Our 2019 Year in Review

The year 2019 was a year full of action and variety for the Organic Council of Ontario. We made progress on some key priorities for the organic sector, and we are excited about continuing to nurture our investments of time and energy in the months and years to come! 

As a reminder of what we’ve been working on and where we’re headed, here is our Year In Review for 2019:

  • We released our Premium Meat Pricing Report, showing a clear consumer interest in local organic meat products. Some meat labels, however, are competing with organic for the highest price despite a lack of clear definitions and regulatory oversight.
  • We hosted a series of Webinars in relation to the Organic Standards Review. The webinars helped members and organic stakeholders better understand the organic standards revisions, and some of the key issues at play in the revision process. The Technical Committee will vote on the draft standards in the next few months, and the new standards will be announced in 2020. 
  • This year for Organic Week, we held a social media contest. We asked our followers to post why they #LoveOntarioOrganic, and winners received gift cards from a variety of organic retailers. Thank you to all who participated in celebrating the bounty of Ontario organic!
  • We wrote a feasibility study on creating a Canadian database of approved organic inputs. As part of this project, OCO conducted focus groups with producers and input manufacturers, as well as a survey of the industry, which received over 380 responses. We hope to continue the work on Phase II of this project in 2020. 
  • We began work on our Ontario Organic Data Strategy, which has included collecting production and acreage data and other types of organic data in the province. We are also working with the Canadian Organic Growers to develop five cost of production resources for various types of production. Stay tuned in early 2020 for an update!
  • We partnered with Fruit & Vegetable Magazine for our new Organic Perspectives column. Look for the column in issues throughout 2020, and if you are a producer, marketer, or other organic expert interested in writing for the Organic Perspectives column, please do contact us.
  • After Bill 54 passing a second reading in late 2018, we met with MPP Jim McDonell and Minister Ernie Hardeman to discuss next steps for Bill 54 (Organic Products Act, 2018), which is currently at the Committee of the Whole. After receiving positive feedback, we are developing a proposal to implement the Act, which has included reviewing recently passed provincial regulations in Alberta and British Columbia.  We hope to see the bill pass in 2020!
  • We held an organic policy forum in conjunction with our AGM, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to learn about and discuss organic issues.
  • We accomplished all of this with a small and mighty team of passionate full and part time staff and a dedicated board. 

If you think our work is valuable and would like to support us in our contributions to the Ontario organic sector, please become an Individual or Supporting Member today!

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