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Carpio, N.D. 58725
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Marv's Blog
CBC tells the story
Written by Marv Baker   
Monday, 27 September 2010

I listened to an interesting program early this morning (Sept. 27) on CBC satellite radio in Toronto. The entire hour was devoted to talking about organic agriculture from a Canadian perspective.

It's interesting to note that the Canadian organic movement has become an industry just like it did in the United States and now the Canadian government is creating a Canadian Organic set of regulations, just like USDA did in 2002.

That tells me that anyone who doubts the growth of the organic industry is a fool. Ilene and I have often reminded people that organics is growing by 20 percent annually and has for several years in the U.S. That's why we dove into it in 2006 because we knew it was coming our way.

Now, this morning, I get reassurance from across the border, which is only 40 miles north of us, that organic sales are growing just as rapidly across Canada, including the Prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta where all the huge wheat fields are located.

As I listened to this CBC program at 5 this morning, I got to thinking "sure, big city Toronto is going to be organic savvy. But when organic grain and produce are being grown in the small communities like Craven, Saskatchewan, that means organic is catching on quickly across the 49th parallel."

We believe the same thing in Carpio, North Dakota. In a small town, people don't seem to care whether it's orgnanic or not. But when we take that certified organic produce into nearby Minot, it sells quickly and enthusiastically. As does the produce in our capital city, Bismarck. As an example, many of our clients are doctors, dentists, lawyers and young mothers who want better quality produce for their developing children.

This isn't a fad, nor is it a marketing stunt. It's real and it's growing rapidly. Organics grew fast in western Europe in the '90s, it is growing fast in the United States and now it has taken hold in Canada.

What more do the critics need? Personally, I don't care. As long as North Star Farms continues to grow, that's all I'm worried about. My customers are my concern and by the looks of it, North Star Farms is going to have a lot more customers in 2011 than we do now. 

Maybe next year, we can start a CSA in Estevan, Saskatchewan. It's actually closer to us than Bismarck and according to CBC, consumers all across Canada are seeking out certified organic products. North Star Farms has those products.

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