Organic Food

Good news: Canada's organic market continues to grow. There's a record number of certified organic producers, and consumers across the country are eating and using more organic products than ever before.

The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) puts together comprehensive reports on the Canadian organic industry, which focus on both consumers and producers. These reports include:

  • Organic in Canada: By the Numbers – Features national and regional data on organic producers, processors and acreage
  • Canadian Organic Market Report - Provides the most up-to-date overview of consumer research, sales figures, trade data, market size and growth trends
  • Organic Food Processing Report: State of the Industry - A comprehensive report of organic food and beverage processing in Canada

All of COTA's publicly available reports—free and paid—can be purchased and downloaded from their online store.

Some of the latest key findings from these reports:

  • Canada's total organic market (including food and non-food items) is estimated at $5.4 billion, up from $3.5 billion in 2012
  • Organic acreage in Canada now reaches 3.3 million acres and represents an estimated 2.1% of Canadian farmland
  • The number of certified producers in Canada increased from 4,800 in 2017 to 5,791 in 2018
  • Two-thirds of Canadian grocery shoppers are purchasing organics weekly
  • British Columbia had 840,520 organic acres in 2018, up from 794,000 acres in 2017
  • British Columbia had 898 organic operations in 2018, which includes crop producers, livestock producers, and processors
  • British Columbia has the highest number of organic sales per capita in the country.
  • British Columbia has the second highest number of farms transitioning to organic in Canada

The COABC also compiles its own statistics based on COABC membership data.

Please note that not all organic farms are certified under the COABC umbrella. These stats are based solely on COABC membership and are not representative of province-wide data.

  • The COABC has around 800 members, including over 100 operators that are transitioning some or all of their products to organic
  • The BC organic sector is varied and includes fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs, grain, alcohol, flowers, coffee, herbs and spices, and more
  • The number of certified organic livestock operators has more than tripled since 2015
  • Over 40% of the farms in Cawston, BC are certified organic, and nearly 70 of those operators are certified through the COABC
  • The operator with the largest certified organic acreage is located in 105 Mile House and has 362,000 acres

Read BCOG Summer 2020