What We Do

Advocate

Organic Standards Review

Maintaining the Canadian Organic Standards is critically important for the integrity of the organic claim. These standards evolve as the sector grows, and OCO remains involved in the evolutionary process. OCO represents Ontario’s organic sector to the Organic Federation of Canada. To do so effectively, we continually seek feedback and recommendations on changes to the standards through our website and E-News.

Organic Standards Feedback Form

Government & Policy

We foster a healthy rapport with public figures and members of government to encourage legislative action and policy development. We often provide solutions to decision makers on key issues that impact the organic sector in Ontario. Using member feedback and consultation, we prepare positions in the form of backgrounders, policy updates, news releases, and briefs that are shared with our members and government representatives.

OCO’s 2016 Queen’s Park Day
A Call for Ontario Organic Regulation

Connect

A Guide to Local Organic Food

OCO’s 2015 Guide to Local Organic Food is a great way to learn about Ontario’s organic food offerings and find an organic farm or business near you! Read about local, organic food in Ontario, and search our listings to find a farm or store where you can purchase locally-produced food.

The 2015 Guide

Partnerships

The goal of promoting and protecting Ontario’s organic businesses is shared by many organizations. OCO is unique in that it spans the entire sector, from farmers and producers to distributors, businesses, and other organizations that represent and promote organic in Ontario. These groups also work to support a local, healthy and sustainable food system. We’ve developed strong connections with them due to their similar scope.

The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA)
Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO)
Canadian Organic Growers (COG)
Organic Federation of Canada (OFC)
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)

Events

We organize and participate in events that connect members of the industry and help organic operators build strong networks within the province. Our events are a chance for members to market their products, and work with legislators to make their ideas heard. They are also a way to connect organic consumers with producers, and spread the word about organic in Ontario. You can find out about upcoming events here.

Queen's Park Engagement Day
Guelph Organic Conference
AGM
Event Calendar

Ontario's Local Food Directory

This is a great resource for local food seekers! We’ve partnered with OntarioFresh.ca so that you can filter your results by OCO members-- just search for organic, and select “Organic Council of Ontario” from the partner list on the left.

Grow

Industry Research

We work with Ontario universities to connect researchers with organic industry and assess agricultural and horticultural needs. We meet with researchers from Ontario universities and the Organic Value Chain Roundtable on an ongoing basis to share findings and set new directions.

Scholars seeking direction or input on their organic research are encouraged to contact us for ideas, or to be connected with similar professionals.

Ontario Agriculture College
Organic Science Cluster (OACC)
New Directions Research (2012)
The Research Shop Partnership (2013)

Education

For new farmers or those wishing to update their knowledge and skills, there are a variety of ways to learn more about organic agriculture. OCO maintains a list of organic agriculture and agroecology programs offered by institutions in Ontario, Canada, and internationally. We share information about organizations that offer farmer training and internship opportunities through our website,  E-News, and social media.

Programs & Courses
Farmer Training
E-News Sign-up

Building Ontario’s Organic Brand

 

Ontario’s organic sector is growing. OCO works to build a voice for this emerging and innovative sector and to create a strong Ontario organic brand. Ontario is home to some extremely successful organic entrepreneurs, and we strive to support them. We also work to ensure that consumers, researchers, and other stakeholders have access to information about organic food, certification, regulation, and agriculture in the Ontario context.

Organic FAQ
Toward an Ontario Organic Act
Foodland Ontario Organic