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September 28, 2012: Manitoba Proclaims Organic Week, Sept. 22-29, 2012
According to the recently released 2011 Statistics Canada Census of Agriculture, the number of organic operations in Canada has increased 66.5% since 2001 to 3,713, while the total number of farms has declined by 17% over the same period. Manitoba has 180 organic operators, representing just over 1% of the province’s farms.
Some of Manitoba’s organic entrepreneurs, such as Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods are known around the globe for their high quality organic food product choices. “As a national sponsor of Organic Week and a board member of the Canada Organic Trade Association, I’m pleased that the Minister is publicly recognizing Organic Week,” said Mike Fata, CEO and co-founder of Manitoba Harvest. “Manitoba Harvest and many other organic businesses have experienced double-digit annual growth over the past decade and we’re thrilled that governments are beginning to understand the benefits of organic agriculture and to see the organic sector as a viable player within the agri-food industry.”
For more information on Organic Week, visit http://www.organicweek.ca.
May 20, 2012: Organic Science Cluster Invites Input on Future Research
The Organic Science Cluster will be renewed in 2013 and will fund organic agriculture projects across the country. The Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) is inviting input from organic producers in order to set priorities and initiate research projects that will have a real impact on organic production. See the release from OACC for more information on specific questions and how to send in your input.
May 20, 2012: Canadian Organic Science Conference Videos Now Available
The Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada and the Organic Federation of Canada invite you to view a series of films shot at the Canadian Organic Science Conference held in Winnipeg, February 21-23, 2012.
Series 1 includes four 20 minute videos featuring short reports and interviews with organic scientists and producers who share their experiences, their vision, and mostly, their great dedication to the development of sound organic production systems in Canada.
Film 1: Impact of Research on Organic Agriculture
Film 2: Organic Researchers in Canada and the United States
Film 3: Organic Knowledge for the Future
Film 4: Organic Farmers and Researchers Sharing Knowledge
Series 2 is a comprehensive series of videos including all keynote and research presentations of the Canadian Organic Science Conference. View the videos at http://cerebralfocus.com/cosc/webcast/
May 10, 2012: Standards Interpretation Committee Invites Comments on New Questions and Answers
The Organic Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC) provides interpretive guidance to the Canada Organic Office on issues related to the National Standards for Organic Agriculture (CAN/CGSB 32.310 and CAN/CGSB 32.311). Click here to consult the proposed answers to questions raised by organic stakeholders regarding the Nation Standards for Organic Agriculture.
The proposed responses are subject to a 60 day comment period starting May 10th and closing July 10, 2012. All comments regarding these answers should be sent to email@example.com
Commented Questions and Answers
The Canada Organic Office has received comments about some of the answers posted under the public comment period ending January 30th 2012; the Standards Interpretation Committee considered all comments and, when appropriate, revised these answers. In some cases, comments did not result in a change to the Q&As. Click here to consult the first list of the commented and/or revised Questions and Answers. These Q&As are final and not subject to further comments; they will be integrated into the final Q&As under the COO website and OFC website.
November 20, 2011: Organic research and resources
University of Minnesota and University of Manitoba Cover Crop Research
The University of Minnesota has posted a website reporting on its research into canola as a cover crop for pre-emergence weed/disease suppression. The site reports on a study to determine the effectiveness of several pesticide-free methods of killing canola to maximize weed suppression in the production of strawberries, pumpkins, and fresh-market new potatoes. One method the researchers evaluate is the roller-crimper, also called a blade roller, which has also been the focus of recent University of Manitoba research into organic zero-till systems.
Organic Essentials Shopping Guide, and more from the Organic Center
The Organic Center, through its program Generations of Organic, has produced a pocket shopping guide that helps consumers assess the pesticide risks of fruits and vegetables. Read more at http://www.generationsoforganic.org/in-the-kitchen/pocket-guide/. See also Transforming Jane Doe's Diet and the Nutritional Quality Index for more on food and pesticide risks.
Are you concerned about Monsanto's new genetically engineered sweet corn?
US-based Food and Water Watch will be delivering petition signatures to major US grocery store chains. Sign the petition at http://action.foodandwaterwatch.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8405
November 2, 2011: Manitoba organics in the media
Members of Manitoba's organic community were the focus of two major articles in the Manitoba Cooperator during October, in conjunction with Organic Week.
October 20, 2011: A fresh look at our organic roots
Featuring Janine Gibson (Organic Food Council of Manitoba), Martin Entz (University of Manitoba) and Priscilla Reimer (MOA), this article highlights the potential of organic food production systems to provide safe and abundant food while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving soil and environmental quality. See the article here (Page 1, Page 2).
October 27, 2011: Compo-Stages Manitoba Services Co-op demonstrates advantages of composting manure
Industrial-scale compost turning demonstrations were held at several locations in southern Manitoba during Organic Week. The purpose of these demonstrations was to introduce Canada's first agricultural composting co-op, Compo-Stages Manitoba Services Co-op. One of the three interim directors of the co-op is Gerry Dube, a founding member of the Organic Food Council of Manitoba. Composted manure can be an important source of nutrients for organic farmers. See the article here.
November 2, 2011: Looking back on Organic Week, October 15-22
People across Canada celebrated Organic Week October 15-22. Here in Manitoba, local organic organizations, retailers and other groups held some exciting Organic Week activities as well.
The Manitoba Organic Alliance (MOA) was a strong presence at the Green Lifestyle and Natural Living Show at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on October 22-23. This show featured Manitoba organic producers and their products in the MOA Artisan Market all weekend. Organic foods were front and centre at the cooking stage on Saturday afternoon, where several chefs showcased organic ingredients and the audience had a chance to have MOA’s Priscilla Reimer answer their questions about the benefits of eating organic, what organic really means and why it matters.
Other Organic Week events in Manitoba included organic taste testing events all week long at Vita Health locations across Winnipeg as well as farm tours and large-scale composting demonstrations.
Canada’s National Organic Week is the largest annual celebration of organic food, farming and products across the country. Visit www.organicweek.ca for information on events that took place across the country, as well as a copy of the special Organic Week feature section printed in the Globe and Mail on Friday, October 14.
Organic Week is an important way to raise awareness about organics among producers and consumers alike. Thanks to all who participated in these events!
October 21, 2011: Government of Canada Celebrates Organic Week by Helping Boost International Markets for Producers
Minister Ritz Makes Announcement During National Organic Week
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Oct 21, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- National Organic Week kicked off October 15, and with the festivities in full swing Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that the Government of Canada is investing to help the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) enhance the industry's competitiveness in global markets.
"Canada's organic farmers produce some of the world's most wholesome and healthy food, and are a global player in this dynamic and growing market," said Minister Ritz. "Our Government's investment will help the Canada Organic Trade Association increase access to international markets, which will put more money in their pockets in the future."
The investment of $195,000, through the AgriMarketing Program, will enable COTA to brand Canada within the global organic sector, build brand awareness within established target markets, participate in international trade shows, contribute to capacity development and identification of new exporters and capitalize on demand opportunities.
"This support from the Government of Canada has allowed our emerging sector to pursue new opportunities for Canadian organic products around the world," said Matthew Holmes, executive director, Canada Organic Trade Association. "Members of the Canadian organic sector have seen real and immediate results from our export strategy, including improved market access, increased sales, and a better network of business connections."
Throughout the week, events are taking place across Canada as part of Organic Week, the country's largest annual celebration of organic food, farming and products. The Canadian organic market has grown from $2 billion in 2008 to over $2.6 billion in 2010. Specifically, exports of agri-food products reached $390 million in 2010.
The Government of Canada has also developed the Canada Brand strategy to help the Canadian agriculture, agri-food, fish and seafood sector distinguish itself from key competitors in international markets. The Canada Brand encourages buyers overseas to link Canadian products with quality, commitment, trustworthiness and the clean land and water for which Canada is known.
Tools and promotional products, including a stylized maple leaf logo, are available to registered Canada Brand members, including the COTA, to help them develop marketing strategies and activities adapted to their own circumstances.
To find out more about Organic Week, visit www.organicweek.ca
June 2011: CGSB Organic Standards available
The Canadian Organic Regulations were accepted in June 2009 and the CFIA and the Canada Organic Office are pleased to announce that the CGSB Organic Standards are now available on the CGSB website free of charge.
December 2010: Organic Federation of Canada updates
The Organic Federation of Canada Elects New Executive Committee
The OFC Board met for face-to-face meetings and an AGM in a cold and sunny Saskatoon on November 20-21st, while organic producers and stakeholders from across the Prairies were gathering for the Organic Connections conference and tradeshow. The OFC continues to evolve as the representative voice of the national organic sector on standards and regulatory issues.
Member representatives elected to the 2010-11 OFC Executive Committee are:
President Ted Zettel, Organic Council of Ontario
Vice-President Julie Belzile, Filière biologique du Québec
Secretary Sue Cheeseman, Organic Council of Nova Scotia
Treasurer Priscilla Reimer, Manitoba Organic Alliance
Chair Clark Philips, New Brunswick Working Group/ACORN
Election 2010 – National Standards Interpretation Committee
The Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC) consists of seven (7) members who are drawn from the technical committee responsible for the Canadian National Organic Standard. Members shall be experts in different aspects of organic standards and regulations.
Different sectors include: Crop producers; Livestock Producers; Processors (food manufacturers); Importers, Distributors and Retailers; Certification Bodies; CB Inspectors; Consumers.
Current members of the Standards Interpretation Committee are:
Term ending December 2010: Gérard Bouchard, Matthew Holmes, Rochelle Eisen
Term ending in 2011: Ted Zettel, Jean Duval, Janine Gibson, Dag Falck
The terms of three committee members are ending in December 2010. As per SIC Terms of Reference, OFC provincial and territorial members each have a vote in the election of SIC members. Please note that the people currently filling these positions may run for re-election if they are nominated again. OFC has received five nominations, all nominees are members of the CGSB Committee on Organic Agriculture.
The nominees are: Maureen Bostock, Gérard Bouchard, Rochelle Eisen, Wally Hamm and Jack Lowndes (Short bios of the nominees can be read at this link)
The Manitoba Organic Alliance will cast a vote at the next OFC Board Meeting scheduled for January 11th. Please advise your provincial representative to the OFC, Priscilla Reimer, how to vote - no later than Friday, January 7, 2011.
In other words, which three (3) people from the above list do you want as your representatives on the National Standards Interpretation Committee? Send your preferences to Priscilla now.
If you need more information, please contact Priscilla Reimer at 204-427-2235 or at by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nicole Boudreau at 514-488-6192
For more information about the OFC, please visit the website at: http://www.organicfederation.ca/
November 26, 2010: 2010 MANITOBA EXCELLENCE IN SUSTAINABILITY AWARD WINNERS, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS ANNOUNCED
The recipients of the 2010 Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards and Sustainable Development Scholarships were announced today by Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie. “These awards recognize true champions of sustainability, showcase homegrown success stories and, most importantly, inspire other individuals and groups to take action,” said Blaikie. “As we honour the recipients for their achievements, we need to reflect on how we can each reduce the size of the footprint we leave on this earth.”
Among the recipients are: F.O.O.D. (Marnie Feeleus) - a valuable contributing member of the organic community for many years; and Diversity Food Services (Chef Ben Kramer) - which has also been an advocate of organic food in recent years.
To view the entire release on the Manitoba government website, follow this link
June 21, 2010
Susie Miller, co-chair of the Organic Round Table, hands the reins to Jaspinder Komal. Miller is stepping down as co-chair and generously agreed to an interview, prior to upcoming OVCRT meetings in Quebec City, June 28-29, with Priscilla Reimer, Manitoba director of the Organic Federation of Canada.