New Online Tool to Help Certify Next Generation of Organic Farmers
Technology to Assist Future of Organic Farming in BC
September 21, 2016 – Victoria, British Columbia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
A new online system will help new entrants achieve certified organic status, as British Columbia (B.C.) farmers continue to meet the consumer demand for certified organic B.C. foods.
The Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) will lead the development of an Organic Online System, through $117,000 in funding from the Governments of Canada and British Columbia. COABC will conduct consultations and outreach with growers and stakeholders over the coming months to ensure that the project considers stakeholder needs. A pilot of the system will launch in 2017, with full implementation scheduled for January 2018.
“The development of Organic Online System will help more B.C. farmers meet the growing demand for local, certified organic products, and support opportunities and growth for small businesses. By becoming certified, new entrants to organics are joining a brand of recognized standards that consumers can purchase with certainty, and joining more than 650 B.C. farms producing, or transitioning to producing, COABC certified organic goods.”
– Norm Letnick, B.C. Agriculture Minister
The system will save farmers’ time through a more efficient and streamlined process, and also be used as a source for sector-wide data to help provide ongoing, reliable, up-to-date statistics about the sector.
The accurate data will better indicate the opportunities within the organic sector for new and expanding growers and support the planning of business growth and increased revenues. The data will also be used to help identify opportunities in value-added food production, and encourage strategic growth.
- COABC members include more than 560 farms producing certified organic goods and about 100 farms in transition to producing certified organic goods.
- The B.C. organic sector is varied and includes livestock, dairy, vegetables, fruit and berries, and spice and herb producers, grains and seeds and many specialty value added products.
- The B.C. government will require all food and beverage products marketed as “organic” in B.C. to be certified under either a provincial or national certification program by 2018.
- By helping B.C. consumers make more informed choices, these new measures will contribute to the BC Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan goal of increasing overall sector revenues to $15 billion per year by 2020.
From the Government of Canada News Website;
Original article link: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1128039&_ga=1.30499967.1361485360.1476822535