OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - October 28, 2014) - The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) is celebrating the release of a ground-breaking study on the market for organic and ecological seed in Canada. The 2014 study was a collaborative effort between COTA and The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, a project of USC Canada.

The study aims to measure the current and potential market for ecological and organic seed, provide crop- and region-specific information for stakeholders interested in expanding the seed supply, and set a benchmark for ongoing data collection in the sector.

This precedent-setting study estimates the current value of organic and ecological seed in Canada at over $78 million per year, including $28 million in vegetable seed and $20 million in purchased field crop seed. The research also reaffirms the value and importance of saved seed for organic farms, at over $30 million per year, and recommends public policy be designed in a way to support the continued growth of the organic sector, including the practice of seed-saving.

"The organic sector is the fastest growing agri-food market in Canada; as this sector continues to grow, the demand for organic seed will increase," said Matthew Holmes, COTA Executive Director, adding: "There is a strong case to be made for investment in Canadian and regionally-specific organic seed production."

"Beyond quantifying the value of this under-researched sector, this study is a tool to help identify markets with strong potential for organic and ecological growers interested in expanding their operations," said Jane Rabinowicz, Director of The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security at USC Canada, "and furthers our aim to build a more secure and diverse 'made-in-Canada' seed supply."

The report is available via this link:

The Canada Organic Trade Association is the membership-based association for the organic sector in Canada, representing growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others in the organic value chain. COTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.

Launched in 2013 in five regional hubs across the country, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security works with farmers, researchers and other partners to build a secure, diverse and sustainable Canadian seed supply. The program is delivered by USC Canada, in partnership with Seeds of Diversity Canada and through the generous support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. 

Attachment Available:

Contact Information:

For more information, contact:

Matthew Holmes
Executive Director
Canada Organic Trade Association

Jane Rabinowicz
The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security
USC Canada