Reports Show Continued Growth
in Organic Food Industry
May 17, 2007 -- For Immediate Release
Two new reports show continued growth in the organic food industry.
The Nielsen Company reported Monday that sales of organic products
in grocery stores grew 28 percent over the past year. The five-year
agriculture census released today by Statistics Canada also showed
significant growth in the number of certified organic farms since
2001 (3,555 vs. 2,230 in 2001), while the total number of farms
declined by 7 percent. Certified organic farms now represent 1.5
percent of the total number of farms in Canada, with a further 0.3
percent of farms in transition. The census also tracks the number
of farmers using organic methods that are not certified by a third
party. In 2006, 11,937 farms reported using organic methods, representing
5.2 percent of all farms.
According to Nielson, the top selling organic food categories in
Canadian grocery stores were fresh vegetables (25%), beverages (excluding
milk) (18%), fresh fruits (13%) and dairy (11%), while the Statistics
Canada report reveals that field crops (grains, cereals and oilseeds)
are the most common organic product grown in Canada.
"Other than dairy, the majority of the organic foods that
Canadians are buying are imported, while the organic field crops
produced by Canadian organic farmers are exported. This doesn't
make sense", said Laura Telford, Executive Director of Canadian
Organic Growers. "We need to shift some of our organic production
to meet the needs of Canadians. This makes sense from an environmental
and food security perspective."
A comparison of the Statistics Canada five year organic production
data to the annual statistics collected by Canadian Organic Growers,
revealed that the greatest annual growth in organic production between
2005 and 2006 occurred in Ontario (19%) and in Atlantic Canada (16%).
"Slight annual declines in other regions of the country may
be related to the different methods of data collection used by the
two organizations" said Anne Macey, author of COG's 2005 organic
The Nielsen Company also reported regional differences in growth
of organic sales with Alberta experiencing the largest growth and
Quebec the least.
"Taken together, these reports reveal an industry experiencing
strong growth, though consumption continues to outpace production",
said Laura Telford Executive Director of Canadian Organic Growers
(COG). "With a new federal organic regulation coming on line,
we expect this growth to continue for some time."
For more information:
The 2006 Statistics Canada report is available at:
The Canadian Organic Growers 2005 Organic Production
Report is available at:
Or contact: Laura Telford Executive Director Canadian
1 888 275-7383
Anne Macey Canadian Organic Growers
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