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Harper Government Boosts Canadian Organic Sector

TRURO, NOVA SCOTIA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/12/14 -- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Member of Parliament Scott Armstrong (Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley) today announced an investment of $8 million for the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC) to lead an organic science cluster that will help the sector respond to market demand and capture new opportunities.

The cluster brings the best and brightest together, from academia, government and industry, to focus on cutting-edge research and development that will improve the organic sector's competitiveness, market potential, adaptability and sustainability. This will be accomplished through a series of activities focused on expanding organic production in response to market demand for hops, sprouts, ornamental potted plants and poultry.

Two hundred collaborating scientists will work on several priorities, including: crop breeding for improved cultivars; developing new reduced tillage systems for organic crops; enhancing soil to improve plant health; and developing new approaches to manage crop pests, diseases and livestock parasites.

Quick facts

--  Founded in 2006, the OFC is a not-for-profit corporation that promotes
    the interests of all the stakeholders in the organic sector. This
    cluster will be managed by OFC with assistance from the Organic
    Agriculture Centre of Canada at Dalhousie University. 
--  Canada's organic exports have been valued at over $458 million, with
    most going to the U.S. and the European Union. 
--  This investment builds on previous research funding provided to the
    Organic Science Cluster under Growing Forward. 
--  This investment is made through the Industry-led Research and
    Development stream of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriInnovation
    Program, a five-year, up to $698-million initiative under Growing
    Forward 2. 


"The Canadian organic sector continues to grow at an impressive rate. Investments like this in research and development span the entire value chain, from production through to the consumer, and support the competitiveness, growth and prosperity of the organic sector and our overall economy."

- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

"The Organic Federation of Canada is privileged to collaborate with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at Dalhousie University on this national project to advance the understanding and methodology of organic farming. This project involves researchers across the country working together to provide us with the tools needed to expand production to meet the ever-growing consumer demand for organic food."

- Ted Zettel, President Organic Federation of Canada

Additional links

Growing Forward 2 (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

AgriInnovation Program (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Organic Federation of Canada

Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada

Jeff English
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada

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