by Beth Purdon-McLellan, The Ontarion February 2, 2012
It’s not too often that you have seed distributors, cosmeticians, dairy farmers and chocolatiers under one roof. From Jan. 26-29, The University of Guelph was lucky to host its 31 Organic Conference. Venders set up booths in the UC courtyard and Peter Clark hall to display their products. With so many samples, students could gather a four-course meal walking from one end of the UC to the other.
However, amid the Sophie almonds and carrot juice, there was a larger objective to the conference: to provide education and information on organic farming and production. This year’s conference, entitled “Seeds of Cooperation”, focused on the potential role of cooperatives in organic farming to produce sustainable food supply on a small to medium scale initiatives.
Throughout the weekend, workshops were offered on a variety of different aspects of organic farming. While many of these catered to those that are already involved in organic production, there were many workshops that any organic enthusiast could appreciate that discussed issues such as herb gardening, organic cosmetics and herbal remedies.
Corporate Organic Sponsors & Organic Media Partners: We thank all companies and media publications which have already confirmed their support for this sponsorship outreach leading up to the January, 2012 Guelph Organic Conference !
Many people have asked ‘what is the difference between an Official Sponsor and a Corporate Organic Sponsor’ to which the answer is:
Official Sponsors must be public sector-focus and/or non-profit entities.
By public sector work, we mean that the service carried out will further the public’s knowledge and awareness of organic market-place transparency. The 16 Official Sponsors currently sitting on the 2012 Conference Management Committee represent truly wide swaths of the current “organic sector” in Canada. The Official Sponsors represent: organic certification, organic education, training and speaker programs, organic inspection of both farms and processors, organic research programs, organic advocacy and lobbying, international sustainable agriculture education and programs… and finally, education into organic production systems at the university level. Official Sponsors are invited onto the Conference Committee by the board of directors based on their commitment to, and active promotion of the ideals and goals of ‘organic foods, farming & gardening and closely related issues.’ The current 16 Official Sponsor groups represent, objectively, the entire Canadian organic sector. By coming to Guelph, these groups put their work on display for you to experience.
Corporate Organic Sponsors, on the other hand, are the commercial backbone of the sector who spend discretionary dollars to support organics. Those companies and marketing entities include: for-profit distributors and processors, for-profit retailers, for-profit agricultural marketers and seed vendors… as well as other supporting bodies involved in consulting and advocacy.
The Official Sponsors of the 2012 GUELPH ORGANIC CONFERENCE are the following:
- Canada Organic Trade Association
- Canadian Organic Growers
- CSI – Centre For Systems Integration
- Ecocert Canada
- Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario
- International Organic Inspectors Association
- National Farmers Union
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs
- Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada
- Organic Council of Ontario
- ProCert Organic Systems
- Quality Assurance International
- REAP-Canada/Resource Efficient Agricultural Production
- Society For Biodynamic Farming & Gardening In Ontario
- University of Guelph Organic Agriculture Program
If you need to find a good place to eat, sleep, or relax, then CLICK HERE! We have listings of great local organic restaurants, accommodation, and tips to help you get around.