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Organic Friends' E‑zine: March 2015

Photo of the Month, by Andy Hammermeister
BioFach 2015, the world's leading trade fair for organic food, took place in Germany in February and was attended by over 44,000 visitors from 136 countries.

In this issue:

OACC Director's Message

Organic 3.0 – Envisioning the Future of Organic

I recently had the privilege of attending BioFach, the world’s leading organic trade fair, held in Nuremburg, Germany. It is easy to see that organic has captured the imagination of the food industry, with over 2,200 exhibitors and over 40,000 trade visitors (i.e. not general public) attending. Products covered the full spectrum of the food industry and beyond, from baby food to bubble bath.  

Over the last few decades, organic agriculture and food has evolved from an ecologically based movement (Organic 1.0) to a well-recognized and leading system of sustainable production with regulated standards and identifiable market presence (Organic 2.0). However, organic agriculture remains a niche, accounting for only 1% of the global agricultural land base, and the highest market share in any country has reached only 8% (Denmark). The best organic farmers have demonstrated that organic agriculture can be a sustainable and economically viable production system. However, organic agriculture is presently growing too slowly to have a significant impact on global issues such as climate change, food security and hunger, biodiversity loss, ecological degradation, rural depopulation and social justice. Is it our goal to sustain organic agriculture as a niche market opportunity, or are we really seeking mainstream adoption of organic practices to the extent that organic can truly influence global issues?

IFOAM Organics International is leading the discussion of Organic 3.0: What is our vision for the future of organic agriculture and food? What needs to be done to ensure that organic agriculture rapidly effects change in these global issues? What research is needed? Do our current organic standards and regulations enable or disable producer adoption of organic practices?

Watch for future discussions around this very interesting initiative!

Sincerely,
Andy Hammermeister, Ph.D., P.Ag.
Director, OACC

Assistant Professor, Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture

Organic Science Cluster II

  • New Natural Weed Control Products for Organically Grown Products [PDF - 590 kB]
    • Poster at Weed Science Society of America Conference. 2015
  • Organic food processing survey
    The Food Development Centre and MAFRD, in partnership with the Canada Organic Trade Association, with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Organic Science Cluster II project, are conducting the first ever national survey of the specific challenges that organic food manufacturers face in bringing value-added organic food products to market. If your business manufactures organic processed food products to sell at Farmers' Markets, retail outlets or through any other sales channel, they would love to hear from you. Results of the survey will be used to help improve the business environment for organic food processing in Canada.

Practical Resources

Crop Rotation

Livestock

Scientific Results

Post-harvest Handling, Storage and Processing

Social Science

Marketing and Economics

Organic in Canada

 

Student, Job and Apprentice Opportunities

Events

Event Location Date
Manitoba Organic Farm Production Club Meetings
Various locations in Manitoba March 7, 14, 21 and 24, 2015
Organic Farming and Soil Management at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2015
Vienna, Austria April 12-17, 2015
5th International Conference on Organic Agriculture Sciences
Bratislava, Slovakia October 14-17, 2014

 

 

Organic Friends' E-Zine March 2015, Volume 11, Issue 5
Copyright © 2014 Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC)
PO Box 550, Truro, NS B2N 5E3, oacc@dal.ca
Please send comments or questions to joanna.mackenzie@dal.ca, Editor of Organic Friends' E-Zine
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