About Organic

What is Organic?

Brown CowsOrganic is an agricultural method. It is based on agricultural management practices that:

  • focus on building healthy soil
  • eliminate the use of pesticides and hormones and largely maintains soil fertility by application of on-farm residues and rotation of nitrogen-fixing crops
  • minimize soil erosion through crop choices, cover-cropping, and low-till methods. It emphasizes crop diversity - both of species and varieties - which provides inherent resilience in the face of pests, disease, and weather extremes 
  • avoid any water withdrawals which impair habitat. It provides buffers of native vegetation along streams to maintain favorable water temperatures and water quality
  • require that plant and animal wastes be carefully contained and treated to avoid any contaminated run-off
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers
  • can be profitable on an extremely small scale,  thereby  maintaining family-oriented farms and strengthening rural communities 

Organic agriculture is sometimes summarized as what it is not:

  • No chemical pesticides or weed killers
  • No synthetic fertilizers or sewage sludge
  • No seed or feed originating from GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
  • No antibiotics or growth hormones 
  • No animal wastes or slaughter by­products in food diets
  • No overpopulation of animals in closed building
  • No chemical dyes, artificial flavours nor synthetic additives including sulphates, nitrates
  • No preservatives
  • No irradiation
  • No synthetic fungicides or preservatives in packaging or storage materials

Why Local AND Organic

Because your food choices matter - to your health, the environment and the people who grow your food.

Local is where you live. Organic is how your food is produced. It is not a corporate product, or an imported food product. It is how our farmers in our community work in harmony with surrounding ecosystems and the diverse communities that live therein, including soil organisms, plants, livestock and people.

Read more…

7 Reasons to Buy Local AND Organic

Organic Labeling

Look for these logos when you buy organic.  If there is no logo, it is not certified organic. At a farmer’s market or a farm-gate, certified organic farmers should always be able to tell you who certifies their products - and you should ask them!  

In June 2009 a voluntary national logo can also be added to products. Read more about the national logo and what it means for farmers and consumers.

Organic Quick Facts

  • Organics is the fastest growing sector in agriculture, with sales increasing at 20% per year.
  • Over 1.3 million acres (530,919 ha) of land in Canada is used to grow organic food. Another 118,500 acres (47,955 ha) is in transition to certification.
  • In Waterloo Region between 4.2% and 9.5% of farms are certified or transitional organic.
  • In western Perth county between 2.5% and 4.2% of all farms are certified or transitional organic.
  • In the PWW area there has been a 45.5% increase in the number of organic farms from 77 to 112 farms between 2001 and 2006.
  • Eating food that is produced organically saves more CO2 emissions than focusing just on food miles.

As a member of COG Perth-Waterloo-Wellington you will:

  • Receive four copies per year ofThe Canadian Organic Grower, Canada’s only national magazine for organic producers and consumers
  • Receive discounts on COG’s publications
  • Have access to COG’s mailing library, an extensive collection of farming and gardening books that can be borrowed at no cost
  • Receive monthly electronic updates to keep you up to date on what’s going on in the organic sector
  • Receive quarterly issues of Bee Organic, COG PWW’s member newsletter
  • Receive regular electronic updates on organic-related activities and events happening in the region
  • Receive invitations to COG PWW events and workshops
Join COG now!