58% of the Canadians, according to a 2013 survey, buy organic products each week.

So what’s the top 5 farms you need to know about

With these kinds of numbers on display, the importance of organic farming in Canada has become an indisputable fact. Organic farming is now a way of life in Canada. Let us have a look at the operations of some of the most popular organic farms in Canada!

1. Cedar Grove Organic Farm: The Cedar Grove Organic Farm (as they now call it), was settled in the late 19th century by Irish immigrant family called the O’Neil’s. The farm at that time was nothing but a ruin with poor soil quality. It was purchased by Les Bowser from the East Coast in 2005. Today, Cedar Grove is a thing of envy for all farming enthusiasts, given its excellent produce and diversity.

2. Willo’ Wind Farm: The Willo’ Wind Farm is essentially an equestrian family farm in Ontario. The family owning this farm is thoroughly committed to practicing and promoting sustainable farming techniques to preserve the land for future generations and nurture the rural culture that is usually associated with small farms.

3. Fiddle Foot Farm: Fiddle Foot Farm is an excellent example of community supported agriculture in Canada that is growing by the minute. It is a biodynamic farm, and the community believes in maintaining the superb integrity of the land for the generations to come. They even offer a farm apprenticeship program for the newbies.

4. Kula Permaculture Farm (The Rainbow Heritage Garden): This is one of the most significant permaculture farms known in Canada. It was formerly called the Rainbow Heritage Garden. Today, Kula Permaculture Farm is stewarded by two incredible families who integrate permaculture farming techniques with CSA to promote organic farming.

5. Mapleton’s Organic Dairy: The Mapleton’s Organic Dairy is a farm located in the picturesque Wellington County in Ontario, Canada. It is an organic dairy farm that makes the most amazing organicice-creams including a variety of seasonal flavors like lavender and eggnog.

The future of organic farming in Canada

These farms just go on to further solidify our belief in the farming culture in Canada that is only getting bigger and better as the years go by. With more consumer awareness on the benefits of going the organic way, we should expect to see more organic farms in the country down the years.