Registration Open for OCO’s 2019 AGM & Policy Forum

Registration is now open for the Organic Council of Ontario’s 2019 Annual General Meeting and Policy Forum, taking place April 12th at the Gibson Centre in Alliston, Ontario.

We invite OCO members and the general public to participate in a day of informative presentations, discussions, and a delicious local organic tasting experience!

Table of Contents

Draft Agenda

This agenda is a draft and subject to change. Read the panel descriptions and speaker biographies here.

8:30 AM – Registration & Coffee

9:00 AM – Policy Forum: Opening Remarks

9:05 AM Organic Standards: Are we getting them right?

  • Moderated by Carolyn Young, Organic Council of Ontario
  • Hugh Martin, Chair of the Technical Committee on Organic Agriculture
  • Simon Jacques, OFC Ontario representative
  • David Cohlmeyer, Greenhouse Committee
  • Ruvena Buslovich, Fiesta Farms
  • Joel Aitken, Livestock Working Group

10:20 AM – Breakout Sessions

  • Organic Integrity and Innovations in Traceability: Part I
    • Harro Wehrmann, Wehrmann Grain & Seed
      • Organic fraud and experience with the traces system in Europe
    • Ryan Koory, Senior Analyst with Mercaris
      • Imports and gaps in organic tracking in North America
    • Ken Nott, Grain Discovery
      • Utilizing blockchain for IP soybeans traceability
  • Organic Research Forum: Soil Health, Pollinators, and Organic Seed Research
    • Moderated by Ali English, Ecological Farmers’ Association of Ontario
    • Brent Preston, The New Farm
      • On-farm trials using tarps instead of tillage and their effects on soil carbon
    • Ruth Knight, Soil Health Coalition
      • How to measure soil health with citizen scientists: Preliminary findings from Erin Township
    • Kyra Lightburn, University of Guelph
      • Wild pollinators in rotational grazing systems
    • Simon Durand, College Alfred, Union des Cultivateurs Franco-Ontariens
      • Organic dairy cost of production trials and ongoing research

11:30 AM – Break

11:40 AM – Breakout Sessions:

  • Competing Labels: Understanding Other Method of Production Labels for Meat and Dairy
    • Dave Lockman, Pro-Cert
      • What is Grassfed? Pro-Cert’s new standard
    • Bita Farhang, Dairy Farmers of Ontario
      • What is Grassfed? Perspectives from the Dairy Farmers of Ontario
    • Ashley DeLarge, True Foods
      • Other emerging Method of Production claims: humane, free from and more
    • Marte Pronk
    • Mathias Seilern
      • Producer perspectives from organic and ‘grassfed’ beef and dairy farmers
  • Organic Integrity and Innovations in Traceability: Part II
    • Thorsten Arnold, Grey Bruce Centre for Agroecology
      • Europe’s consumer-facing product database: Bio Mit Gesicht “Organics with a Face”
    • Cory Van Groningen, V.G. Meats
      • Experience with BioLinks and BioTracks: Tracking animal supply chains with your smart phone

12:50 PM – Lunch

1:15 PM AGM: Report on Finances, Update on Activities: Board Nominations

2:30 PM – Breakout Sessions:

3:40 PM – Break

3:50 PM – Breakout Sessions:

5:00 PM – Closing Remarks

5:00 PM Local Organic Tasting Reception

Local Organic Tasting Reception

Following the Policy Forum, join us for a series of seasonal taste sensations, featuring local beverage and food businesses!

The whole day is open to the public, but we especially encourage you to invite your organic-minded friends and guests to attend the Local Organic Reception.

Join us for our organic reception! Vendors and contributors include:

  • Belanger Organic Farm
  • Beau’s
  • Burnbrae Farms
  • Dimpflmeier Bakery
  • Frogpond Farm
  • Great Canadian Cider Company
  • Green Table Foods
  • Koa Natural Foods
  • Mapleton’s
  • Mill Street Brewery
  • Southbrook Vineyards
  • Spent Goods
  • The Stock Exchange
  • Thrive Organic Kitchens
  • Tonica Kombucha

We still have room for a few more vendors. If you are interested in becoming a vendor, please contact


The Policy Forum, AGM and Organic Reception will all take place at The Gibson Centre for Community, Arts and Culture in Alliston, Ontario.

63 Tupper Street West
Alliston, ON L9R 1E4

Directions are available on their website here.

Attending the AGM in Alliston? Stay at the Red Pine Inn

Red Pine Inn
497 Victoria Street East,  Alliston

Ask for the OCO AGM rates to receive a discounted price on your accommodations!

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The Organic Council of Ontario would like to thank our Sponsors and Donors for their support. The meals at the AGM will feature organic ingredients from our members.

Flourish Sponsor

Grow Sponsors

Seed Sponsors

Food Donors

Annual General Meeting Business Agenda

The Annual General Meeting Business Agenda will include:

Membership and Participation

Remember, all certified organic operators are now automatically members! Come out and make your vote count.

If you are not a certified organic operator, but you are a part of the organic value chain, an individual organic supporter, or an association, you can still have a vote at our AGM as a Supporting Member of OCO. Be sure to renew or join before March 15th, and feel free to contact Dora if you want to check your membership status.

The whole event is also open to the public, but voting at the AGM is reserved for members only.

Advanced Online Voting for Board Positions

This year, OCO is offering advanced online voting for Board elections.  All advanced votes must be placed by April 8th at 5pm. 

Learn more and vote now!

Can’t Attend? Vote By Proxy!

If you cannot attend and wish to vote by proxy, you can send another member in your place. Please contact us for a proxy voting form (to be submitted by April 11 at 12pm).

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