A website maintained by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency lists more than 3,000 who have either voluntarily withdrawn or had their organic certification cancelled.
The website provides no insights into why farmers and companies are withdrawing or flunked certification, but a person familiar with the industry provided background.
He said the CFIA listing covers 13 years, so is not a recent phenomenon.
And throughout that period, the number of organic growers has continued to steadily increase by about five per cent per year.
But as with farming in general, some may be retiring, some may have thrown in the towel since the effort involved is not worth the money that can be earned, some may have returned to conventional farming and a few may have been flunked by their organic certifying organization.
What is surprising is the number of well-known companies on the list, including Burnbrae Farms file # 139562, Bright Cheese and Butter Ltd., Grober, Pine River Cheese, Cardinal Meats, Global Egg Corp. (a division of L.H. Gray & Son Ltd.), Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd., Fischer Family Poultry Ltd. and Arva Flour Mills.
In the United States, a recent report indicates demand for organic foods have increased their market share since the COVID-19 pandemic.