With more and more people interested in holistic health, organic farming has moved out of the category of "niche market", now being valued at over $63 billion with over 1.8 million certified organic producers worldwide. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada states that industry analysts have found organic farming is now "the most dynamic and rapidly growing sector of the global food industry." In Canada alone, there has been a "dramatic growth" in organic farming; in fact, the demand for organic food outweighs the supply.
So just how does a farm receive organic certification in Canada? Organic farmers must comply with a number of regulations set forth by the Canadian government, and organic certification is overseen by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The main goal is "to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment." This includes humane handling of livestock, as well as specifications for crops, including (but not limited to):
- Long-term soil fertility
- Maintain organic integrity through proper product preparation and careful processing and handling
- Environmental protection on several levels
- Recycling of materials and resources within the environment
These regulations ensure that organic farming is as healthy for the land and environment as the organic food it produces is for our bodies. Land to be used for organic farming must follow organic practices and procedures for 36 months before the first organic harvest.
Not only do the regulations apply to produce and animal products, they also apply to any beverages labelled as organic as well as to the feed given to animals sold as organic. A "Canada Organic" logo indicates that the ingredients contained in the product are at least 95 per cent organic.
Organic farmers typically say they find farming organically to be personally rewarding; besides being better for the environment, farmers also eliminate the risk of using, handling and breathing in unhealthy chemicals.
You can find an assortment of organically farmed, non-GMO functional foods meeting the highest standards at Progressive Organics, including coconut oil, hemp protein, whey protein and more.