Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) Announces 2021 Organic Market Update and 13th Annual Organic Week

OTTAWA, Sept. 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the 13th annual Organic Week celebrations begin and continues until September 19th, new market research shows celebration is in order! Organic food and beverage sales in 2020 topped $6.5 billion, 33% higher than 2017 organic food and beverage sales. The overall organic sector grew to $8.1 billion in 2020 maintaining its status as the 6th largest consumer organic market in the world. Now that is something to celebrate!

Canadians are committed to organic in many areas of our economy — as consumers, farmers, educators, exporters, researchers, and manufacturers. There is a shared recognition that organic is not just about environmental stewardship, or healthy eating choices, or supporting local farmers – it’s about all those things. Growing health consciousness, particularly accented during the global pandemic, is a key driver in the continued demand for organic food. In 2020, 23% of Canadians were eating organic more than the year before confirming that organic continues to be the most trusted and in demand food system in Canada. While the overall food market reportedly grew at a rate of 23.4% between 2017 and 2020, the organic food marketplace grew at 57.3% in the same period.

“Organic delivers on its promise. Healthy choices from farm to fork assures not only an assurance to consumers, but also a clear investment in the goals of mitigating climate change and caring for our long term environmental needs to live in harmony with the land,” said Tia Loftsgard, executive director of COTA. “While organic is known and regarded as products that avoid pesticides, genetic engineering (GMOs) and preservatives, Canadians are also driven to purchase organic due to their stated concerns about the impact their food choices have on the environment.”

Consumers are looking for ingredients that are verified on their beneficial claims. As organic is fully inspected annually by third party inspection bodies, organic has earned a trust level of 54% and is purchased weekly by two thirds of all Canadians.

In 2020, consumer purchasing habits remained focused on the concepts of clean ingredients as well as freshness and less processed products. For younger generations, a product that’s certified organic is no longer enough, even if the ingredients are clean or the product is convenient. This demographic is more demanding and purchase from brands that appeal to their values. Centennials (18-24 years), also known as Generation Z, are looking for other certifications and qualities in addition to organic – such as locally sourced and produced using sustainable practices and fair labour — and seek additional validation through recommendations on social media and ecommerce platforms before purchasing a certain product. They see organic as being healthier not only for them, but for the environment.

In line with these guiding principles, this year’s Organic Week theme is “Good for people, the planet and the animals”. Organic Week runs from September 13-19, 2021. Great prizes, contests, films and webinar content with topics including organic 101, healthy soil, regenerative agriculture, and more can be found on the newly redesigned website. More information about the 2021 Organic Market Report will be shared at the Organic Week launch event on September 13, at 2 PM EST. All are welcome to participate, register here to attend.

About the Canada Organic Trade Association
The Canada Organic Trade Association is a membership-based association for the organic industry in Canada: representing growers, processors, certifiers, provincial farmers’ associations, importers, exporters, retailers, and others throughout the organic value chain. COTA’s mission is to promotes and protect the organic sector and encourages the universal adoption of organic. Through our leadership and collaboration, COTA provides a strong voice for organic in Canada. COTA’s vision is to promote and protect thriving, resilient communities and ecosystems that are rooted in organic’s holistic principles and practices. With farming as the foundation of organic, COTA acts a cultivator, connector and advocate for organic in Canada and abroad.

Organic Week is organized by the Canada Organic Trade Association, Canadian Organic Growers and supported by provincial and territorial associations with the generous support of the following sponsors:

Top Sponsors: Seeds of Change, Savor, L’Ancetre, Yorkshire Valley Farms.
Additional Sponsors: The Big Carrot Community Market, Camino, Cha’s Organics, Cullen’s Food, Discovery Organics, Ethical Bean Coffee, Horizon Grocery + Wellness, Left Coast Organics, Mclean Meats, Mike & Mike’s Organics, Nature’s Path, Patience Fruit & Co, PC Organics, Pro-Cert Organic Systems, Riverside Natural Foods, and Stonehenge Organic.

Media contacts:

Tia Loftsgard, Executive Director, Canada Organic Trade Association, cellular 613-852-4691,