The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) leads the effort to provide estimates on the number of certified and transitional organic operators and acreage for the Canadian organic sector. Since 2014, the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative has commissioned COTA to conduct a detailed analysis of operators and acreage, which is presented in the annual Organic Agriculture in the Prairies report.
COTA relies on the voluntary provision of data from organic certification bodies, which all have their own data classification and reporting systems. This creates data gaps and inconsistencies, but is the best alternative at this time given the lack of mandatory data collection by the government. Since 2015, there has been almost universal participation from certification bodies, resulting in the best estimate of operations and acreage in Canada. COTA thanks all participating certification bodies for their voluntary participation in this much needed data collection.