Hardly anyone would say no to certified organic food.
Everyone seems to want food grown without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Except that these items generally cost more. Also, these are not always available in the grocery.
This has something to do with supply.
There simply isn’t enough production in Canada.
A new report notes that certified organic production accounted for only 6.4 percent of the total vegetable and fruit sold across the nation in 2020.
As for the area devoted to organic vegetable farming, the Statistics Canada report stated that this represents 5.1 percent of the entire vegetable area in the country.
And so the country relies mainly on the U.S.
The Statistics Canada report noted that in 2020, 86.6 percent of the certified organic baby carrots, regular carrots, watermelon, onions and broccoli imported in Canada were grown in the United States.
The imports are broken down as follows: baby carrots (10.8 million kilograms), regular carrots (9.9 million kilograms), onions (9.7 million kilograms), and broccoli (2.3 million kilograms).
“Canada generally imports far more certified organic fresh fruit than is grown and sold domestically,” Statistics Canada also reported.
Citing an example, the agency noted that 237,000 kilograms of certified organic strawberries were grown and sold domestically, while 7.5 million kilograms were imported in 2020.
With the imported strawberries, the fruit came from the U.S. (83.5 percent) and Mexico (16.5 percent).
“Imports also largely exceeded domestic production for certified organic grapes (9.4 million kilograms versus 2.6 million kilograms) and pears (2.8 million kilograms versus 621,000 kilograms),” Statistics Canada also reported.
Also, for nine different fruits, imports worth $201 million in 2020 were two times greater than domestic certified organic fruit farm-gate values.
The report concluded with a note about recent drought conditions in California, a leading vegetable-growing state.
Conditions in the Golden State “may affect the future supply and prices of certified organic vegetables in Canada”.
Canadian farmers appear to be catching up.
Statistics Canada reported that the cultivated area for certified organic vegetable and fruit increased by 8.2 percent to 19,506 hectares in 2020.