Organic Agriculture in the Prairies (2017 Data)

Organic Agriculture in the Prairies (2017 Data)

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Since 2014, the Organic Agriculture in the Prairies report has been commissioned by the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative in response to the demand for organic specific data in the Prairies. This valuable data helps organic businesses take advantage of opportunities and prepare for future challenges, allows organic stakeholders to align programming with sector realities and supports policy asks that rely upon understanding the current trends in the organic sector.

This report is free and will be sent to you automatically upon ordering. 

Key findings of the 2017 analysis: 

  • Home to 29% of certified organic operations, over a third of organic crop producers and 58% of certified organic acreage, the Prairies are a key contributor to the organic sector in Canada.
  • Organic acreage expanded from 1.6 to 1.8 million acres between 2016 and 2017. All three Prairie provinces recorded over 28% growth in organic acreage between 2015 and 2017.
  • Certified organic operations numbered 1,840 in 2017, up from 1,625 in 2016.
  • Sixty-four percent of Prairie acreage is in SK, 30% in AB and 6% in MB; Fifty-five percent of Prairie producers are in SK, 33% in AB and 12% in MB.
  • There has been little growth in organic livestock operations in the past four years; estimates remain between 120 and 130. This is likely due to the lack of a developed value chain for organic beef cattle.
  • Since 2016, the number of organic processors increased by 50, reaching 165 in 2017.
  • The Prairie organic food and beverage markets are now collectively valued at over $850 million. Seventy-four percent of Albertan grocery shoppers choose organics weekly, while 62% of grocery shoppers in SK and MB do the same.
  • The quality of data is improving but there is still much work to be done to establish more robust collection and analysis methods for organic sector data.