Organic Council Asks for Funding Parity

OCO 2016 Pre-budget Submission

OCO 2016 Pre-budget Submission

On behalf of the OCO membership, the OCO board developed a pre-budget submission as part of the provincial government’s budget consultation process.  The letter addresses the economic development potential of the organic sector and the lack of dedicated government resources to this emerging market.  In particular, the letter outlined the $9 million growth strategy recently announced by the Quebec government.  This three year strategy aims to increase supports for transitions to organic, increased risk management opportunities for the organic sector and increased access to extension services and financing.  The letter requested a minimum of 3-5% of existing programs and resources be allocated to the organic sector given the size of its market share and the need for import replacement.  Specifically, it requests:

  • Dedicating a minimum of 3% of all Growing Forward 3 money in Ontario towards organic farmers and operators and/or those wishing to transition to organic farming;
  • Dedicating a minimum of 3% of research dollars through the New Directions funding program towards organic agriculture practices and extension needs;
  • Allocating $200,000 to the Organic Council of Ontario to work in partnership with Foodland Ontario to promote Ontario organic products;
  • Dedicating $100,000 annually towards the collection of economic data on the sector with the objective of understanding the needs and growth of the market;
  • Provide seed funding towards a sector-wide consultation process to develop a sustainable funding strategy for the organic sector similar to those employed by conventional commodity marketing boards and associations.

The letter was endorsed by the Ecological Farmers of Ontario.

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