The theme of Eco Farm Day 2012 is “Vibrant Family Businesses in Organic Agriculture and Food”. In the current economic climate, the small business sector is the leading economic engine. Coupled with that, the organic food sector is the fastest growing part of the agri-food economy in Canada. Family-owned organic farms, food processors, and food handlers form a vibrant part of Canada’s rural economy.
Eco Farm Day, hosted by Canadian Organic Growers, Ottawa Chapter, is the largest farm conference in eastern Ontario, and the leading learning and networking conference for organic agriculture and food in Eastern Ontario and beyond. Organic, transitional and conventional farmers of field crops, market gardens, and livestock rely on Eco Farm Day for the best training, information, and commerce opportunities. Over 350 people come back every year for the social event, the networking, the positive atmosphere, and the great food! Over 30 exhibitors cover a wide range of farm inputs, markets, services, and sector associations.
Our key note speaker, Steve Beauchesne of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. will describe how his family-run brewery has built a solid brand in an incredibly tough competitive market by firmly sticking to the goals of making organic beer, supporting their community and sustainable business practises. Steve will describe the importance of setting non-financial goals in order to create a culture around your business and turn customers into fans and employees into teammates. Steve will discuss the sacrifices a business must be willing to make to create a truly inspiring story and change from being a company that produces a product into a rallying point for other believers.
Lucy Sharratt from the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network will join us for the evening gala on Saturday to discuss how genetic modification poses new urgent threats to the future of organic food in Ontario with the latest information and strategic updates on GM crops and animals.
Randy Whitteker, general manager of the Ontario Natural Food Coop, will join us on Sunday to discuss the markets and opportunities for local farmers and food processors in the growing organic retail in Ontario.
Besides the keynote speaker, the conference on Saturday includes 12 one-hour workshops on production techniques, marketing, and subjects of general interest. Although the conference is presented in English, it will have simultaneous translation in French for the keynote speech on Saturday as well as the 3 selected workshops.
Full list of Speakers LINK
Registration is now open, along with the program, on the conference website at www.ecofarmday.ca.
Conference Chair Tom Manley of Homestead Organics from the 2011 Eco Farm Day.