Organic Council of Ontario Receives Funding For Public Trust Campaign 

Guelph, Ontario – June 7th, 2024 – The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) has received funding for a public trust campaign aimed at building awareness of and confidence in the Canadian Organic Standards, organic certification and the benefits of organic products. This project is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

“Providing support for the organic sector is just one of the many ways we are investing in Ontario-grown food and Ontario farmers to achieve our goal of increasing production and consumption of Ontario grown and prepared foods by 30% by 2032,” said Minister of Farming, Agriculture and Agribusiness Rob Flack. “The Organic Council of Ontario is working to strengthen public confidence in the quality of Ontario-grown organic produce, and our government is proud to support their good work.”

Organic agriculture holds immense promise for Ontario. Canada is the 5th largest organic market globally, with Ontario constituting Canada’s largest domestic market, valued at more than $1 billion and representing 40% of Canada’s organic grocery sales. However, despite the demand, domestic production has not kept pace, making Ontario the largest importer of organic products in Canada. 

The project, funded until March 2025, will engage key consumer and agri-food industry groups through workshops and educational resources focused on developing a clearer understanding of what it means to be certified organic. 

“There’s a lot of confusion in Ontario about what the word ‘organic’ means,” says Carolyn Young, the Executive Director of OCO. “With more and more consumers looking to buy organic, we want those purchases to stay in Ontario as much as possible. But the public needs to be confident that they are getting what they pay for.” 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to put this project into action,” states Krysten Cooper, OCO’s President and Director of Corporate Culture and Sustainability at Yorkshire Valley Farms. “We believe that trust is a critical element in ensuring a robust organic community in Ontario. With the ups and downs of the market, we recognize that not all producers have chosen to certify. We want to help bridge the knowledge gaps about the regulations, the standards, and organic practices to get more farmers and businesses ready to make the transition to certification.” 

The funding will support webinars, workshops, tours and outreach events as well as educational resources to strengthen public trust.

For more information media may contact: 

Carolyn Young
Executive Director
Organic Council of Ontario
carolyn@organiccouncil.ca
(519) 827-1221 Ext: 101

The Organic Council of Ontario – The Voice for Organics in Ontario

About the Organic Council of Ontario

The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) is the Voice for Organics in Ontario. It is the only full value chain association operating at the provincial level. OCO represents over 1,300 certified organic operators, as well as the businesses, organizations and individuals that bring food from farm to plate. OCO works to incite sector growth, support research, improve training, increase data collection, encourage market development, protect the integrity of organic claims and inform the public of the benefits and requirements of organic agriculture.

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