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Monday, October 20, 2014
Saskatchewan

PREMIER RECEIVES ORGANIC REPORT

Saskatchewan's Legislative Secretary on Organics presented his final report to Premier Lorne Calvert today.

Regional Economic and Co-operative Development Minister Lon Borgerson made recommendations on how to develop the province's organic agriculture industry after extensive consultations with producers and producer associations, research institutions, certifying bodies, agribusiness and government agencies.

"Saskatchewan is already one of the largest, most dynamic players in Canada's organic industry," Calvert said. "We need to capitalize on the tremendous opportunity that exists for Saskatchewan families in organic agriculture. The report outlines an aggressive plan of action for both industry and government to reach a goal that would have 10 per cent of Saskatchewan farmers involved in organic production by 2015."

"Retail sales of organic food are increasing by over 20 per cent per year," Borgerson said. "With large retail chains entering the market, organics are more than just a niche opportunity. The time has come to capitalize on Saskatchewan's natural advantages - a large agricultural base, innovative people and a clean environment."

Borgerson's recommendations include:

  • Establishing an Organic Industry Advisory Board that will provide ongoing advice to the Minister of Agriculture and Food on organic issues;
  • Expanded organic research capacity;
  • Increased support and training opportunities for organic producers and processors;
  • International marketing support for small and medium organic businesses;
  • Measures to attract young people and immigrants to the industry; and
  • The promotion of Saskatchewan-grown organic food.

A number of recommendations have already been adopted by government, based on Borgerson's consultations and the interim report provided to the premier earlier this year. The remainder - contained in the final report - will now go to departments for review.

The report is available online at http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/report_organic_opportunities_challenges_sept_2007.

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For more information, contact:

Jenna Robertson
Regional Economic and Co-operative Development
Regina
Phone: 306-787-2359
Email: jroberts@agr.gov.sk.ca

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