The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) has received funding to develop a data strategy specific to Ontario’s organic industry.
The funding, awarded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program, will support a study to identify the most relevant data gaps in the organic industry, assess current and potential data tracking and collection points, and plan for a sustainable organic data strategy solution for the entire sector.
One of the organic sector’s biggest challenges is a lack of timely, credible information. That includes production, pricing and marketing data.
“Most of the ways information on livestock and crop production is collected in the agri-food sector lacks an organic filter and tracking of organic information specifically,” says Carolyn Young, executive director of the Organic Council of Ontario.
OCO will also complete a pilot case study on cost of production benchmarking for grains and oilseeds and commission a production data report, says Young.
OCO says that the end result will offer recommendations for more consistent organic data collection and delivery to stakeholders, whether through OCO or other mechanisms.
Better data will help the sector grow their market, Young says, and will help the industry make better income predictions, and enable producers to make better decisions about what and how much to produce, making this project vitally important to Ontario organic production.