BC is the leader in Western Canada when it comes to organic fruit and vegetable production, with more than 3,974 acres (not including potatoes), according to Statistics Canada. This is approximately 9.3% of the national total of 42,430 acres. Revenues from organically grown fruits and vegetables (excluding potatoes) from BC farms totalled $39.8 million last year.
Significant organic fruit crops in BC include apples and grapes. The largest certified organic vegetable crops are cabbage and lettuce.
Statscan notes that certified organic acreage has increased 15.4% nationally since the 2016 Census of Agriculture. Quebec accounts for the largest area of organic production at 33,567 acres, or about 80% of the national total.
BC has more than 750 certified organic producers, according to the Certified Organic Associations of BC. To help grow the sector further, the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is asking BC growers and processors to provide feedback on what they need in terms of extension services. The survey, funded by the BC Ministry of Agriculture, will lay the foundation for provincial extension services for organic agriculture and post-production in BC.
With files from Myrna Stark Leader