Canadian organizations

For those interested in comparing ecological agriculture initiatives in Canada and China, this list may be of interest – we provide web links for Canadian organizations working on issues of food system sustainability and organic agriculture.

National organizations

  • Organic Federation of Canada - National non-governmental voice to oversee revisions and maintenance of the national organic standards.
  • Organic Value Chain Roundtable - government sponsored roundtable established to create consensus on how to improve Canada’s organic sector. Its members represent a wide cross section of the Canadian organic sector including producers, processors, distributors, retailers and exporters.
  • Canadian Organic Growers - National, volunteer-based organization. Members cross the organic food sector and include: consumers, producers, processors, retailers etc. Their mission is to lead local and national communities towards sustainable organic stewardship of land, food and fibre while respecting nature, upholding social justice and protecting natural resources. They sell numerous manuals and books on a wide range of organic issues, and their website includes key links to the organic standards and other national groups.
  • Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada - National research organization dedicated to enhancing the environment and social integrity of agriculture through scientific analyses of sustainable farming. They offer web-based courses and have a good electronic newsletter.
  • Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA) - Trade association whose mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.
  • City Farmer - Begun in 1994, this was the first web site on the Internet to publish information about urban farming. It has hundreds of pages of links.
  • Planet Friendly – A gateway and guide for everyone who eats, gardens, or wants to make a healthy living from food. It includes links to permaculture, biodynamics, sustainable living, learning centres, ecovillages,. Books & magazines, learning centres etc etc.
  • Seeds of Diversity Canada – Canadian charitable organization dedicated to the conservation, documentation and use of public-domain, non-hybrid plants and seeds of Canadian significance. They work with a network of seed savers across the country to preserve heritage varieties.
  • Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) – Promotes food sovereignty and democratic decision-making on science and technology issues in order to protect the integrity of the environment, health, food, and the livelihoods of people in Canada and around the world by facilitating, informing and organizing civil society action, researching, and providing information to government for policy development.
  • Food Secure Canada – national voice for the food security and food sovereignty movement in Canada. The organization is based in three interlocking commitments to: Zero Hunger; Healthy and Safe Food; A Sustainable Food System
  • Beyond Factory Farming – national organization promoting socially responsible livestock production in Canada

Provincial producer associations

Government departments

  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency operates the Canadian Organic Office (COO). Here you will find lists of accredited certification bodies in Canada, details on the Canadian Organic Regulation, the Organic Standard, and permitted substances lists.
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food – has a team of staff who support the organic sector in the province with a newsletter, outreach, marketing consulting and research support. The ministry also has an internet site relating to urban and community agriculture with links to many other sites.

Examples of local organizations and educational farms

  • Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable – a networking and policy-making group of representatives from diverse interests working on building a strong voice for a healthy food system in Waterloo Region.
  • Everdale Environmental Farm and Learning Centre – a teaching farm that provides hands-on, solution-based food and farming education pertaining to organic agriculture.
  • Farm Folk City Folk – a not for profit organization in British Columbia that works to build a local, sustainable food system through projects to protect foodlands, engage communities and support local growers.
  • Sustain Ontario – a province-wide, cross- sectoral alliance that promotes healthy food and farming.
  • FoodNet Ontario – a province-wide network of organizations and individuals working together to create sustainable local food systems.
  • Lifecycles – a non profit organization dedicated to cultivating awareness and initiating action around food, health and urban sustainability in the Greater Victoria region of BC.
  • Toronto Food Policy Council – government sponsored council which connects diverse people from the food, farming and community sector to develop innovative policies and projects that support a health-focused food system.
  • Vancouver Food Policy Council – advisory group to Vancouver City Council, comprised of people from various sectors of the local food system.