Recent facts about certified organic fruits and vegetables in Canada, 2021

In 2021, certified organic fruit and vegetable farmers grew less produce overall compared with 2020. Adverse weather conditions in the main organic farming provinces negatively affected fruit production (-11.6%), while organic vegetable production increased 4.5%. Certified organic production accounted for 3.3% of all fruit and vegetables nationally in 2021.

Certified organic fruit and vegetable farmers require mandatory certification and must ensure compliance with the Canadian Organic Standards, which is regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Certified organic farmers' main farming practice is limiting the use of synthetic crop inputs, such as pesticides and fertilizers.

Area dedicated to certified organic fruit and vegetable cultivation remained relatively stable at 19 246 hectares (-0.5%) in 2021. The farm-gate value of certified organic fruit and vegetables increased 3.1% to $170.0 million. The growth was due to an increase in the value of vegetables (+13.8%), which more than offset the decline of fruits (-3.6%).

Decrease in cultivated area of organic fruits
In 2021, total certified organic fruit cultivated area in Canada remained relatively consistent (+0.5% to 14 281 hectares) with a year earlier. However, fruit bearing area declined 6.8% to 8 390 hectares.

Farm-gate value of certified organic fruit fell 3.6% to $98.1 million in 2021, which was attributable to a 25.5% decrease in the farm-gate value of certified organic blueberries (to $22.3 million). However, increases were recorded for certified organic strawberries (+55.6% to $3.3 million) and certified organic grapes (+16.2% to $8.2 million).

Quebec accounted for the largest share of organic fruit cultivated area (82.8%), followed by British Columbia (9.8%) and Ontario (5.7%).

Canada imports more organic berries
Total organic berry imports increased 33.8% in 2021 compared with the previous year. Organic strawberries accounted for the biggest portion with 10.7 million kilograms (+42.8%), followed by organic blueberries with 4.8 million kilograms (+27.5%), and organic raspberries and loganberries with 3.0 million kilograms (+16.8%). Most imports came from the United States (65.9%) and Mexico (23.0%).

By comparison, Canadian farms sold 357,908 kilograms (+51.7%) of organic strawberries, 7.1 million kilograms (-36.3%) of organic blueberries and 38,710 kilograms (-17.2%) of organic raspberries in 2021.

Canadian farmers are growing more certified organic vegetables
Total certified organic vegetable production (excluding potatoes, greenhouse vegetables and seeds) increased 4.5% to 42.6 million kilograms in 2021, despite a slight decrease in cultivated area (-3.3% to 4 965 hectares).

In 2021, Quebec accounted for just over three-quarters of the certified organic vegetable area (75.5%), followed by Ontario (12.3%) and British Columbia (8.9%). In 2021, certified organic vegetable cultivated area represented 4.7% of the entire field vegetable area.


For more information: statcan.gc.ca


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