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FA L L 2 0 1 8 | V O L U M E 1 0 I S S U E 0 3

2 0 1 7 S TAT I S T I C S S H O W S T E A DY R I S E , B O O M I N
M A C K E N Z I E C O U N T Y . . . PA G E 3

P R A I R I E O R G A N I C G R A I N I N I T I AT I V E E VA L U AT I O N . . . PA G E 6

G R O W I N G H E A LT H Y FA R M E R S , F I E L D S A N D F O O D : T H E
2 0 1 9 O R G A N I C A L B E R TA C O N F E R E N C E . . . PA G E 8

E X P L O R I N G S M A L L- S C A L E A B AT T O I R S I N O T H E R
J U R I S T I C T I O N S . . . PA G E 1 2
FA L L 2 0 1 8 VOLUME 10 ISSUE 03

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT


Mission: To represent and support
Alberta’s entire organic industry. Growing Healthy Fields
Vision: A strong, sustainable and united
organic community in Alberta.
Soil health is an important theme with
sessions targeting grain, livestock, fruit
Editor/Submissions & Advertising and vegetable producers. Grain farmers
Editor: Debbie Miller
can expect an interactive workshop on the
587-521-2400
debbie.miller@organicalberta.org
principles and practice of intercropping.
Copy Editor Livestock producers will learn how to teach
Brenda Frick livestock to eat weeds. Fruit and vegetable
306-260-0663
farmers will learn about intercropping and
organic@usask.ca
Graphic Designer
cover crops.
Dana Penrice
587-521-2400 Growing Healthy Food
dana.penrice@organicalberta.org

For the first time ever, our conference


Executive Director By Becky Lipton, Executive Director will also include sessions geared towards
Becky Lipton: organic consumers and opportunities
587-521-2400 We invite you to join us at our annual for farmer-consumer networking. We
becky.lipton@organicalberta.org
central conference in Fort Saskatchewan are especially happy to announce that
Board Members
January 25 and 26, 2019! This year’s theme Sally Fallon, founder and president of
Representatives elected by region: is Growing Healthy Farmers, Fields, and Food, the Weston A. Price Foundation, which
(N) North (S) South (C) Central highlighting the holistic nature of farming. promotes wise traditions in food and
(M) Member at Large
Sessions will focus on grain, livestock, and farming, will be presenting a keynote
• President: Charles Newell (AB federal
fruit and vegetable production, including and a seminar this year. You may know
level):
780-809-2247 reduced tillage, intercropping, soil health, Sally as author of Nourishing Traditions,
newellsfarm@gmail.com mental health, working with employees, the cookbook that introduced all the
• Vice President: Dawn Boileau (C): connecting with consumers and more! current food trends including sauerkraut,
780-218-2430
dawnboileau@gmail.com
kombucha and bone broth. She has a
• Treasurer: Heather Kerschbaumer (N): Growing Healthy Farmers passionate and dedicated following, I know
780-835--4508 you won’t want to miss her presentations!
gaseeds@kerbagroup.com A healthy farm requires a healthy team.
• Secretary: Trevor Aleman (S):
We will have sessions on mental health, Registration, sponsorship, and program
403-308-4003
trevor@busybeasmarketgarden.com labour, and employee management. Mike details can be found in this magazine as
• James Thiessen (N): Kozlowski from Steel Pony Farms will share well as on our website. Take a moment to
603-480-1158 how he let go of micromanager tendencies complete and send in your registration
jkthie@telusplanet.net
through conscious communication and form today to secure your spot!
• Arnold Van Os (C):
780-312-1052 thoughtful employee management
vanosdairy@xplornet.com practices, leading to his business taking off I look forward to seeing you there!
• Abbie Stein-MacLean (M): in positive and unexpected ways.
780-984-3068
asteinmaclean@gmail.com
• Bernie Ehnes (S): You Are Invited
403-666-2157 Organic Alberta Annual General Meeting
behnes@gmail.com
• Frank Maddock (M): Friday, January 25 | 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. | Dow Centennial Centre, Fort Saskatchewan
780-727-2333 (with the Organic Alberta Central Conference)
jaspersprings@live.com
• Tracy Smith (M):
Have you ever wondered what exactly we do at Organic Alberta, how much money
we have, or how we spend it? This is your chance to find out! Our President
northerncookinglake@gmail.com
and Executive Director will each report on activities over the past year, and our
Treasurer will dig deep into the finances.
Winter 2018 deadline is Friday, November
Do you have a passion for organic food and farming, and a desire to make a
23rd. Please send comments, difference? We need you on the Board of Directors! This is your chance to make
suggestions, ads, and/or articles to your voice heard and help to lead us into the future. Contact Trevor Aleman at
editor@organicalberta.org
trevor@busybeasmarketgarden.com for more information on running for the board.

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2 0 1 7 S TAT I S T I C S S H O W S T E A DY R I S E , A B O O M I N M A C K E N Z I E C O U N T Y
by Debbie Miller, Editor

Following is a brief excerpt from Organic Map and number of organic operators by
Agriculture in Alberta: 2017 Statistics region for 2017
by Greg deJong, Organic Alberta. The
full report includes data provided by • NE: Northeast (currently no organic
certification bodies as well as data certifications in this region)
collected by the Canada Organic Trade • MC: Mackenzie County, from North
Association. To receive a copy of the full Star to the norther Alberta border
report please contact Becky at becky.
• NW: Northwest, beneath MC and north
lipton@organicalberta.org, or call the office
of Valleyview
at 587-521-2400.
• NC: North-Central, above Edmonton
The number of certified organic operators and approximating Highway 16
(producers and processors) in Alberta
• C: Central, including Edmonton
continues to grow. Though there has been
through Red Deer
growth in each region of the province, it
is primarily driven by expansion in the • SC: South-Central, below Red Deer and
Mackenzie County region which now has including Calgary
39% of Alberta’s total certified organic • S: South, below Calgary
operators. Numbers are relatively evenly
distributed in the rest of the province,
with a slightly higher concentration in the
North Central region north of Edmonton to
Valleyview.

Quick Facts:
• There were 590 certified organic operations, including farms and processors, in Alberta in 2017.

• Mackenzie County accounted for 65% of the total increase in operators between 2016 and 2017.

• Cereal grains remain the most frequently grown crop. Most farms grow oats, then wheat, and barley.

• Peas have become popular crop in Alberta with 182 growers and 56,300 acres in 2017. This is a 107% increase since 2014 in
the number of producers and Alberta now grows over 60% of all organic pea production in the Prairies.

• After several years of remaining stable, the number of fruit and vegetable growers increased by 36% between 2016 and 2017.

• 41% of all fruit and vegetable growers have only 1 crop, 21% have 10 or more, and a few grow over 40 varieties.

• Alberta is cattle country. Of the 66 livestock producers, 52 raise cattle that they certify as organic. They are raised across the
province, except for the northeast.

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FA L L 2 0 1 8 VOLUME 10 ISSUE 03

H O W W E L L D O YO U K N O W YO U R
N E M AT O D E S ?
Answers from last magazine issue

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FA L L 2 0 1 8 VOLUME 10 ISSUE 03

ORGANIC MARKET OPPORTUNITIES CLASSIFIED ADS

Certified organic hay for sale. 200 legume/ grass bales baled with John Deere 568 cut early, $80/ bale Mark Vetsch 780-524-9726

Market Op: Are you looking for a consistent supply of Organic Soybean meal? Shafer Commodities can assist you with all of your
organic needs, we are also buying HRS, durum, flax, barley & peas 403-328-5066.

MARKET PRICES CENTRAL CONFERENCE


OrganicBiz gathers and posts monthly price information at
CROSSWORD FUN
organicbiz.ca/category/markets/. The following prices are from
Late September 2018.

CROP SPOT PRICE PREM.


B u s h e l l ( To n n e )
WESTERN CANADIAN 2018 CROP
Wheat - feed $9.50 - $1.001 ($349 - $404) 193%

Wheat - soft white spring $14.00 - $16.50 ($514 - $606) 268%

Wheat - hard red spring $15.00 - $17.00 ($551 - $625) 241%

Wheat - durum $19.25 ($707) 335%

Barley - feed $6.50 - $7.40 ($299 - $340) 172%

Oats - feed $3.00 - $5.00 ($195 - $324) 178%

Oast - milling $5.00 - $6.00 ($357 - $389) 192%

Flax - brown $34.00 ($1,339) 283%

Flax - gold $38.00 ($1,496) 304%

Flax - feed $21.00 - $22.00 ($827 - $866) 189%

Flax $30.00 - $35.00 ($1,181 - $1,378) 256%

Peas - yellow $15.00 - $16.50 ($551 - $606) 256%

Peas - green $16.00 - $18.00 ($588 - $661) 234%

Lentils - large green 80-90 cents/lb 472%

Lentils - French green 100 cents/lb 455%


ACROSS help you deal with this
Lentils - red 52 cents/lb 347% 1. conference city (2 words) 14. a soil test will give you this
7. meet suppliers and sponsors 16. soil carbon speaker
Lentils - black 98 cents/lb 582% here (2 words) 17. speaker on indigenous
8. Trina Moyles will talk about this permaculture
Chickpeas 95 cents/lb 344% kind of farmer 19. a type of strip used in crops
Hemp seed 140 - 150 cents/lb 207% 10. Organic Alberta’s Executive 20. we do this at noon
Director 21. conference month
Hemp for CBD 400 - 1000 cents/lb 233% 11. To Hell and Back session will
(chaff, flowers and leaves)
DOWN 6. non-organic farmer
Rye - milling $8.00 - $8.50 ($315 - $335) 118%
2. Mike Kozlowski’s kind of 9. farmers want to connect with
Rye - feed $5.50 ($217) 94% communication these people
3. Sally Fallon’s kind of diet 12. guardian dogs look after this
4. one way to improve soil 13. conference venue (2 words)
5. Grant Lastiwka wants livestock to 15. Organic gala speaker
eat this 18. Annual General Meeting day

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FA L L 2 0 1 8 VOLUME 10 ISSUE 03

P R A I R I E O R G A N I C G R A I N I N I T I AT I V E ( P O G I ) E VA L U AT I O N

By Robyn McLean, and how to make changes to better “They are already forging a path, building
Tapestry Evaluation and Strategy meet the goals. The information includes a foundation on which other more tangible
surveys/interviews with more than improvements can be built.” - Researcher
Tapestry Evaluation and Strategy is 80 organic and transitioning farmers,
carrying out an external evaluation to interviews with sector-level experts and “Overall, really really impressed with
better understand how effective the Prairie grain buyers, data from COTA, POGI what they have done/ achieved. Quite
Organic Grain Initiative (POGI) has been in program records, and discussions with transformational.” - Farmer and consultant
increasing the resilience of the grain sector POGI staff and partners. We are still in
in the Prairies. Some of the goals of POGI the process of collecting and analyzing
include: information. This article will share early Reaching farmers
findings related to the first four goals.
• Increased collaboration among • Over 27,000 users 1 visited
farmers, industry, provincial Increased collaboration Pivotandgrow.com between June
associations, funders and 25, 2016 and August 1, 2018. This
government. Collaboration takes work and dedicated includes over 18,000 visits to the
• Developing tools that reach farmers. resources. It requires some structure to price lists page, over 6,000 visits to
• Encouraging changes in farm help move things forward, and flexibility the Business to Business directory,
management shown to be effective to respond to what you learn along the and over 2,500 visits to the pages
for increasing quality and quantity way. Our findings suggest that POGI has for the green manure toolkit, new
of grains (e.g. practices related to been effective at increasing collaboration farmer kits, and event listings.
soil health, seeding, crop rotations, between different sectors, and especially at Note: Numbers include total visits,
intercropping, and green manure). increasing collaboration across the Prairie including repeat visits.
• Supporting non-organic farmers to provinces. We have also worked with POGI
learn more about organic farming staff and partners to identify ways to help • Over 1,000 farmers have attended
and supporting those that decide to the partnership work even better moving field days and organic conferences
transition. forward, including even more involvement Note: Numbers include total
• Increased quality and quantity of from provincial partners and more clarity attendees, and may count
organic grain. on how to address any partnership issues individuals more than once.
• Increased number of grain farmers that come up along the way.
and acres of organic grain. • 52 farmers took part in the nutrient
• Increased market access for, and “That collaboration is there - that has built management program, and the 1-800
profitability of, organic grains. trust. Inviting the bigger brands in the organic expert line has received
supply chain has lent credibility to the more than 150 calls. More than 150
We have been collecting information to farmers.” - Funder people have participated in organic
understand if POGI has met these goals agronomy training.

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Changes in farm management “One of the most important tools for me is to other organic farmers or that they
going to the Organic conferences and soil made their decision to transition based on
When we started this evaluation, we knew health conferences and talking to other those conversations. Many farmers also
that POGI tools were reaching farmers, farmers who have tried different practices. indicated that POGI tools influenced their
but we were not sure whether this would This is how I first discovered the use of cover decision and/or supported their transition
mean changes to how farms were being crops - Farmer in Saskatchewan to organic. Many farmers who had not
managed. It can take time for people to put transitioned to organic also made changes
things into practice after learning about “I think in a lot of cases its knowledge that on their farms based on what they learned
them. It can take even more time to see we have already that makes the changes from POGI tools. Selected quotes from
results on a farm after making changes. in management (I am an old farmer). But farmer surveys are shared below:
conferences and speakers reinforce this
We asked 39 organic farmers2 how POGI knowledge.” - Farmer in Alberta Q: What influenced your decision to
tools contributed to changes they had transition to organic?
made on their farm. 23 (59%) reported that Helping non-organic farmers to learn
POGI contributed directly to changes in soil about organic A:“Workshops, field days, but mostly I was
health practices, crop rotations, seeding more dissatisfied with the ever increasing
and harvest practices, intercropping According to the Canada Organic Trade demand for chemicals on my operation,
practices, and/or green manure Association (COTA), we have seen about and the risks associated with them.”
management (see the chart below). a 16% increase in the number of acres - Farmer in Saskatchewan
dedicated to organic field crops in the
Many farmers who said POGI contributed Prairies from 2014 (just before POGI A: “The expenses or the overhead of
to changes on their farm talked about how started) to 2016 (the most recent data conventional farming vs organic. I wanted
important it was to connect with other available)3 (See Figure 2). to lower my input cost. And yes, POGI has
farmers at conferences, workshops and supported my decision to transition; the
field days. Some farmers we talked to workshop was really good.”
emphasized the importance of talking to - Farmer in Alberta
Figure 2: Number of organic field crop acres
other farmers and using other resources
in the Prairies 2014 - 2016
to make decisions about changes on their A: “The field days have lots of information
(Source: Canadian Organic Trade Association)
farm. that is applicable to conventional farms,
so even though we are not organic
“From workshops and the [Canadian (and may never be), the research is
Figure 1: How did POGI tools contribute to helpful to our farm.”
changes you have made on your farm? - Farmer in Saskatchewan
565,232 664,554 762,271

POGI tools contributed


directly to changes or 23
plans

Other farmers or other 2014 2015 2016


resources contributed 9
more to changes

Unsure how POGI There are many things that can lead
1
We use google analytics definition of users, which
tools contributed 4
is the number of users who initiated at least one
to the decision to transition to organic session during this timeframe. Some individuals
POGI contributed to
planned changes for management, and POGI may be only one could be counted more than once if they look at the
next season 3 website from different devices or locations.
factor in that decision. Similarly, there are
many factors at play that can determine 2
We reached out to farmers who had used some of
success during that transition period. the main POGI tools. Farmers who did an interview
Organic Growers Fieldcrop Handbook] you may have been more likely to say something positive
about POGI tools.
really find out that you do need to get your We surveyed 37 non-organic and
nutrient levels right and work on that, and transitioning farmers who had used 3
Canada Organic Trade Association (2016). Growing
we’ve found that there is a 10-year wall POGI tools. Farmers who had recently Organic in the Prairies 2014 Statistics.

where you don’t have any phosphorus left transitioned to organic management listed
Canada Organic Trade Association (2017). Organic
in your soil and we found out that compost financial considerations, reducing inputs Agriculture in the Prairies 2015 Statistics
is a good solution.” - Farmer in Manitoba or price of inputs, and sustainability as
reasons for transitioning. A few farmers Canada Organic Trade Association (2018). Organic
Agriculture in the Prairies 2016 Data.
also mentioned that it was helpful to talk

W W W. O R G A N I C A L B E R TA . O R G 7
G R O W I N G H E A LT H Y
FA R M E R S , F I E L D S A N D FO O D
JANUARY 25 - 26 | FORT SASKATCHEWAN , AB

Organic Alberta Conference Registration | January 25 - 26, 2019


Dow Centennial Centre, Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Last Name: ___________________ First Name: ____________________ Company/Farm Name: _________________

Address: _________________________ City: ___________________ Province: _______ Postal Code: ____________

Telephone: ______________________________________Email: ___________________________________________

Names of additional people attending: ________________________________________________________________

Food allergies: ____________________________________________________________________________________

Sign up for the Conference: Price Quantity Total


Register before January 4 and save! Early Bird After Jan 4th
Single Friday and Saturday main sessions only (includes lunches, does $135 $185 $
not include Organic Food and Wine Gala and Banquet or Sally Fallon
seminar, Please select belowto add)
Double Friday and Saturday main sessions only (includes lunches, does $240 $325 $
not include Organic Food and Wine Gala and Banquet or Sally Fallon
seminar, Please select belowto add)
Friday main sessions only (includes lunch) $120 $
Saturday main sessions only (includes lunch) $120 $
Add-Ons:
Single Friday Organic Food and Wine Gala and Banquet featuring Sally $50 $
Fallon
Child under 9 Friday Organic Food and Wine Gala and Banquet featuring $15 $
Sally Fallon
Saturday three-hour Sally Fallon Seminar (not inlcuded in conference $75 $
registration)
Babysitting: under 3 years (2 hours/day for 2 days.) Contact us if you $40 $
would like to reserve more time.
Children’s Program: 3-12 years (Full day for 2 days) $80 $
Young farmer subsidies are available – Contact Organic Alberta for more information!
Payment Total
Total (Note that all prices include GST: #831992076) $
Payment Options
• Cheque: Make payable to Organic Alberta and mail with your completed form to: 10329 61st Ave, Edmonton, AB T6H 1K9
• E-transfer: Send to info@organicalberta.org, password = organic. Remember to also email a copy of your completed form.
• Credit Card: Visit our website at http://organicalberta.org/news/2019-central-conference/

Email Address Phone


info@organicalberta.org 10329-61 Ave Edmonton, AB T6H 1K9 587-521-2400
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W W W. O R G A N I C A L B E R TA . O R G 11
G R O W I N G H E A LT H Y F A R M
ORGANIC ALBERT

Draft Program Subject to Change

F R I D AY J A N U A R Y 2 5 , 2 0 1 9 | D o w C e n t e n n i a l C e n t r e , F o r t S a s k a t c h e w a n
7:30 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Registration

8:15 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. Opening Remarks

8:40 a.m. - 9:20 a.m. Morning Keynote

Teaching Livestock to Eat


9:30 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. Perspectives on Soil Health When to Hire an Extra Hand
Weeds (Grant Lastiwka)

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Break / Trade Show

New Trends and Research in Women in Farming: Stories Direct-Marketing: How to Get
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Organic Agronomy from the Field (Trina Moyles) New Customers

12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch

12:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m. Organic Alberta Annual General Meeting

2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Break / Trade Show

Direct-Marketing: Retaining
Working on Permaculture
Intercropping: Benefits and Customers
2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m. Projects with Indigenous
Risks (Joe Wecker) (Andrew Mans and Rosemary
Communities (Marsha Shack)
Wotske & Cam Beard)

Intercropping: An interactive
Conscious Communication on Livestock Guardian Dogs and
3:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m. workshop to make it work on
the Farm (Mike Kozlowski) Predator Management
your farm

4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Hot Topic Discussions

Organic Food and Wine Gala and Banquet featuring Sally Fallon (Tickets purhased separately)
6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Nourishing Diets: How Paleo, Ancestral and Traditional Peoples Really Ate

Childcare will be available for purchase, please email Sarah at sarah.preston@organicalberta.org for details.
MERS, FIELDS AND FOOD
TA CONFERENCE

S AT U R D AY J A N U A R Y 2 6 , 2 0 1 9 - D o w C e n t e n n i a l C e n t r e , F o r t S a s k a t c h e w a n
7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Registration

8:40 a.m. - 9:20 a.m. Tough Enough To Talk About It: Lessons in Dealing With Stress on the Farm

Improving Soils Through Cover


Crops and Intercropping for
Improving Soils Through
9:30 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. Grain Buyers Speed Dating Fruit and Vegetable Producers
Grazing
(Andrew Mans and Mike
Kozlowski)

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Break / Trade Show

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Soil and Regenerative Agriculture

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch

Thinking of Organic Farming:


What’s involved in Using Pollinator Strips in
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
certification? Cropping Sally Fallon
(Free to the public) Nourishing Traditions Seminar

Thinking of Organic Farming: Soil Testing: How do I get the (Tickets purhased separately)
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Agronomic decisions you need right soil information for my
to make (Free to the public) farm?

Thinking of Organic Farming:


4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Our Farm Story Break / Trade Show
(Free to the public)

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Consumer and Farmer Speed Dating (Free to the public)

Business Room bookings are now open! Book this space to host your own session to share your work, present on new
innovations, or connect with fresh audiences! Register online here.

Contact Sarah for more details at sarah.preston@organicalberta.org, or by calling (587) 521-2400.


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E X P L O R I N G S M A L L- S C A L E A B AT T O I R S O L U T I O N S
IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS

By Amber Kenyon, Gateway Research Lake Poultry Processors is the only facility meat to a certain sector, allow room for
Organization available for poultry direct marketers. This competitiveness in the industry?
leaves a very large gap in our ability to get
At the beginning of the year I had the small scale, local chickens and turkeys into While the Banwells have made an on-farm
pleasure of attending a Young Agrarian the hands of the consumers, especially if abattoir work for their business model,
event in Alix, AB. Out of several very you are a fair distance away from Pigeon they caution that it comes with challenges.
interesting speakers, a young couple Lake. “Running an abattoir is a difficult business,
from British Columbia really stood out. with significant overhead costs, and a
Tristan and Aubyn Banwell manage Spray Jerry Kitt, organic poultry producer said, shortage of qualified staff in most areas of
Creek Ranch near Lillooet, BC. I was “I’ve been raising organic poultry for 29 BC. On-farm slaughter options may sound
especially interested in their on-farm years and when I started out there were appealing, but the costs associated and
abattoir facility. Their Class D provincial 3 places that could process poultry within low limits on the number of animals per
abattoir license allows them to butcher 1.5 hours’ drive. In the Peace we even had year make small on-farm facilities a difficult
a limited number of animals for direct a federally inspected plant. One by one proposition.”
marketing into their region. they’ve all shut down. Now I must drive
to Pigeon Lake.” Kitt says he does the Nonetheless, it is encouraging to hear
Since 2011 in BC it has been possible to one-way 6-hour drive as a public service farmers like the Banwells speak of their
apply for, and receive, a small on-farm because there is no organic poultry in the successes. A system like this might make a
processor license. These Class D and E Peace Region. Although there are a few large difference in the profitability of small
licenses include some restrictions (you consumers willing to pay about 3 times farms in Alberta. It may also make it easier
can slaughter a limited amount of meat; what they would pay in the grocery store for new producers to get their foot in the
how you sell the meat that you slaughter for a rotisserie chicken, it is not a profitable door. Having conversations and asking
is restricted; the region that you sell in is venture. questions is the first step towards change.
restricted; and with a class E license there Small-scale meat producers in BC formed
cannot be professional slaughter services Alberta farmers’ markets attract consumers the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association
available within a two-hour drive of your eager to meet the farmer who grows (SSMPA) with an aim toward creating a
farm.) However, these licenses enable their food. An increasing number of network to share resources and to speak
smaller producers to direct market, or producers want to direct market to insulate with a common voice to move systems
even just sell to their neighbours. themselves from potentially volatile market forward in support of producers raising
prices. We are seeing more of this in beef, meat outside of the conventional industrial
A 2005 Food Miles study in Waterloo, pork, vegetables and fruit. system.
Ontario noted that beef consumed in the
region racked up an average of 5,770 Yet direct marketing
kilometres travelled, with most coming chicken continues
from Colorado, Kansas, Australia, New to be unachievable
Zealand and Nebraska. The author for many producers.
concluded that imported beef products Could bringing in
averaged 667 times the greenhouse gas legislation that allows
emissions of local beef. direct marketers
to butcher animals
Currently in Alberta it is incredibly on-farm in small
difficult for most small farmers to access numbers, in localized
a provincially inspected abattoir. Pigeon regions, and sell that

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W W W. O R G A N I C A L B E R TA . O R G 15
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PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

O R G A N I C S A N I TAT I O N : D O N ’ T G E T L O S T I N T H E W O O D S
Few people would ever embark “sanitize” the SDS by removing Carefully researched and
on a hike in the Rockies without non-organic ingredients from the validated, the Product Reference
a map and a compass. A trek document, though these remain Guide identifies both those
in the wild through unfamiliar in the formulation. This practice products accepted and those
terrain can be dangerous, even can be misleading, and to combat accepted with certain conditions,
d e a d l y, w i t h o u t re l i a b l e g u i d a n c e . it, auditors are increasingly and notes references to applicable
A hipster hiker may want to demanding access to the actual sections of the CGSB Organic
rely on a GPS program on their confidential formulations, Standards. The information is
smartphone. Nevertheless, a good withholding organic approval from visually clear and simple so that
map and a trusty compass need chemical suppliers that do not choices are made with confidence
not battery power nor satellite c o m p l y. a n d e a s e . M o r e o v e r, a u d i t o r s w i l l
signal, and they point the way appreciate the detailed references
c o n s i s t e n t l y. In addition, there are allowable at their fingertips.
exceptions to the PSL. If an
Navigating the plethora of organic cleaning product cannot Should an auditor challenge
regulations and standards for an re m ov e t h e re s i d u e s p ro p e r l y, a product, Sani Marc stands
organic sanitation program can a non-organic product could be ready to support quickly and
be as challenging as a hike in the used, but with certain conditions. e f f i c i e n t l y. A l i b ra r y o f a d d i t i o n a l
A l b e r t a b a c k c o u n t r y, t h o u g h n o t A processor must prove that the documentation for each product
as threatening to life and limb. organic products failed to clean is maintained and available
That may seem melodramatic, the surfaces properly through to auditors upon request. If
but to a small or medium-sized documented validation. Then, any validation is required, qualified
processor with limited resources non-organic products used must be Sani Marc personnel are happy
and facing an audit, the feeling subjected to a potable water rinse, to supply guidance. Never has
can be the same as being lost in and be proven that no chemical establishing an organic sanitation
the woods. residues remain on surfaces. p ro g ra m b e e n s o e a s y.

F o r t u n a t e l y, t h e r e i s a m a p – a n d Facing the potential for confusion, A walk in the woods on a


a compass. possible misinformation and the summer ’s day breathing the
need for validation, and with so crisp mountain air is gratifying,
The “map”, is the Organic much at stake – loss of certification especially if you do not get
Production Systems General – it is no wonder a processor could lost. So too with the organic
Principles and Management feel like Hansel or Gretel in the certification process.
Standards and The Permitted deep, dark forest.
Substances Lists (or PSL) Navigating organic standards
established by the Canadian F o r t u n a t e l y, t h e re i s a l s o a successfully with the right
General Standards Board (CGSB). “c o m p a s s ” t o h e l p f i n d t h e w a y : “ m a p ” a n d a r e l i a b l e “c o m p a s s ” ,
the Product Reference Guide for subsequently achieving Organic
The PSL itemizes what cleaning Organic Production developed by Certification, is rewarding. It
products are considered organic. Sani Marc. leads to consumer confidence,
A processor can compare the list processor ’s peace of mind, and
of ingredients on the Safety Data Sani Marc has experience in helping i n c re a s e d p ro f i t a b i l i t y.
Sheet of the products used in hundreds of processors across
their facility to those in the PSL. Canada successfully pass organic T H AT i s l i k e a b r e a t h o f f r e s h a i r.
The problem is that sometimes audits with relative ease. Designed
the chemical names are variances in response to the circumstances of For more information:
of the same name, leading to t h e C a n a d i a n o rg a n i c i n d u s t r y, S a n i http://foodandbeverage.sanimarc.
confusion and potential for audit Marc ’s Product Reference Guide com/products/organic/
non-compliance. for Organic Production is reliable 1-800 361-7691
and consistent for making the right
A d d i t i o n a l l y, s o m e c h e m i c a l choices for an organic sanitation
suppliers have chosen to program. PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T

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