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Organic agricultural land increasing in Canada

The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA)'s latest research has revealed 5,053 certified organic operations in Canada, accounting for 2.43 million acres of land.

Key findings

  • Organic acreage in Canada increased by over 70,000 acres to 2.43 million acres, or 1.5%, between 2014 and 2015.
  • Organic areas now account for approximately 1.5% of total agricultural land in Canada.
  • While pasture still occupies the largest share of all organic acreage, its proportion has decreased from 65% to 63.8% primarily due to significant increases in vegetable & root crop acreage, as well fruit & nut acreage.
  • In 2015, Canada imported at least CAD$652 million worth of organic products, representing a 37% increase from 2012.
  • There are 5,053 certified organic operations in Canada, over half of which are in Quebec, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
  • Of the certified operations, there are 4,045 primary producers, 618 livestock operations and 1,542 processors, manufacturers and retailers in Canada.
Despite the growth of Canadian organic acreage in recent years, demand for organic is significantly outpacing supply. Organic retail sales in Canada are now worth CAD$4.7 billion annually, a 13.6% growth per year since 2007, while organic production is experiencing much slower growth.