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Study points to dramatic growth of organic market


November 20, 2013
By Canadian Organic Trade Association

Nov. 20, 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.

Nov. 20, 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.

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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.”

The first comprehensive analysis of Canada’s organic market and consumer, the study 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.

• Some 98 per cent of organic buyers plan to increase or maintain their purchases of organic food this year.

• Some 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.

ABOUT THE COTA

The Canada Organic Trade Association is the membership-based trade association for the organic sector in Canada, representing growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others in the organic value chain.

COTA’s mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.


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