In early 2010, Canadian Organic Growers received funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to develop a business plan to work with the commodity associations that run national On-Farm Food Safety (OFFs) programs. This project is now complete.
Our Key Findings and Recommendations
During this project, three national food safety programs emerged as clear priorities for the organic sector based on the following factors, in order of importance:
- Level of development of the national program
- number of organic farmers
- level of marketplace or regulatory demand for the program
- degree of interest shown by the various NPOs in collaborating with the organic sector, and
- compatibility and usability of on farm food safety programs
Based on these criteria we ranked each of the programs from 1 to 4 with 1 being the highest priority in table 18. Priority 1 commodities are horticulture (6 programs), dairy and beef. A second tier of priorities includes pork, chicken, eggs, turkey and honey. If market conditions change and there is a demand for on farm food safety programs for grain producers, this would become a priority for organic because of the large number of organic producers. The organic sector should keep a close watch on trends in the grain sector.