Farmers and producers recognize there’s a gap to be filled and the local organic industry is striving to meet the rising demand

Posted on September 01, 2021 | By Louis Power | 0 Comments

Canadians are spending more and more of their dollars on organic products.

But how much of the organic section in an Atlantic Canadian supermarket can be traced to a farm in the region? The country? The continent? Farmers and producers in the Atlantic provinces recognize there’s a gap to be filled and the local organic industry is striving to meet the rising demand.

Every month, about 14 million eggs make their way from Maritime barns to Atlantic Canadian consumers via Maritime Pride Eggs’ grading facility in Amherst, N.S. But until recently, the organic eggs that bore the egg grader’s logo were shipped in from outside the region.

“We were buying it from our partners in Québec, but we didn’t feel good about that,” said chief executive officer Mark Beal.

Five fresh chicken eggs in a wicker basket

So a plan was hatched to retrofit one of the company’s producer-shareholders’ Port Williams, N.S., operation and start filling cartons with certified organic eggs. Consumers responded so well that a new, multimillion-dollar barn was soon built near Fredericton, N.B., for organic egg production.

“Almost all organic eggs that are sold here in Atlantic Canada through Maritime Pride Eggs are locally grown, either in New Brunswick or in Nova Scotia. And we’re pretty proud of that, because it takes a long time to get organic certification,” Beal said.

The Amherst grading facility, along with the organic barns, have all achieved that certification. To maintain it, the product has to be checked regularly to make sure it meets organic standards. The process involves a lot of time, space and money.

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