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Marketing funds for organic food

The federal government is supporting the marketing efforts of two organic trade associations.

The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) will receive $180,000 from the AgriMarketing Program to help it participate in international trade shows, develop promotional materials, and build a long-term international strategy for the organic sector.

The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) will receive $152,000 from the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) to develop innovative tools and technologies that will enable producers to strengthen their relationships with existing customers, attract new investments, and gather business intelligence that will benefit the sector as a whole.

These innovations include new co-op models, community-shared agriculture projects, and online webinars to improve the organic sector’s social and economic sustainability.

The Canadian organic retail market was valued at close to $2 billion in 2008, representing a 66 per cent growth from the $1.2-billion organic retail value in 2006, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in a release. Since then the organic market has continued to grow, reaching more than $2.6 billion in 2010. Specifically, exports of agri-food products reached $390 million in 2010.

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