2017 was a year of fighting the good fight, and our members had many meaningful wins that created real impact. They secured grants, hired more employees, and had big, productive collaborations with each other.

We chatted with 18 of them to hear about some of their goals for 2018 and get the lowdown on their great 2017 memories. We’re going to spend the rest of the year telling you about what they had to say.

Next up is the Organic Council of Ontario

OCO represents Ontario’s organic sector to the Organic Federation of Canada. To do so effectively, it continually seeks feedback and recommendations on changes to the standards through the OCO website and E-News. The Organic Federation of Canada fosters a healthy rapport with public figures and members of government to encourage legislative action and policy development, often providing solutions to decision makers on key issues that impact the organic sector in Ontario.

What is your biggest accomplishment for 2017?
We partnered with MPP Peter Tabuns (NDP) and MPP Sylvia Jones (PC) to introduce the Organic Products Act, a private members bill that gives the provincial government the power to regulate the word organic within the province. We also launched the #actONorganic campaign to support the bill. As a result of this work, the bill passed second reading and the government of Ontario has just finished consulting with the sector. We are looking forward to a regulation being implemented in 2018 and continuing to push for supports for small-scale farmers to certify. You can support that campaign here.

What is a great collaboration you had this year?
We hired JRC9 to build an exciting new Ontario Organic Business-to-Business Directory and our Grow Ontario Organic microsite. The directory will help more Ontario eaters and buyers purchase local organic products and displace imports. The directory will also help us track important sector data. The Grow Ontario Organic microsite will allow us to share our plans to grow the Ontario Organic sector to 5% in 5 years (5% of Ontario acreage)