GFM Network News


Vegetables and fruits are the main drivers in the rapidly growing organic food sector.

Organic food sales in Alberta growing at a sizzling pace

New study finds organic food and beverage sales expanding by more than 10 per cent annually

Sales of organic food and beverages in Canada is booming, especially in Alberta, says a new report from the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative. The report pegs the value of the organic market (not counting alcohol sales) in Canada at $4.2 billion and says it grew by an average of 8.4 per cent annually from 2012 […] Read more

Gerjan Snippe, managing director of Bio Brass, isn’t the stereotypical “grey woolly goat sock” farmer that people in the Netherlands think of when they think of organic farmers.

Organic doesn’t need to be ‘so expensive,’ says Dutch farmer

Farmer alliance’s relentless focus on efficiency aims to take organics to the next level

In Canada, we might call them hippies or tree huggers but in Holland, organic farmers are called “grey woolly goat socks.” Gerjan Snippe, managing director of Bio Brass, doesn’t wear his grey woolly goat socks anymore, but he carries them in his back pocket. They’re a reminder of why he got into organics in the […] Read more


Ward Middleton is a veteran of Alberta's organic scene.

Alberta organic industry hits new heights

There’s money to be made as organic becomes more mainstream and the industry matures

A surge in the number of organic crop producers in Alberta has boosted organic production on the Prairies to a level not seen since the 2008 financial crisis. That’s a key highlight of a new report from the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative, an alliance of Organic Alberta and its counterparts in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. “The […] Read more

Giving young farmers help in establishing an organic dairy is an excellent idea, says veteran organic milk producer Joe Mans.

Alberta Milk offers program to entice new organic producers

There are just six organic milk producers in the province but a new program aims to up that by a third

[UPDATED: July 23, 2018] Growing demand for organic milk not only has the provincial dairy association seeking more production but also more producers — just to make sure it never runs short. “We need more organic and we need to make sure that we don’t only have a few farms taking some of the supply […] Read more


“There are some new guys from the oilfields who are coming, and some of them have moved into farming,

Alberta’s organic heartland wants to bring more farmers on board

Two-year initiative will assist both existing growers and those wanting 
to transition to organic production

Being Alberta’s most northerly rural municipality isn’t Mackenzie County’s only claim to fame. “Right now, Mackenzie County has the highest number of organic farmers,” said Jacob Marfo, manager and research director of the Mackenzie Applied Research Association, (MARA). And the region may soon have more. MARA and Organic Alberta, with support from the county and […] Read more

Organic grain producer Ward Middleton has found a way to make record-keeping easier on his farm — the KISS approach, or keep it simple stupid.

Organic record-keeping made easier

It’s important for organic producers to understand the standards — and how certifiers interpret those rules

Organic production comes with its own headaches — but that’s nothing compared to organic record-keeping. “It’s a crush of paperwork,” said Ward Middleton, an organic grain producer from Morinville. “It seems thoroughly intimidating, and we need to make it as easy as possible. Otherwise, we’ll never entice larger farms to go organic.” Organic certifying bodies […] Read more


The growing availability of organic food in grocery story chains is a key factor in driving sales.

The stereotypical organic consumer doesn’t exist anymore

Alberta has the highest proportion of organic consumers of any province in the country

If newspaper headlines are to be believed, millennials have already killed the paper napkin industry, department stores, and beer (somehow). Could conventional agriculture be next? Nah. All the generations are working on that one, says an organic industry official. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a millennial, Gen X, or baby boomer — across the board, […] Read more



More and more people are regularly buying organic food — usually produce and usually at a mainstream grocery store — a new survey has found.

Organic food continues to win market share

Millennials and young families are the biggest factors in the ‘staggering’ jump in the popularity 
of organic

The Canada Organic Trade Association marked National Organic Week earlier this month by releasing new data that shows a “staggering” increase in the number of Canadians who are buying organic groceries every week. An online consumer research study done earlier this year found that organic food is on the weekly shopping list of two in […] Read more

In the quest for ever-more production, have we lost our way?

Farmers in the developing world are impoverished while producers here 
are taking on ever-higher levels of debt

I strongly believe that our focus in the future should be on the nutrient density of plants and biodiversity. Pushing our soils to produce more is terminal because there is burnout of the soil and the plant, along with financial harm to the farmer. Instead, we should look at soil health, seed health with nutrient […] Read more