Organic Consultants

The information on this page is provided for ease-of-access only.

OCO does not endorse the services provided by these consultants, and cannot guarantee their knowledge or experience. Training and accreditation of organic inspectors is offered by the International Organic Inspectors Association.

Each consultant sets his or her own fees and consulting structure. Not all consultants are willing to provide advice by phone.

Supporting members of OCO receive discounts on services from some organic consultants. See our membership page for more information.

The following consultants have self-identified as qualified to provide advice on best practices for certifying organic operators. Many also inspect on behalf of certifying bodies. Inspectors cannot provide consulting services if they have inspected your operation in the past year.

Joel Aitken

Local Food Finder
Guelph, ON

Phone: (647) 881-5061
Email Joel

Joel is an organic inspector who provides consulting services. He is qualified to inspect a variety of farming, livestock, and processing operations. He has a degree in Agriculture Science, and a Masters in Capacity Development and Extension from the University of Guelph. He has been working in the organic sector for the past eight years.

Joel is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Organic Council of Ontario.

David Cohlmeyer

Sustainable Good Foods Consultant
Toronto, ON

Phone: (705) 458-1710
Email David

David is a strong supporter of exceptionally flavourful, consistently available, and nutrient dense foods which are most effectively provided by local organic growers. He has been a marketing and business consultant for organic producers for seven years, prior to which he spent 23 years as a successful mid-scale vegetable and greenhouse producer and marketer, seven years as a columnist for the Globe & Mail on alternative agriculture, and seven years as a chef. His decades of researching, experiencing, teaching, and leading have been recognized by a Governor General’s Award for Stewardship and Sustainability.

Bill Barkley

Barkley’s Agricultural Consulting
Morrisburg, ON (Dundas County)

Phone:  (613) 543-0491
Email Bill

Bill is a bilingual (French) organic inspector and consultant with over 35 years of farming experience, who has been conducting organic inspections since 1999. He has performed certification inspections for eight different certifying bodies. He has inspection and certification experience in farming, livestock, and processing. 

View a complete list of Bill’s qualifications.

Delia Elkin

Organic Inspector and Independent Consultant

Phone: (613) 662-2334
Email Delia

Delia is a bilingual (French) organic inspector and consultant. She has been conducting organic inspections since 2003 on farming, livestock, and processing operations for a variety of Certification Agencies. She also conducts Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Fair Trade, Private Standard, Animal Welfare and Food Safety inspections.

Delia is a member of the International Organic Inspectors Association. She holds a B.Sc. from McMaster University. View a complete list of products Delia is qualified to inspect or consult on, here

Ruth Knight

Organic Consultant, Inc.
Teeswater, ON (Bruce County)

Phone: (519) 357-5224
Email Ruth

Ruth is passionate about soil regeneration and the tremendous opportunities it holds for farmers, our communities and our planet. She brings a diversity of experiences to her agronomy work, including: organic certification inspections, land use planning, education and knowledge networks, and experience as a former partner in a mixed livestock/pasture farm. Since 2005, Ruth has provided services to a diversity of farms that are transitioning to organic, improving the productivity of their existing operations, or are new landowners looking to create meaningful connections to their landscape.

Ruth holds a BSc Agriculture and MSc Rural Planning and Development from the University of Guelph and a diploma in Landscape Design from Fanshawe College. She is a Professional Agronomist (PAg) – Ontario Institute of Agrologists, and has a Certificate in Nutrient Management Strategy and Plan Development for Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Operations.

Tom Manley

Berwick, ON

Phone: 613-361-2056
Email Tom

In order to succeed, farmers and small business owners need to focus on sales, strategy, product development, and customer service. A business owner still has many obligations for paperwork, financial reports, and regulatory submissions. Failure to complete these tasks may lead to major problems in financing, regulatory compliance, employee morale, and customer satisfaction.

Tom Manley will make life easier for business owners by addressing the paperwork requirements and leaving the business owner to focus on growing the business. Tom brings 30 years of business experience to solve regulatory compliance, organic certification, feed regulations, export readiness, operating policies and procedures. Tom operated Homestead Organics for 21 years and was previously the developer and manager of Bell Sympatico Internet. Tom holds a degree in Computer Science from the Royal Military College.

Hugh Martin

Guelph, ON
(Wellington County)

Phone: (519) 829-2141
Email Hugh

Hugh is an organic certification expert with over 35 years of experience in Ontario’s organic sector, including as an agronomist and organic specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.

Hugh now works primarily as an organic inspector, and has been performing organic inspections for 7 years, but is willing to provide consulting services in livestock and farming as well.

Hugh is the current chair of Canada’s Organic Technical Committee (the industry group that writes and revises the Canadian Organic Standard). Having been involved in the establishment of the Canadian Organic Standards from the beginning, Hugh’s technical and historical knowledge is unparalleled.

Kelly Monaghan

Ash Street Organics
Toronto, ON

Phone: (416) 528-1490
Email Kelly

Kelly is an active organic inspector, consultant, trainer and board member in Canada’s organic industry. She is an Accredited Process Inspector of the International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA) and works for a variety of international certification bodies. She assists processors of all sizes throughout North America to obtain organic certification for their products. Kelly trains governmental agencies, certification body staff, organic inspectors and producers on organic standards and regulations. Kelly is co-author of the CORP (Canadian Organic Retailing Practices) Manual and Guide, and creator of the CORP In Store curriculum to train Canadian retailers on how to maintain organic integrity in store. She is an elected member of the Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC), a member of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) Canada Review Panel and the Guelph Organic Conference committee, and a past board member of the Canada Organic Trade Association.

Kelly is also a past Chair of Canada’s Organic Technical Committee and remains on that Committee as a representative of the International Organic Inspectors Association.

Other Consultants

The following consultants cater to organic farms and food businesses, and can offer support in market research, small business marketing, and more.

Hélène St. Jacques 

Informa Research
Linking Local Producers with Consumers

Phone: 416-708-1228
Email Hélène

Markets for locally grown/produced food have expanded as consumers develop new appreciation of the bounty and the benefits of Canadian agriculture. Food security and shopping locally now strongly resonate with consumers. Now, the task now is to link growers and local food providers with their customers.

I work directly with clients to bridge the gap between producers and shoppers. This means aiding locally produced brands, marketing boards, and commodity groups connect with consumers based on actionable facts. Marketing, promotion and branding strategies are developed not on hunches but on knowing what people want, what benefits they are seeking and the best and most sustainable way of presenting the product. This includes these categories: dairy, beans/legumes, eggs, meat, produce and certified organic products. Tracking and building direct to consumer channels (farmers’ markets) is also part of my work.

Julianna Van Adrichem

Guelph, ON

Phone: 519-230-9591
Email Julianna

Julianna provides marketing consulting and implementation, business consulting and event planning services. She specializes in the organic industry as she has many years of experience in the agricultural industry through various perspectives. She has over 15 years of experience in marketing and working with small businesses and has helped several start-up businesses in the Guelph area to become commonly known and well-respected in the community.