GFM Network News


Feds to help fund Canadian Organic Standards review

The update is key to ensuring organic product from Canada is recognized internationally

The federal government will commit $250,000 towards a review process of the Canadian Organic Standards, a procedure that must be conducted every five years. The sector had stepped up its call for funding in recent months, noting that without resources to fund the required update the Standards is at risk of being withdrawn under the

Katherine Stanley (l) has been named as the Manitoba Organic Alliance’s first agronomist.

Manitoba Organic Alliance names agronomist

Katherine Stanley will take on the term position over the next year

Manitoba’s organic farmers now have an agronomist to call their own — even if it’s only for a year. The farmer organization the Manitoba Organic Alliance has teamed up with the University of Manitoba and the provincial Agriculture Department to create a one-year term position for an organic agronomist and Katherine Stanley has been named


Laura Telford, provincial organic specialist in Manitoba is doing an in-depth study of the organic processing sector in Canada.

Organic processing sector study underway

When complete in 2018 it will be a first-ever in-depth analysis of Canada’s key players, innovations and challenges

The organic food-processing sector is on solid ground in Canada, according to a broad-based report showing most firms experiencing year-over-year growth in excess of 10 per cent. But that growth continues to create its own set of challenges, most significantly an ongoing shortage of raw ingredient supply. Sourcing ingredients remains this sector’s key challenge, says

Organic food industry feels shortchanged by government

One industry association says conventional food gets plenty of support on standards and inspections

Canada’s organic sector says it’s not getting its due. Canada is the fifth-largest organic market in the world as well as leading exporter of several organic commodities but gets little assistance from government, says Tia Loftsgard, executive director of Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA). “Canada’s organic sector should be positioning itself as a world leader,”

Wanting to preserve the nature of their farming business and safeguard their family heritage, Suzanne Dufresne and Daniel Gosselin display one of their cheese varieties produced in their cheese-making facility built on their farm to add value to their milk.

Specialty cheese maker exemplifies robust organic sector in Quebec

The farm is also one of the few to maintain the Quebec tradition of producing cheese from raw milk

During the summer, Daniel Gosselin’s and Suzanne Dufresne’s cows graze on pastures seeded to more than a dozen carefully chosen flowering plants. In winter, they move back indoors to a warm, spacious barn and switch over to a diet of dried fodder. The cows’ seasonal diet is the secret ingredient imparting the distinctive flavours of


Canadian Organic Trade Association head Dag Falck says agriculture needs to understand it’s consumers driving the conversation, not organic growers.

Telling people they’re wrong won’t win their trust

Organic farmers have an opportunity to be leaders in agriculture

The organic sector must tread carefully or risk getting caught in the crossfire in the growing debate over social licence in agriculture, the president of the Canadian Organic Trade Association says. Dag Falck told the recent Organic Connections conference in Regina that while organic farmers are rarely targeted by consumers who have concerns over how

Organic potatoes are a tough row to hoe, but the manager at Poplar Grove Farms say the crop is worth it.

More farmers looking at organic potential

2015 saw more producers start transition process

High prices and the prospect of fewer input costs are attracting more farmers to organic farming in Manitoba. At least 30 farmers began a transition in 2015, convinced they can become more profitable using a farming system that also costs less to operate, says provincial organic specialist Laura Telford. They are conventional farmers who’ve crunched

Martin Entz speaks about organic soybeans near Carman.

Higher seeding rate needed for organic soybeans

Transitioning to organic soybeans is possible with strategic planning

It’s a simple question, one that Martin Entz hopes producers will seriously consider. “Why not grow organic soybeans?” he asked producers gathered at the Ian N. Morrison research farm near Carman late last month for the Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers’ annual SMART Day. “Something farmers are always looking for is on-farm diversification, so we’ve


Federal government pledges $1.2 million to help expand organic farming

Western Economic Diversification funds will help western organic growers compete in lucrative global organic food market

A new program aimed at expanding the number of organic farmers in Western Canada has received $1.2 million from the federal Western Diversification Program (WDP). The cash will be put towards the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative (POGI), a four-year $2.2-million program being rolled out this spring by western Canadian organic associations that also have pledged

Horsemeat scandal buoys U.K. organic sales after 2012 dip

Consumers are turning to organic products as a guarantee of integrity after meat products were mislabelled

Reuters / Sales of organic products in Britain continued to decline last year in contrast to continental Europe but the horsemeat scandal has sparked a revival, the country’s main organic certification body, the Soil Association, said March 20. “In the worst economic downturn in living memory, it’s not surprising to find subdued sales of a