RICHMOND, British Columbia – The Canadian government announced funding of C$999,131 for the Canada Organic Trade Association.

The association will use the investment to help producers of organic products resolve market access issues. The funding also will help create export and domestic opportunities to promote the “Canada Organic” brand by via trade shows and by hosting incoming trade missions, participating at international trade advocacy meetings and creating a retailer training webinar series and manual.

Funding for the Canada Organic Trade Association was made under the National Industry Association (NIA) component of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriMarketing Program.

“This investment is dedicated to programming enhancing organic integrity, consumer and industry education, equivalency trade arrangements with organic export markets and trade advocacy on issues relevant to the success of the organic industry on the North American and international stage,” said Tia Loftsgard, executive director, Canada Organic Trade Association.

Annual retail sales of certified organic food products in Canada is approximately C$4.4 billion, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Approximately 4,289 certified organic and transitional producers are working on more than 930,000 hectares of land in Canada.

The government of Canada has invested more than C$50 million since October 2015 in support of the organic industry by primarily focusing on facilitating adoption of innovative technologies; helping organic farmers and processors take advantage of market opportunities; funding youth jobs; and research.

“Our government supports the organic industry as it continues to create good jobs across the country for our middle class,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Supporting market development for organic products will further contribute to the growth of a diverse, modern Canadian agricultural sector.”