OCO Outreach Activities: Growing the Organic Sector

Dec 6, 2013,

RBC presentation Nov 2013 cropped

Tom (center) is joined by Vice Presidents (from left to right) Sheri McLeod, Marc Varin, Frank Berdan, and Steven Harris.

In Canada, the organic food sector has a particular challenge as most of the organic food consumed is imported. OCO members feel this impact in their struggle to find growers and compete with foreign suppliers. Education and outreach is a vital activity for OCO in supporting its members to grow the organic sector, reach new markets, recruit more growers, and culture allies in supporting organic farmers.

On Nov 21st, on behalf of the Organic Council of Ontario, Tom Manley from Homestead Organics made a presentation to the Royal Bank agricultural account managers and their vice presidents at their annual training retreat in Cobourg. Twenty people were in attendance covering the Ontario region from Cornwall to North Bay to Barrie. Tom talked about organic production methods, certification, market growth, commodity prices, farm viability, and especially about the financing needs for organic farms and food businesses.

The presentation was well received as evidenced in the positive feedback, the insightful questions, and the stories from some of their own organic customers.

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