Organic Food

Mary Winspear Centre (Sidney BC) March 4, 5, 6, 2011

(refer to the lexicon for acronym assistance)

FRIDAY MARCH 4 (day time)

* An Information / Training Session with the Canada Organic Office (COO) (9am-12). An opportunity for CFIA Accredited Certification Bodies, VOs along with CVB board members to hear from COO representatives on various issues related to the Organic Products Regulations and the Canada Organic Regime.

* VO/CB/CC Professional Development with your CVB(AB): Anne Macey & Rochelle Eisen (12-6pm). This formalized training will cover feed audits, trace back audits, mass balancing (in/out audits) & expected yields (esp for intensive multi-cropping operations), compliant labelling and much more. Registration is $45 / person (late registration $70/person) for this stand alone session and includes lunch. Formal session will begin at 1pm.. COABC certificates of attendance will be issued. Registration for this workshop as well as the rest of the 2011 COABC Next Generation conference can be done online or download the printable registration page and mail it in. For more information contact Rochelle rare(a)

FRIDAY MARCH 4 (evening)

* Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standards? Ted Zettel (7-8pm).
As the Organic Federation of Canada's voting member on the Canadian General Standards Board's Organic Aquaculture Technical Committee, Ted Zettel in this interactive session would like to get a sense of the level of support there is in BC for Canada-wide Organic Aquaculture Standards. He observes that the aquaculture standard has come a long way since the first draft. What further movement do we need before it can be accepted by the organic community? Is there an achievable common ground? Click here to read Ted Zettel's bio.

* Urban Farming: Beyond Community Gardens and Local Food. Chris Thoreau (7-8pm).
Urban farming is a unique and relatively new model for urban agriculture that is income-generating, contributing to meaningful urban employment as well as local food production. Though still in its infancy in Canada (urban farming is well developed in the US), urban farming is on the rise. There are currently about 19 urban farms in Vancouver and several others throughout the province. With the help of an OSDP grant, Vancouver urban farmers are working together to establish an urban farming network to help urban farmers increase the sustainability of their businesses and to help the city meet its goals in becoming The Greenest City in The World by 2020. We'll talk about this project and the evolution of urban farming in North America. Click here to read Chris Thoreau's bio.

Are Natural claims riding the Organic Wave for free? Dag Falck (8:15 - 8:45am)
Natural label claims are now growing faster than the organic label.  Dag will examine what the customer is getting from products labelled “Natural”, and why marketers are benefiting.   Organic and Natural foods marketing grew up together and no doubt this supported the growth of both in the early days.  Is it still a symbiotic relationship benefiting both?  And how can we best safeguard the hard work gone into building organic production to where it is today?

Dag is the Organic Program Manager for Nature's Path Foods promotes organic as a means to achieve personal and environmental health while providing a sustainable income for producers. With 15 years experience as an organic inspector, and on behalf of Nature's Path he is an active participant in private, NGO and government organic initiatives for returning to healthy environments, clean and healthy food, and great natural taste. He was the recipient of the Canadian Health Food Association Organics Achievement Award in 2008.

Canada's Organic Sector Brand Strategy: Gunta Vitins (8:45 - 9:15am)
The Organic Value Chain Roundtable has developed a brand strategy to promote the Canadian Organic Sector and differentiate it from competitors.  The brand strategy is comprised of branding elements, a sector vision and mission and a 3 – 5 year implementation plan which is to be finalized through further consultation with the organic community.  The brand strategy is intended to support all segments of the organic sector – from small to large farmers and processors, to distributors, retailers, restaurateurs etc.  Gunta Vitins, Chair of the Market Development Work Group that initiated the project on behalf of the Roundtable, will present the brand strategy and progress to date and solicit further input from the BC organic community. 

Gunta has been spearheading innovative agri-food initiatives in the public and private sectors over the past 25 years, focusing on the organic sector since 1990.  Her experience spans government, agricultural production, processing, sales, marketing and distribution, and she has held progressively responsible positions at Pro Organics, Canada’s leading distributor of organic produce, and SunOpta, the world’s largest organic ingredient supplier. Over the past several years, Gunta served as VP Marketing for Pro Organics and Director of Public Relations for SunOpta.   She is now running a consulting business.
Gunta’s commitment to the organic sector extended well beyond the marketplace through her involvement with Canada’s Organic Value Chain Roundtable, the Organic Trade Association, the Canadian Health Food Association, the Certified Organic Associations of BC, and the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society.  Gunta received the COABC Founders Award in 2005 and the CHFA’s Organic Achievement Award in 2007.

Livestock from field to plate: Sheila and Ron Hamilton (9:45 - 11:15 am)
Ron and Sheila of Sunworks Farm near Armena, Alberta will be speaking on the aspects of being a viable farm business using diversification, the economy of scale in livestock production, marketing by meeting the consumers needs and doing all of this while still following core values.

Sheila and her husband Ron purchased their farm near Armena, Alberta in 1992 and immediately began the process of organic certification.  Sunworks Farm was certified as organic in 1997 and the Hamilton family started raising their first flock of poultry for sale to the public that year.  Sunworks Farm now raises a variety of organic poultry and livestock which they direct market at Farmer’s Markets in Edmonton and Calgary, as well as to selected restaurants and a private school.  The farm has a mentorship program where individuals interested in learning about sustainable organic farming practices live with the family in order to learn every aspect of the farm business as well as the full depth of what the family believes in.  A Family Farm Day is held every fall where customers are welcomed to the farm to share a meal and to learn more in depth what takes place in the raising of the food they eat.
Because of the effects of conventionally raised foods on the health of Sheila and their two daughters they are true believers in the organic philosophy.  They are holistic farmers who take the whole picture into account prior to making decisions.

Soil ecology & alternative mulches for blueberry: Tom Forge (9:45 - 11:15 am)
Tom Forge is a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Agassiz, and he has been collaborating with Art Bomke and Wayne Temple in research on the influences of alternative mulches on soil ecology, nutrient dynamics and productivity of blueberry. Tom will talk about the basics of biological interactions in the root zone of blueberry and present results from the research he has been doing with Wayne and Art.

Tom is a research soil ecologist at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) in Agassiz. His research is directed at understand-ing the influences of soil, nutrient and water management practices on soil ecology, particularly for perennial fruit crops. Current projects include: (1) Impacts of alternative water and nitrogen management practices on soil health indicators and root pathogens of raspberry, (2) Population dynamics and impacts of ring nematodes on grapevines in relation to nitrogen and water inputs, and (3) Influences of alternative mulches and irrigation practices on root growth, parasites and symbionts of blueberry. The latter project includes collaboration with Art Bomke and Wayne Temple (UBC), exploring nutrient management options for organic blueberry, and the use of alternative mulches for both organic and conventional blueberry.
Tom's interest in soil ecology started way back when he was a boy in small-town Kansas and he wondered why some fields had more earthworms (fish bait!) than other fields. While doing his graduate studies in Wisconsin and post-doctoral research in Scotland and the US, this interest grew into a fascination with nematode parasites, soil food webs, and the influences of organic amendments and mulches on life in the soil.

The Value Chain Puzzle - Finding the Missing Pieces: Dag Falck & Jason Boyce (9:45 - 11:15 am)
Consumers are demanding organic products, and want to support local farmers with their purchasing dollars. BC organic farmers have an opportunity to meet this demand. This presentation will discuss the challenge and opportunities that exist for farmers to provide products to companies like Nature’s Path Foods, using the framework of value chain models. Three areas will be focused on:
1) Value Chains: Starting with an overview of how a value chain works, understanding the role of a VC Coordinator. Looking at historic learning about value chains in BC- and how it can teach us about today and help plan the near future. What are the pieces of the value chain for organic products that are strong in BC, and what is missing.
2) Get on The Path: What does a consumer on an organic path need from a farmer producer? What are the attributes of demand in this area, and how is it changing? Find out, and start delivering it, and your product will sell more. Understanding why your story and many of the “boring things” you do everyday is what the end consumer is looking for, and you can attract the manufacturers to your product with it.
3) How to: Practical ways to that the value chain framework can help you identify the missing pieces that can bring your product to local or distant manufacturers and
increase your profit and volume of sales. We will describe the barriers that exist for doing this work, and some innovative solutions that have been developed, including: finding capital, utilizing equity, and re-examining the cooperative model.

Dag is the Organic Program Manager for Nature's Path Foods promotes organic as a means to achieve personal and environmental health while providing a sustainable income for producers. With 15 years experience as an organic inspector, and on behalf of Nature's Path he is an active participant in private, NGO and government organic initiatives for returning to healthy environments, clean and healthy food, and great natural taste. He was the recipient of the Canadian Health Food Association Organics Achievement Award in 2008.

Innovative Cover Cropping & Conservation Tillage Systems: John Luna (11:30am - 1pm)
The session will focus on innovative cover crops and management practices to maximize on-farm nitrogen production and improve soil organic matter. Zone tillage and other minimum tillage systems will be described which can lead to reduced energy consumption, improved soil organic matter and increased crop yields. Ecological principles will be discussed to provide rational for management decisions.

John is a recently retired professor in Horticulture and Entomology at Oregon State University. At OSU his research focused on cover cropping, conservation tillage systems, and biologically - based pest management alternatives. John has also serves as consultant to agricultural businesses and nurseries transitioning to more sustainable practices.
Growing Up Organic: the successes, blunders and surprises on Salt Spring Island: Patricia Reichert (11:30am - 1pm)
Funding from COG's national Growing Up Organic project gave our community an unprecedented opportunity to develop a system for selling local farm food to commercial buyers. Sounds easy?-It's anything but. This workshop will cover the range of issues associated with developing a local food distribution system, from not enough farm produce, to competing with what the gigantic semi-trailer trucks have to offer, to managing the price squeeze, to building on success.

After years of working on national socio-economic research and community development projects, Patricia decided to start the first certified organic, artisan flour mill in the region, on Salt Spring Island. That was more than a decade ago. Through her involvement in local food processing she learned that her local community is a microcosm of a lot of the things that are wrong with the larger food system, and she became involved in changing the system. Since then, she has worked on many related projects including the Salt Spring Island Food Security Plan and the Salt Spring Area Farm Plan. She has conducted two studies on commercial farm produce production on Salt Spring and was co-researcher on the Salt Spring Island Livestock Study which spawned the recent "Save Salt Spring Lamb" abattoir project. She is member of the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiative Roundtable (CR-FAIR) steering committee. Through the past three years she has coordinated the Growing Up Organic project on Salt Spring Island.

Developing and Maintaining a Farm: Legal Considerations: Wanda Gorsuch & Robert Thompson & Miko Ross (11:30am - 1pm)
As business people, farmers face a world of legalities and regulations. This session will explore a range of legal and regulatory factors developing and established farms need to know including local bylaws, provincial regulations, farm classification & land use agreements.

Wanda is a private contractor providing information research and writing services for sustainable agriculture projects. Wanda recently worked with The Land Conservancy of BC to produce a series of agriculture documents: Planning for Biodiversity: A Guide for BC Farmers and Ranchers (Environmental Farm Plan Guide); BC's Farmland and Food Future: Local Government Toolkit for Sustainable Food Production; A Guide to Farmland Access Agreements; Community Farms: A Feasibility Study; and Farmland Trusts: Communities Supporting Farmland, Farming and Farmers. On her own initiative, she is working with other stakeholders to build ecological goods and services programming for BC farmers and ranchers. She is an active Board member with the Haliburton Community Organic Farm Society. She has a BSc in Conservation Biology, an MA in Environment and Management and is a Professional Agrologist.

Bob lives in Saanichton, BC, where he has been active in local politics and farm advocacy since the mid-1990s. He was a Councillor in the District of Central Saanich from 2002-2008, and chaired the Planning and Development Committee during his tenure; he has maintained his interest in land use planning as Chair of the Central Saanich Advisory Planning Commission since 2009. Over the last 15 years, he has worked in support on agriculture with farmers' markets and farm organizations at both the local and provincial level, including the Southern Vancouver Island Direct Farm Marketing Association (SVIFDMA), the Island Farmers' Alliance (IFA) and BC AgriTourism Alliance (BCATA). He currently edits the SVIDFMA "Farm Fresh" guide and website, serves as a director of the Island Farmers' Alliance, and is the Marketing Coordinator of the Food Safety Systems Implementation (Processor) Program for the Small Scale Food Processor Association.

Miko Ross has been with BC Assessment since 2004 in both residential and farm properties all over the Capital Assessment Region. Prior to joining BC Assessment, Miko spent 4 years with the University of Victoria Students' Society. There, he worked with the Board of Directors in the areas of budgeting, policy, event planning and human resources. Miko holds a degree in Urban Geography, is a former chair of a Property Assessment Review Panel, has sat as a commissioner on the Provincial Capital Commission, and served on the City of Victoria's Advisory Transportation Committee. He used to pass his summers lifting hay bales on the family farm near Tatla Lake, BC.

Community Farms, Land leasing and other ownership models: Jen Cody, Heather Pritchard, Nichola Walkden (1:45 - 3:15pm)
Growing Opportunities, Community Farms and Farmland Access Agreements.
Farm Folk City Folk, TLC The Land Conservancy BC and Providence Farm will co-present their experiences in Community Farms and promoting access to available farmland through leases and other agreements. FFCF and TLC have coauthored three Community Farm publications and A Guide to Farmland Access Agreements.

Jen has been active in the food community since 1998 . She is a founding member and a current co-chair for the BCFSN, a provincial network involved with food system issues. She works with perinatal families as a dietitian and childbirth educator. Her work with aboriginal families has enriched her understanding of food security, food skills, and indigenous food and culture. Her new fun and adventure has been as an active coordinator/worker and founder of Growing Opportunities Community Farm. Only in it's 4th year, the farm is working with people of all levels of ability, and has supported people with mental health disabilities to participate. The farm is developing a commercial growing seeds project, a native bee project, and a beginner bee keeper course at the site for 2011/2012 and this year is incorporating as a cooperative.

Heather is the Executive Director of FarmFolk/CityFolk Society. She has over 40 years experience assisting non-profits, co-operatives and small businesses with financial planning, organizational development and personnel management. As an active member in a land co-op (Fraser Common Farm Co-op) where she lives and Glorious Organics Co-op, a certified organic farm business on Fraser Common Farm which she founded and continues to work, Heather has first-hand experience with the challenges of sustainable agriculture. Heather co-wrote the FarmFolk/CityFolk book. She is on the GVRD Agricultural Advisory Committee, a founding member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council, the co-chair of ALR-PEC (Agricultural Land Reserve-Protection and Enhancement Committee) and a Director of the BC Food Systems Network.

Nichola is the Deputy Executive Director of The Land Conservancy BC, and Manager of Agricultural Programs. BSc. MACAM.

Passing on Market Garden Secrets: Hermann Bruns (1:45 - 3:15pm)
Four areas of interest to market gardeners.
1) Using Unheated High Tunnels
add weeks of incredibly good growing in the spring, boosts summer production plus maximizes fall harvest. Additional benefits are realized when the right crops are planted in each of these windows.
2) Weeding for Profit
involves the fine balance of controlling weeds so they don't interfere with crop productivity or efficient harvesting. The challenge is to choose the right technique at the right time to capitalize on the effort spent.
3) Pest Success Stories
- adventurous fairy tales of attempting to overcome flea beetles vs true successes addressing carrot rust fly and cabbage root maggot.
4) Successful Post Harvest Setups
- efficient washing and packaging.

Hermann together with his wife Louise, operates Wild Flight Farm, a 20-acre certified organic market garden near Mara Lake in the BC interior. The farm started with a bare cornfield and an idealistic vision to grow organic vegetables and sell them at farmers markets. Eighteen years later, Wild Flight Farm now uses 27,000 sq.ft. of poly tunnels, a 4000 sq.ft packing and storage facility, and 7 seasonal employees to produce a year-round supply of organic vegetables for local markets. Hermann is a past president of the North Okanagan Organic Association and has served as a director of the COABC and currently represents BC at the Organic Federation of Canada.

UBC Research - Grains in Eco-friendly Crop Rotations: Art Bomke and Wayne Temple. 1:45 - 3:15pm
Presentation: Grains make excellent break crops in predominantly vegetable crop rotations and our recently initiated Eco-Friendly Crop Rotation project includes a major effort to evaluate the latest in new wheat, barley and naked oat varieties for sowing in organic or low input conventional farming systems. Sources of new varieties include Ontario, Prairie, Pacific Northwest, Maritimes and British crop breeding programs and include both spring seeded and overwinter lines. Our approach has been to stress yield, quality, disease resistance and lodging resistance in selecting varieties for local testing. First year methods and results will be discussed. The UBC Farm is planning feeding trials using its free range poultry flock

Art grew up on a small, mixed farm in central Illinois and has been a Faculty member at UBC for 37 years. He has worked on a wide range of soil and crop management research projects and has taught courses in soil management, agroecology , agricultural systems and in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems' Land, Food and Community core program.

Wayne completed his Soil Science Ph.D. Research on using BC seaweed products in crop production and has partnered with Art Bomke as a Research Associate for over 25 years. His work has included conducting on-farm soil management and conservation projects. He has managed cereal grain research projects and refined the recommendations for use of poultry manure based fertilizers and composts in the south coastal region.

Cooperating for Profit: Heather Stretch. (3:30 - 4:15pm)
In this session we will look at the structure of Saanich Organics, how and why it works. From here we will discuss both the pragmatic, day to day details of cooperative growing and marketing, and also the big picture challenges and benefits of working together.

Heather has been farming for 10 years. She is owner/manager of Northbrook Farm, and co-owner of Saanich Organics. The land she co-owns with family is also shared by business partners, apprentices, former apprentices, and farm hands.

Creating A Successful Farm Apprenticeship Program: Mary Alice Johnson (4:15 - 5:00)
Are you considering hiring a farm apprentice? Mary Alice discusses the factors that should influence this important decision then guides you through the process. Topics covered include "Do I really need or want to have apprentices?", "What are my obligations?", "What can I reasonably expect of an apprentice?" and "What makes a good learning environment?"

Mary Alice has been farming in Sooke for over 20 years. With a teaching background, she was natural to begin teaching apprentices how to farm. Some of her previous apprentices have previous apprentices who have apprentices. She has coordinated the SOIL Apprentice program for Canada for 15 years and will talk about the pros and cons of having and apprentices on your farm and how to make it work for you.

Innovations in wire worm management: Todd Kabaluk (3:30 - 5:00pm)Todd Kabaluk will explain the difficulties of wireworm control and summarize current and past worldwide research aimed at providing their non-chemical management in agricultural food production. In doing so, he will present concepts that growers can use to investigate their own ideas for wireworm management. He will also introduce a new journal that gives organic agriculture research a venue in the academic arena.

Todd is a Research Biologist in Integrated Pest Management at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Agassiz, BC. His work involves two main areas aimed at the non-chemical management of wireworms: biological control, and pest monitoring to identify wireworm levels that are damaging to food crops. Peripheral to his research activities, he is Associate Editor of the new international journal 'Organic Agriculture', Past President of the Professional Pest Management Association of BC, author of a directory of microbial pesticides for OECD countries, and principle editor of a recent book on the use and regulation of microbial pesticides worldwide. In recent international work he advised on commercial-scale microbial pesticide production for sugar cane farmers in Honduras.

JA from inulin to feed - new value chain opportunity: Larry Whetstone (3:30-4:15pm)
Inulin, a soluble fibre is being added to pet food, animal feeds, as well human food allowing high fibre and improved gut microflora claims to be made. Jerusalem Artichoke is an ideal source of inulin & biomass. Larry Whetstone will speak on the opportunities provided to farmers by growing JA.

Larry Whetstone has been associated with various food products and ingredients in Canada for more than 25 years.


The 30-20 Conservation Gardening System: John Luna (4:15 - 5:00pm)

This session will describe an innovative system of managing winter annual cover crops with a zone tillage system for home gardens and low-mechanized, small-scale farms. The system involves polyculture cover crops and relay interplanting of vegetable crops into beds prepared between strips of living cover crops. The cover crop biomass is cut and removed from the beds prior to tillage and used as mulch. This system minimizes tillage, while maximizing cover crop contributions to soil quality and crop nutrition.

John is a recently retired professor in Horticulture and Entomology at Oregon State University. At OSU his research focused on cover cropping, conservation tillage systems, and biologically - based pest management alternatives. John has also serves as consultant to agricultural businesses transitioning to more sustainable practices.
Where Innovation and Impact meet - Vancity speaks as a financial co-operative about finance, food and farming: David Berge (7:00 - 7:20pm)

David is the Senior Vice President of Community Investment at Vancity, with $14.5 billion in assets and over 410,000 members. Founder and CEO of Underdog Ventures, LLC, a company which creates and manages customized community investment venture capital funds, integrating socially responsible investment, community development finance and philanthropic components.  Its last venture fund has to date created more than 9 x invested capital in equity and cash gifts from entrepreneurs to benefit non-profits.   Underdog Ventures was recognized as one of ten U.S. financial institutions providing especially strong benefits to the environment and one of the top five funds supporting social mission. 

Slow Money: Ari Derlef (7:20 - 7:40 pm)
Slow Money is both a movement and an organization. The movement is a response to money that is too fast, companies that are too big, and finance that is too complex. Its goal is to make it possible for people to easily and directly connect our values to the way we spend and invest our money. It starts with local food because building healthy, robust local food systems is the first step towards building a restorative economy. The organization focuses on four initiatives: building networks, creating new financial products and services, developing educational programs, and designing assessment tools to further the efforts of the movement.

Ari is an entrepreneur, organic chef, activist, mountain guide & public speaker. His academic career spans the University of Wisconsin, Harvard, Georgetown, UCLA & Cambridge. Currently, Ari is the Executive Director of Slow Money and Ari and his business partner, Eric Fenster are the owners of Gather, the critically acclaimed, all-organic, sustainably designed restaurant, at the renowned David Brower Center in Berkeley, California. From the construction materials to the computer driven exhaust units and remote refrigeration systems, Gather is a leader in innovative design and has set the bar for the future of the restaurant industry. The New York Times claims Gather "has the feel of a Michael Pollan book come to life," while Esquire Magazine named it a national Best New Restaurant of 2010 and awarded the Gather Chef, Sean Baker, the title "Chef of the Year." Ari and Eric also founded Back to Earth Organic Catering in 2001, the first organic catering company in the US.
Ari is also internationally known for his work on waste and consumerism. As an experiment, he saved every single piece of trash & recycling he created during 2007 so that he could see his impact on the planet firsthand. Ari gave the year of trash to an artist named Kuros Zahedi, and in September, 2009 it was unveiled as a single work of art in Seattle, Washington. The story received worldwide attention. Ari has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, the Discovery Channel, SF Chronicle, New York Times, Ripley's Believe it or Not, Yoga Journal, Real Simple, and other print, television, internet and radio media worldwide.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency down on the Farm: Guy Dauncey (9:00 - 10:30am)
Many farms are very dependent on diesel, and have large energy bills. With peak oil fast approaching, this is a worrying situation. Can farms become more sustainable by being more energy efficient, and generating their own renewable energy, such as solar, wind, biogas and biodiesel? And can they benefit from carbon farming?

Guy is a speaker, author, and organizer who works to develop a positive vision of a sustainable future, and to translate that vision into action. He is President of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, and author or co-author of nine books, including the award-winning books - The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming and Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic. He is also the publisher of EcoNews, a monthly newsletter that promotes the vision of a sustainable Vancouver Island. His home page is

On the Shelf: Howard Joynt (9:00 - 10:30am)
The presentation will be a one and half hour interactive conversation about the steps required in an estate preparation. The talk will cover listing the assets and liabilities of the farm, the family situation, some aspects of taxation and conclude with how to start and carry on with your estate plan. The talk will look at the various stages of the farm life cycle and what needs to be done at each stage.

Howard is a professional agrologist with 34 years of experience in agriculture economics, farm management extension and rural development . His experience ranges from 'one to one' training of farm families in business skills, set up of farm organizations, to providing economic analysis and farm tax policy advice to the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture. His experience covers project management, staff supervision, program delivery and publications. Mr. Joynt has a diverse skill set that has enabled him to work in many fields from extension to rural development, risk management and policy.
As a private consultant Howard has continued to provide economic analysis to the Cariboo Pine Beetle Coalition and the 100 Mile House Agri-Centre Initiative. Howard continues to provide his expertise directly to farmers, farm organizations, First Nations agriculture and various government agencies.
He enjoys the opportunity to work with farmers trying to determine their path in face of production, investment, human resource and risk potential. He is also comfortable in carrying that analysis to a broader perspective in terms of market capabilities and regulatory constraints.
Howard still shares and enthusiasm for all aspects of agriculture from production to distribution and keeps current and educated with trends and changes in agriculture.

Future Bees Needs: Ted Leischner (9:00 - 10:30am)
The decline of domestic and wild bees critical to food abundance and environmental health thousands of years, continues. Though we are closer to understanding colony collapse disorder in honey bees, we continue to lose colonies worldwide and capacity for crop pollination. Wild bees have been identified as an insurance policy for this loss of honey bees but the first Canadian study to show that flowers are blooming earlier and earlier and coming out phase with the emerge of native bee pollinators was published this fall. When wild bees cannot get a supply of nectar and pollen, the bee and or the plant disappears leaving a gap in the ecology of life support. We have 400 native bees species in BC that may be effected by this process to some degree. What does all this mean for the future of capacity for pollination? Join Ted Leischner at the COABC Conference 2011 at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney BC, March 5th, talking on Future Bees Needs and the Critical Role of Organic Gardeners and Farmers to save the mechanism of natural crop pollination.

Ted's prime focus is biodiversity conservation and building ecological capacity for life support and sustainable food production. He has kept bees for 30 years including 10 years as a commercial beekeeper operating 500 hives, raising his own queen bees while teaching beekeeping at an agricultural college in AB. Observing the importance of bees to the economy of southern BC, and noting the serious nature of bee decline, he has engaged himself in volunteer bee pollinator conservation outreach working with CANPOLIN researchers. His conservation activities are guided my extensive literature search and investigation to keep current on the topic. He is back to keeping bees, collecting native bees on the coast and doing public speaking events and training workshops to garden clubs, naturalists, beekeepers and conservation and community groups to get the bee pollinator decline story out and coach one and all about what can be done to save honey bees and our 400 plus native bee species in BC and use them for main pollinators of food crops. His new business, Plan Bee Now, removes misplaced invasive plants and does habitat restoration and bee garden design.

Who’s Who in the COR/COS/OFC/SIC/CGSB/OTA/COG Continuum, Where Are We, and Next Steps (10:45-11:30am)
Ted Zettel chair of the Organic Federation of Canada will connect the dots on who is who in the Canadian organic scene and outline the necessity of a strong national voice to represent the organic sector. The sector is particularly vulnerable at this time. We have federal regulation, but the essential, ongoing task of dealing with the federal government and ensuring the integrity of the organic claim is largely maintained by volunteer effort.
Ted Zettel is a pioneer in the organic farming field, one of the first Canadian farmers to make the transition, achieving certification in 1986. He helped to found OntarBio Cooperative (now Organic Meadow ) in 1989 and was the first President. He served as Public Relations Director for the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario from 1987 until 1992 and has been active in teaching and promoting organic methods and the ideal of cooperation to achieve the common good across Canada and internationally.
Ted retired from organic dairy farming after 29 years, but still manages their 400 acres as an organic cash crop operation together with his wife and business partner Christine and their son (youngest of 4 boys and 2 girls) Mark.
He currently chairs the Board of Directors of Organic Meadow inc., the marketing subsidiary of Organic Meadow Cooperative and is employed in the effort to unite organic dairy farmers across Canada in a cooperative marketing venture. He serves as the Organic Council of Ontario's delegate to the Organic Federation of Canada and was elected President of the OFC in 2008.
Chris Thoreau operates My Urban Farm, a unique bicycle-powered urban farming business in Vancouver specializing in growing sunflower sprouts. In his second year he has built the business into a profitable and respected contribution to the urban food chain. Chris is currently finishing his undergraduate degree in Agroecology at UBC with a focus on soils, urban food production, and plant breeding. He is also a member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council which advises the city on food security issues. Prior to his time in Vancouver Chris operated Influence Organics - a small Certified Organic farm on Vancouver Island. Here he utilized no-till soil management techniques in conjunction with permaculture principles to grow a variety of food for local markets. He's pleased to be coming to Vancouver Island for a visit!


Some of the following appear in the 2011 COABC NEXT GENERATION conference materials
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada   CVB Conformity Verification Body
Accreditation Board. For example the COABC Accreditation Board operating independently from the COABC Board, oversees both regional and ISO accreditation.   DFO Fisheries and Oceans Canada (previously Department of Fisheries & Oceans)
CB Certification Body   JA Jerusalem Artichoke
Certification Committee
  IOIA International Organic Inspectors Association
CFIA Canadian Food Inspection Agency   NOP USA Dept. of Agriculture National Organic Program
CGSB Canadian General Standards Board   OFC Organic Federation of Canada
CHFA Canadian Health Food Association   OACC Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada
COABC Certified Organic Associations of BC   OMRI Organic Materials Review Institute
COG Canadian Organic Growers   OTA Organic Trade Association of North America
COO Canada Organic Office   OVCRT Organic Value Chain Round Table
COR Canada Organic Regulation   SIC Standards Interpretation Committee
Canada Organic Standard   VO Verification Officer


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