February 27, 2019
by PETER MITHAM
Celebrating organics while preparing for mainstream acceptance was a key theme of the annual conference of the Certified Organic Associations of BC in Vernon, February 22-24.
Many speakers remarked on the fact that the sector had gone mainstream, while many of the producers responsible were conspicuous by their absence from the meeting.
“People who have been pivotal in growing this industry into much more of the mainstream … should be part of this discussion,” said consultant Andrea Gunner, who participated in a panel on the state of industry.
Tristan Banwell of Spray Creek Ranch picked up the theme during the conference’s closing session, noting that small-scale production is valorized but large growers have a part to play, too.
“I think we’d all agree that a large-scale organic chicken farm is probably better than a large-scale conventional chicken farm,” he said. “Let’s get them at the table and add that value.”
Rochelle Eisen pointed out during the association’s annual general meeting that COABC isn’t growing at the same pace as the BC organic sector as a whole. COABC reported 764 registered producers in 2018, up from 748 last year.
COABC president Carmen Wakeling of Eat More Sprouts said finding ways to build connections with other sectors of agriculture is part of a core review the association is undertaking to help it adapt to growing mainstream acceptance of organic products.
“All the work we have done [this weekend] has contributed to that core review,” she said.
Vol. 105 Issue 5
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
What on earth?
Opposition slams ALC bill
Sidebar: Protection & pushback
Editorial: Truth in labelling
Back Forty: So you don’t believe in climate change
Viewpoint: Don’t blame the cows for global warming
Ag council’s lobbying efforts produce results
Learning a new skill
Foundation’s nest egg for funding projects increases
Province will hold the line on piece rates
New CEO aims to kindle team spirit at co-op
FIRB decision prompts rethink of pricing scheme
Beekeepers see potential in technology transfer
AgSafe markes quarter century
Raspberries hit hard by harsh February
Blueberry growers anxious for new varieties
Biological controls for pests in demand
Sidebar: Pesticides in play
Growers urged to focus on fresh
Westgen celebrates 75 years of excellence
Top seller was no-show at Holstein sale
Spring show attracts exhibitors from Quebec
Cheesemakers unite to grow niche market
Range use permits under greater scrutiny
Sidebar: Range use plans go digital
Market Musings: Top bulls sell for top dollar at spring sales
Grapegrowers share sustainability objectives
Grape specialist honoured for dedication
Hazelnut production expands across BC
Sidebar: Pest pressures
Supporters take to AITC’s Sips & Sprouts
Research: Cultured meat fails to impress researchers
UAVs undergo testing for pesticide delivery
Sustainability goes beyond saving farmland
Father and daughter roll with the last of the steel wheels
Woodshed: Susan Henderson is warming to country life
Wannabe: Farming is more than just a job
Surplus, cull fruit finds new purpose as tasty snacks
Jude’s Kitchen: Special food for special moms