Organic food 'in high demand'

July 03 2013

A new report has indicated that the demand for organic food in Canada is on the rise, with the value of the market experiencing rapid growth.

The latest data from the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) indicates that sales of organic produce have tripled since 2006, currently taking in $3.7 billion a year, Global News reports.

Back in 2009, the federal government implemented national standards and label requirements at the urging of the wider industry - and this move was made in the hope of upholding consumer confidence in claims to organic status.

Executive director of the COTA, Matthew Holmes, acknowledged there used to be a much wider range of claims or logos that purported to indicate a product qualified as organic, which could become confusing.

He explained that the situation has improved considerably, as everything that is imported into the country or sold in Canada has to meet a consistent national standard, which is federally regulated, and is subject to health inspection.

The expert went so far as to suggest there is now a transparency and an audit trail that ultimately offers consumers comfort in the knowledge that every single ingredient has been certified.

Furthermore, this thoroughness means that everything can be traced back to its origin, which reduces the chances of unidentified problems presenting themselves.

Mr Holmes said there is a strong demand for organic meat, particularly meat that has not been subjected to hormones or antibiotics, and which has come from animals that have lived outdoors.

He also predicted a positive future for organics: "It's probably the strongest growth food sector in North America right now in terms of consistently growing every year, even through the recession. We think it’s a great future for farmers."

"We are encouraging people to think organic and give it a try," Mr Holmes continued.