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Overview of Certified Organic Produce in Canada

Overview of Certified Organic Produce in Canada

2022-07-22

Article by: Hari Yellina

Fruit and vegetable growers that were certified organic produced less overall in 2021 compared to 2020. Unfavourable weather in the key provinces for organic farming reduced fruit yield (-11.6%), but enhanced organic vegetable production (4.5%) In 2021, 3.3 percent of all fruit and vegetable production nationwide was certified organic. Farmers of fruit and vegetables that are certified organic must be certified and verify that their crops adhere to the Canadian Organic Standards, which are overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Limiting the use of synthetic crop inputs like pesticides and fertilisers is the principal farming technique used by certified organic farmers.

In 2021, the area used for growing certified organic fruit and vegetables decreased by 0.5% to 19 246 hectares. Fruit and vegetables that are certified organic have a higher farm-gate value, up 3.1%. The biggest portion of organic fruit cultivation was in Quebec (82.8%), followed by British Columbia (9.8%) and Ontario (5.7 percent). Imports of organic berries as a whole climbed by 33.8 percent in 2021 over the previous year. The largest component, 10.7 million kilogrammes (+42.8%) of organic strawberries, was followed by 4.8 million kilogrammes (+27.5%) of organic blueberries, 3.0 million kilogrammes (+16.8%) of organic raspberries, and loganberries, all of which were organic. Mexico and the United States accounted for 65.9% of all imports (23.0 percent). Comparatively, Canadian farms sold 38,710 kilogrammes (-17.2%) of organic raspberries, 7.1 million kilogrammes (-36.3%) of organic blueberries, and 357,908 kilogrammes (+51.7%) of organic strawberries in 2021.

Despite a minor drop in cultivated land, global certified organic vegetable production in 2021 climbed 4.5 percent to 42.6 million kg (excluding potatoes, greenhouse vegetables, and seeds) (-3.3 percent to 4 965 hectares). Approximately 75.5 percent of the certified organic vegetable area was in Quebec in 2021, followed by Ontario (12.3%) and British Columbia (8.9 percent ). In 2021, 4.7 percent of the total field vegetable area was dedicated to the cultivation of certified organic vegetables.