Cultivating a Healthier World for the Benefit of All Through Organic Food and Agriculture
by Marla Carlson
In Saskatchewan we have 29% of all certified organic acres in Canada. But we need more organic farmers and acres because at the moment demand is outstripping supply.
Organic food sales in Canada are booming and worth an estimated $5.4 billion per year! Two-thirds of food shoppers report buying organic food weekly and the market continues to grow.1 Food shoppers are increasingly becoming interested in knowing where their food comes from, and certified organic food is one of the best ways to know for sure.
How do you know if the food you are buying is certified organic? You look for the Canada Organic Seal. If you see this logo, you can trace the product on your grocery store shelf or produce section right back to the farm. In order for a farmer or food company to carry the organic logo, they must have their operation audited annually by a third party verification officer to make sure they are following the Canada Organic Standard. Only when they have successfully passed their audit are they allowed to sell that product as certified organic.
When we talk about certified organic food, we often focus on what it is not. Organic production does not allow the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides or the use of genetically modified organisms. Organics has a great story to tell beyond what it is not. Organic production is based on four guiding principles2:
- Health – organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plants, animals, humans, and the planet as one and indivisible.
- Ecology – organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them, and help sustain them.
- Fairness – organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
- Care – organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.
Every time you choose to buy organic food you are not only buying awesome tasting food, you are supporting an agricultural production method whose goal it is to develop operations that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.
In Saskatchewan we have 824 certified organic farmers, 31 certified organic livestock producers, and 56 certified organic processes with just under one million acres under organic management. In Saskatchewan we have 29% of all certified organic acres in Canada. But we need more organic farmers and acres because at the moment demand is outstripping supply. This is where SaskOrganics comes into the picture.
SaskOrganics is the industry association for certified organic farmers and processors in Saskatchewan. Our vision is to cultivate a healthier world for the benefit of all through organic food and agriculture. We fulfill our mission by putting on workshops for organic farmers and farmers interested in transitioning, field days, support research that helps farmers improve their farming practice, and through advocacy work with government. Our goal is to help create an environment where organic farming can grow and flourish.
It is an exciting time to be a part of the organic community! If you would like to learn more about SaskOrganics and how you could be involved, visit our website, www.saskorganics.org, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @SaskOrganics. Note: Friday, March 23, is “Under Our Feet,” SaskOrganics annual general meeting at Saskatoon Inn, 8:30 am–4:30 pm. For more details see contact below.
Marla Carlson is Executive Director of SaskOrganics located at 140–4th Ave. E., Regina, SK S4N 4Z4. For more information call 306-535-3456 and/or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.saskorganics.org.
1 Canada Organic Trade Association “Canadian Organic Market Report” (2017)
2 Government of Canada “Organic production
systems: General principles and management standards”