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Allison Squires Presentation - #YourStandardsYourSay Parallel Production Webinar


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Allison Squires, from Upland Organics in Saskatchewan, participated in OCO's #YourStandardsYourSay webinar on possible changes to parallel production in the Canadian Organic Standards.

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Allison Squires Presentation - #YourStandardsYourSay Parallel Production Webinar

  1. 1. Benefits of Not Allowing Parallel Production Consumer Trust ◦ Our industry is built on the trust of the consumer ◦ 66% of Canadian consumers buy an organic product on a weekly basis! ◦ 48% of Canadian consumers see the Canadian Organic Logo as trustworthy ◦ Those who want to erode this trust will capitalize on the possibility of “topping up” organic product with conventional Provides strength to the standards in a significant way ◦ Very few countries fully allow parallel production ◦ Canadian Standards should continue to be the gold standard for organic production Speaks to the principles behind the organic farming standards ◦ Soil health ◦ Biological diversity ALLISON J. SQUIRES
  2. 2. Benefits of Not Allowing Parallel Production Potential to save significant time and money for the producer ◦ Less worry about maintaining the integrity of the organic product ◦ Clean outs, extra paperwork, downtime during the busy seasons ◦ Increased inspection time and cost to trace both conventional and organic product Decreased potential of contamination of the supply ◦ Decreased the likelihood of inadvertent mix-ups in paperwork, cleanouts, etc. ◦ No chance of accidently mixing organic and conventional product ◦ No chance of accidently applying a prohibited substance to an organic field thereby taking it out of certification Encourages learning new farming methods more relevant to organic production ◦ Diverse rotations, green manure/soil building years, ability to tap into many different markets ( profitability) ALLISON J. SQUIRES
  3. 3. Response to Reasons Why Parallel Production Should Be Allowed Prevent Growers from “Hiding” Their Conventional Production in a Second Company ◦ Allowing parallel production will not prevent this from happening ◦ Certifiers will not automatically be allowed to access the books of a related company It is allowed in the United States ◦ They have documented loss of consumer trust in their agriculture system ◦ We have increased our market share 3.5 million dollars since 2012 without losing consumer trust Processors are Allowed, Why aren’t Annual Crop Producers? ◦ Processors have exact amounts of product coming in and out ◦ Producers can’t provide this information as yield estimates at inspections are far from accurate ALLISON J. SQUIRES
  4. 4. Response to Reasons Why Parallel Production Should Be Allowed Inhibits New Growers from Transitioning to Organic ◦ Numbers of growers transitioning are on the rise ◦ Many resources available to aid transitioning farmers ◦ Parallel Production was not in the Top 5 of identified risks faced by transitioning producers Too Difficult to Grow a Visually Distinguishable Crop in Transition Years ◦ Options are available, mentorship is key ◦ Most transitioning producers are encouraged to use transition years to build soil ◦ Important to have a plan prior to transitioning ALLISON J. SQUIRES
  5. 5. Resources for Further Consideration ALLISON J. SQUIRES