Food In Canada

Canada’s organic market now fourth largest in the world

By Food in Canada staff   

Business Operations

New study shows the sector is worth $3.5 billion annually

Ottawa, Ont. – A new study published by the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) reveals that Canada’s organic industry is growing dramatically.

The market for organics reached $3.5 billion in 2012, with sales of certified organic food and non-alcoholic beverages of $3 billion, and is now triple the value of the market in 2006. This makes it the fastest-growing agri-food sector in Canada.

The report, Canada’s Organic Market: Growth, Trends and Opportunities, is the most comprehensive study to date of the country’s organic marketplace. And according to COTA, it contains the first data on the Canadian organic market since the federal government regulated the sector in 2009.

The estimated value of total organic food and beverage sales in 2012 were $2.9 billion, or 1.7 per cent of the market share, while organic alcohol sales reached $135 million, or 0.67 per cent of the market. Sales of organic pet food were $4.1 million in 2012, with a 0.25-per-cent market share. Fruits and vegetables made up 40 per cent of total organic food and beverage sales, followed by beverages at 16 per cent (coffee, shelf-stable juices and milk had the highest rates of growth in this category), and dairy and eggs at 15 per cent.


The study also found that there is a diverse consumer base for organics in Canada. More than half of Canadians buy organic products each week, while in British Columbia 66 per cent of consumers buy organics on a weekly basis.

The study was funded by Loblaw Companies, Taste of Nature, UNFI Canada, Whole Foods Market and the Organic Sector Development Program (OSDP). Funding for the OSDP comes from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, which is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation in B.C.

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