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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 allison@uplandorganics.ca
  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 allison@uplandorganics.ca
  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 allison@uplandorganics.ca
  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 allison@uplandorganics.ca
  5. 5. Resources for Further Consideration https://www.cog.ca/ http://www.pivotandgrow.com/ https://www.ota.com/ https://www.organic-center.org/ https://www.dal.ca/faculty/agriculture/oacc/en-home.html https://www.ifoam.bio/en/innovation-organic-30/organic-30-next-phase-organic-development ALLISON J. SQUIRES allison@uplandorganics.ca

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