For Immediate Release

BC Farmers Discovering the Benefits of Organic Certification

COABC Celebrates National Organic Week with Workshops for Growers

September 8, 2014, Vancouver, BC - To keep up with growing consumer demand for fresh, local, sustainably raised food, more and more of BC's farmers are adopting organic growing practices. But not all take the step to become certified organic. Now, the Certified Organic Associations of BC is helping to make the certification process faster and easier, putting organic certification within reach of even the smallest-scale farmers.

On Saturday, September 20, farmers from across the lower mainland will gather at UBC Farm for "Organic Certification Made Easy", a free workshop presented by the COABC as part of National Organic Week. They'll be there to learn about new online tools and changes to the certification process that are streamlining paperwork, cutting costs for farmers, and reducing the time (and headaches) involved in maintaining organic certification.

"We know there are increasing numbers of BC growers using sustainable practices, but they may be hesitant to become certified organic because there's a perception that it involves a lot of paperwork," says Jen Gamble, Executive Director of Operations of the Certified Organic Associations of BC. "But with these new online tools, certification can be much smoother and more cost-effective. Workshops like this one help us to get the word out to growers that organic certification is not the intimidating process they may think - and the benefits are huge!"

The workshop is just one way the COABC is reaching out to BC's many new young small-scale farmers. A series of Youtube videos exploring organic certification is in development, and a social media campaign, #ICertify, is spreading the word about the benefits of organic certification. The initiatives are funded through Vancity's enviroFund.

"The future of our food systems in BC really depends on these new young farmers," notes Gamble. "They're already passionate about farming. We want them to be just as passionate about raising certified organic food, because certification ensures that products meet a high standard. It's for everyone's benefit."

Event details
Date: September 20, 2014 2pm - 3pm
Location: UBC Farm, 3461 Ross Drive Vancouver BC
Cost: Free
Register at Everbrite Link

More info at www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca



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