Organic news bytes

Consumers want organic, so why are farmers wary?

Paying $8 for a small box of breakfast cereal might seem outrageous. But an increasing number of Canadians are willing to pay 10, 20 or 40 percent more for certain grocery store items, if the food is produced organically.

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One Earth Farms acquires two beef brands

Toronto-based One Earth Farms is looking to broaden its reach with the acquisition of western beef brand Chinook Organics and its private label, Diamond Willow Organics.

Once a corporate grain farm, One Earth Farms left behind crops after its acquisition of beef producer Beretta Farms in 2013.

Since then, One Earth Farms has purchased Canadian Premium Meats, Heritage Angus Beef and Sweetpea Baby Food. One Earth Farms also owns a Toronto-based catering company called Beretta Kitchen.

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Grocery Stores Are Running Out of Organic Milk

About once a week the phone rings at the Dill Pickle Food Co-op in Chicago’s artsy Logan Square neighborhood with the same question: Got milk? Organic, to be exact.

“I’ll have people call up and say, hey, I know the truck’s comingon Tuesday, can you put aside three half-gallons?” said Dana Bates-Norden, 33, who works as the buyer of perishable goods for the store, which in 2014 started selling out of the glass-bottled milk it gets from Midwest organic dairies within two days. “When I first started two years ago, I felt like I ended up having to write off a lot of organic milk, and now, I really can’t keep it in stock.”

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True North on the verge of official federal certification

Manitoba is within weeks of having a modern federally certified livestock slaughter plant, says Calvin Vaags, owner and operator of True North Foods near Carman.

“We are currently operating right now as a provincial plant but we are actively working towards our federal certification and it shouldn’t be that far away. I am estimating a month to six weeks,” Vaags told the recent annual meeting of Manitoba Beef Producers.

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Exploring the transition to organic farming

Transitioning to organic farming presents challenges, but the benefits may outweigh them, said speakers at a session on organics at Ag Days last month.

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Biotech bits

U.S. approves first biotech apple that resists browning

U.S. regulatorson Fridayapproved what would be the first commercialized biotech apple, rejecting efforts by the organic industry and other GMO critics to block the new fruit.

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New organic farmer forum

4 Organic Farm Talk logo compressed small

Organic Farm Talkwas started by organic Saskatchewan organic producers Cody Straza and Allison Squires.This is a space where organic producers can come together and exchange knowledge and ideas about organic farming practices and other related issues. This site also provides an area for consumers who are interested in learning more about organic farming to ask their questions directly to organic producers. Everyone is welcome to join! This site is also mobile friendly so you can check it while you're on the go or in the field. Clickhereto sign up.

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Register your farm to avoid spraying

This is your annual reminder to send an email or a quick letter to Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship to get on the no-spray list. This list is shared with Municipal Pesticide programs so that they are aware of your farm's organic status when spraying roadside weeds. The contact person at CWS isThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, Box 80, Building 1218, 123 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 1AS.

Just to be sure that all of your bases are covered, you should also make contact with your local aerial sprayer to ensure that they program your farm's GPS coordinates into their systems.

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Organic food processing survey

The Food Development Centre and MAFRD, in partnership with the Canada Organic Trade Association are conducting a first ever national survey of the specific challenges that organic food manufacturers face in bringing value-added organic food products to market.

If your business manufacturers organic processed food products to sell at Farmers' Markets, retail outlets or through any other sales channel, we would love to hear from you. Results of the survey will be used to help improve the business environment for organic food processing in Canada.

Clickhereto go to the survey

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New farmer survey

Hello farmers and friends of farmers!

If you are currently farming, want to be a farmer, or have recently exited farming, we need to hear from you! Please take a few minutes to complete this survey to support the next generation of farmers in Canada.

The National New Farmer Coalition and the University of Manitoba have put together a survey to assess the needs of new farmers in Canada where it concerns policy and educational opportunities. The results from this survey will be used to develop a National New Farmer Policy Platform that we aim to share with all levels of government. It will also document the sources of new farmer learning and make suggestions on how to improve this training in Canada. In order to give weight to our recommendations, we need as many farmer voices as possible.

Please forward this survey to everyone in your farming/foodie network.

Clickhereto go to the survey