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Organic market shows dramatic growth


November 21, 2013
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Nov. 21, 2013, Ottawa — From farmers’ markets to mainstream retail, Canada’s organic market has grown to become the fourth largest in the world, valued at over $3.5 billion per year.

The Canadian organic food and beverage market alone is worth $3 billion per year, and has grown dramatically since 2009, when the Canadian government put in place mandatory organic standards, import restrictions and labelling requirements.

These new results come in a study published today by the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA), titled Canada’s Organic Market: Growth, Trends and Opportunities.

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The study, which is the first comprehensive analysis of Canada’s organic market and consumer, includes insights on mainstream and independent retail, food service and direct marketing, and key demographic information on the organic consumer, including household type, education and ethnicity.

“The data in this report provides depth and rigour to what we’ve known for a long time: that the organic market is strong and growing,” said Matthew Holmes, executive director of the Canada Organic Trade Association.

“It also puts to rest a number of organic myths. For example, it is clear from the data that Canadians in all income brackets choose organic equally, and that Canadian products outperform imports and contribute over half of the total value to the domestic organic market.”

Among the study’s findings are:

  • 40 per cent of organic sales in mainstream retail are in fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • 40 per cent of all salad mixes bought by Canadians are organic.
  • B.C. has the strongest consumer, with 66 per cent buying some organic products weekly.
  • Ontario has the biggest organic food market, worth $1 billion a year.
  • Almost all organic buyers (98 per cent) plan to increase or maintain their purchases of organic food this year.
  • 87 per cent of organic buyers find the Government of Canada’s official “Canada Organic” logo trustworthy and influential in their purchasing decisions.

The full version of “Canada’s Organic Market 2013: Growth, Trends and Opportunities” can be purchased from the COTA website.


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