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Quebec's Round Table on biological agriculture

The Strategic Plan is accepted


The final report on the strategic plan of biological agriculture development in Quebec, presented by the firm of Radius publicité promotion inc., was finally accepted by the members of the Biological Agricultural Round Table.

This version was set down June 19, 1994 and only the O.C.I.P.B. did not accept the plan. Notwithstanding, the document passed the linguistic revision and is now available for those who want to partake in the proposed actions. The report will be distributed in mid-September to all certified biological producers and the Round Table group will set up a platform to process producers comments.

The document is divided into three sections. In the first section, is a description of the biological agricultural situation. Underlining some passages with observations and some situations, making a parallel between sustainable agriculture and biological agriculture to find out that the latter is an avenue of sustainable agriculture, but goes farther to protect the environment, eliminating all chemical and synthetic products, and that it is a lively agriculture. All these differences shuold help to clearly differentiate itself to sustainable agriculture. A little farther, illustrations are used to show the importance of biological production in Quebec:

525 certified producers,

16 types of production,

13,000 hectares cultivated and 20 million in agricultural sales of certified products, 1.4% of agricultural producers in Quebec.

The value of the transformed biological products are around $18 million in 1993 against $5 million five years ago. (Retail sales = $35 million in '93 vs $9 million 5 years ago.)About 75% of these sales are transformed products and 25% are fresh products. Finally, 84% of all these products are imported. The Quebec consumption of biological products is limited, around 1% of food consumption. In the document, four groups of potential consumers are identified. The first, obviously, are those who already consume biological products; to increase sales in this group we advise to better group the product and provide more information. A second group, consisting of younger, well educated and more environmentally conscious people, is targeted by a study as well as a third group, consisting of older persons, sickly, and sensible to the benefits of healthier food. Finally, the fourth group who researches healthy products, allergy, sugarless, without cholesterol; an extremely important group.

In the second section, the document analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the Agri-Food Biological Sector. Without giving details some recommendations to each sector (production, transformation, certification, distribution, consumption, etc.) are numerous and relevant. If the strategic recommendations presented in part of the document are applied by the members of the Round Table of Biological Agriculture, we could foresee, according to the document, the following results: a rise in sales volume around $15 million in three years, and a 50% increase in the number of certified biological producers. (That could go to 750 in 1997.) Those producers in transition could bring their numbers to 5,000 at the same date, we would experience a substantial increase in the number of processors from 37 to 75 within the next 3 years, a proportional increase in sales points and an improved visibility for organic products. Last August 30, the members of the Round Table hired the consultant firm of Radius to write an executive summary of the strategic plan. The executive summary will be used by the members of the Round Table to establish their priorities of development and lock concrete action this autumn.

Reprinted from Bio-Bulle, August-September 1994


Copyright © 1994 REAP Canada

Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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