Organic Value Chain Roundtable

A Brief History

Consumer demand for organically grown food has increased dramatically in recent years. As a result, Canada's organic agriculture sector is flourishing. Canadians' demand for organic products often outstrips available domestic supply. Globally, the market for organic foods and other products is estimated at almost $US 64 billion in 2012 (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements). Canada is the 4th largest organic market in the world with sales of $3.0 billion, a 300% increase since 2006, and represents 1.7% of total food sales in Canada.

In December 2006, the Organic Value Chain Roundtable (OVCRT) was launched to build a shared understanding of the Canadian organic sector's competitive position and create consensus on how to improve its performance and profitability. OVCRT members represent a wide cross section of the Canadian organic value chain including producers, processors, distributors, retailers, food service and exporters, along with provincial and federal government representatives.

Since its inception, the OVCRT has contributed to various organic initiatives, such as the development of a sector brand strategy, implementation of an organic scientific research program (AAFC's Canadian Agri-Science Clusters), and the development of an international strategy for the sector (AAFC's AgriMarketing Program). Recently, roundtable members completed a five-year Strategic Plan , which focuses on four main priority areas: increasing Canadian organic capacity, market development, regulations, and research innovation. The strategic priorities will provide the roadmap for the OVCRT's work over the next five years.