Organic Value Chain Roundtable
A Brief History
Consumer demand for organically grown food has increased dramatically in recent years. As a result, Canada's organic agriculture sector is flourishing. Canadians' demand for organic products often outstrips available domestic supply. Globally, the market for organic foods and other products (produced without use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), antibiotics and growth hormones) is estimated at almost $US 63 billion (2011). Source: International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
In December 2006, the Organic Value Chain Roundtable (OVCRT) was launched to build a shared understanding of its competitive position, create consensus on how to improve it, and put plans into action. Its members represent a wide cross section of the Canadian organic sector including producers, processors, distributors, retailers and exporters.
There are currently four components to the OVCRT: increasing Canadian organic capacity; market development; regulations; and research and innovation. They have contributed to various organic initiatives, such as the development of an organic scientific research program (AAFC's Canadian Agri-Science Clusters) and the development of an international strategy for the sector (AAFC's AgriMarketing Program).
Roundtable members are currently focusing on the development of a five-year strategy; creating a branding strategy for Canadian organic products; reducing consumer confusion surrounding organic and natural claims; and mitigating risks associated with GMO contamination.
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