Organic An Effective Business Strategy for Ontario Farmers

The benefits of transitioning to organic production are at an all-time high. So why aren’t more Ontario farmers going organic?

Ontario’s organic market is not meeting consumer demand. Imports are increasing, but local supply is not. The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) wants to find out why. In order to do that, they are seeking input from food producers and processors across the province.

They’ve published a survey for farmers and food businesses that aims to assess current interest and participation in organic production throughout the agri-food sector. The survey is part of a research project by Carolyn Young, which seeks to identify the barriers to growth in the organic sector.

“Research points to some common barriers, but there has never been a consultation like this in the province before,” says Young.  “We’re really looking to understand what’s preventing mainstream farmers from making the switch and why organic farmers aren’t scaling up.”

Recent reports suggest that transitioning to organic practices is an effective way to increase profit margins and gain a competitive edge in the market. Global consumer demand for organic is expected to grow at a rate of 14 per cent annually over the next five years. Due to the stabilization of organic crop prices through increased commodification (especially for corn and soy), farmers can now be assured that a transition to organic is an effective long-term business strategy.

Once complete, the results of the survey will provide OCO with a sense of what can be done to better meet the growing demand for organic in Ontario.

If you’re interested in sharing your views, please visit the Organic Council of Ontario’s website to take the survey.


This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.


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