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Quick Facts on Organics in Canada

  • In 2005, the last year for which there are statistics, Canada had 3618 certified organic producers. Another 241 farmers were making the transition from conventional to organic farming.
  • Saskatchewan is home to close to one-third of all certified organic producers in Canada.
  • Over 1.3 million acres (530,919 ha) of land in Canada is used to grow organic food. Another 118,500 acres (47,955 ha) is in transition to certification.
  • Organic farm operations reflect the bioregional diversity across the country in the same way as conventional agriculture. For example, the majority of the organic farms on the Prairies are producing grains and pulses, organic dairy producers are found primarily in Ontario and Quebec and most of the certified organic tree fruit production occurs in central British Columbia.
  • Wheat is Canada’s largest organic crop with over 187,000 acres (75,816 ha).
  • Organic livestock production is increasing dramatically. From 2004 to 2005, the beef herd increased by 30%, sheep numbers by 19%, layers by 20% and broilers by 56%.
  • The number of certified organic processors and handlers increased by 47% between 2004 and 2005, with the largest increases observed in British Columbia and Quebec. This represents the second year of dramatic growth in the processing sector. Between 2003 and 2004, the number of processors jumped by 48% with most of the gains occurring in Ontario and Manitoba.