The Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA) continues to build its presence at SIAL Canada. Since 2014, the two have partnered to support growth in the organic sector. In 2016 COTA will host two conference sessions at SIAL Canada, the first on the organic consumer and the second on the international trade landscape and the organic market. COTA will also have an Expert Hub stand to answer questions about the organic industry and international trade.

COTA is also working on an update of their benchmark 2013 report Canada Organic Market Research. Since the release, the domestic market has increased in value to more than $4 billion CDN in sales annually. From 2013 to 2014 there was a 7% increase in the number of Canada organic producers.

The past year was an exciting year in Canada for organics, according to Shauna MacKinnon, Community Relations & Development, COTA. “We saw a new level of government support for organic development, from the announcement of new provincial regulations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to significant federal investment in the organic grain sector in the Prairies to new initiatives to support transition being developed and implemented in BC and Quebec,” she says.

Canada’s National Organic Week is the largest annual celebration of organic food, farming and products across the country. In 2015, thousands of organic retailers, restaurants, businesses and community groups joined to celebrate the achievements of organics in the North American country.

Think Canada Organic is a new national education campaign for businesses. The BC government and many organic advocacy groups and companies have adopted it. In 2015, COTA distributed more than 40,000 pieces of Think Before You Eat educational materials in conjunction with Think Canada Organic.

In 2016, COTA is planning numerous trade missions in Europe and the U.S.: BIOFACH (Nuremberg), Natural Product Expo West (Anaheim), Natural & Organic Products Europe (London) and BIOFACH Latin America (Sao Paulo).

COTA has a strong presence at BIOFACH where they have an incubator booth for first-time exhibitors and will be hosting two conference sessions. In conjunction with the Expo West show, COTA is hosting the third edition of the Canada Business Builder Breakfast at the Hilton Anaheim for key leaders of the organic and natural Canadian food industry. COTA will also host two buyers’ missions for organic companies in Canada .In early 2017, the association plans a mission to Japan for organic companies interested in walking the FoodEx Japan show.