2013 Press Releases
National Organic groups grow closer
OTTAWA: January 29, 2013 — Two of Canada’s longest-running organic organizations today announced that they are streamlining and centralizing their efforts to better represent Canada’s organic sector in Ottawa. The Canadian Organic Growers (COG) and Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) will build upon their history of collaboration while also sharing office space and resources in the nation’s capital.
Active since 1975, Canadian Organic Growers is a national charitable organization with nine regional chapters, four affiliated organizations, and members in all regions of Canada. COG’s membership is diverse and includes farmers, gardeners, processors, retailers, educators, policy-makers, and consumers who share a vision for a sustainable bioregionally-based organic food system.
Active since 1985, 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. COTA maintains an affiliation with the Organic Trade Association in the U.S.
“COG and COTA have an excellent history working together,” says Daniel Brisebois, COG President and organic farmer from Quebec, “and in sharing physical office space, we believe even greater efficiencies can be recognized to benefit our collective memberships.”
“This will be welcome news for the Canadian organic sector,” says BC-based Gunta Vitins, COTA President and industry co-chair of Agriculture Canada’s Organic Value Chain Roundtable, “it will allow the organic sector to have a strong and consistent message for policymakers in Ottawa.”
Both COG and COTA are members of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. They have partnered on numerous projects and priorities in the past: as founders of Canada’s annual national “Organic Week” celebration, on educational workshops to train organic operators on the new organic standards, and in other areas of importance to the organic sector. The two organizations will maintain distinct boards of directors and organizational roles, but will maximize efficiency through collaboration, shared resources and common headquarters in Ottawa.