Growing into the Markets for Organic and Pesticide-free Crops

Growing into the Markets for Organic and Pesticide-free Crops

The evolution of the organic market space represents an opportunity for conventional farmers keen to try something new and to provide the full transparency to consumers keen to know where their food comes from. Once thought of as a mere fad, demand for organic food has doubled over the past number of decades, a trend that is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

Digital Record-Sharing

The record-keeping and organic certification process will always be a detailed undertaking, in order to provide the full spectrum of information that the market wants around provenance of food. Technology is now allowing field activities and farm inventories to be tracked and shared instantly.

This is good timing, as new regulations are a possible response of government food agencies who are hearing more and more about unsafe levels of pesticide residues in food grains around the world.

Residues Everywhere

Both organic and conventional crops carry pesticide residues into the food system. It’s more common with food crops produced conventionally, due to allowed practices like pre-harvest glyphosate application.

Spray drift and a buildup of contaminants in the soil are two possible causes of pesticide residues showing up in certified organic crops. Another possible cause is that some farmers and traders cheat the organic system to capture the attractive premiums without incurring the full costs.

The obvious way to start reducing the level of pesticide residues on crops is to stop using them. Minimizing spray drift is another important step that farmers can take.

There is no immediate economic gain to farmers to start undertaking this process, apart from organic price premiums. In the meantime, finding ways to reduce the amount of pesticides on food crops could help mitigate the risk of further market access issues.

Jay Leslie was born and raised in the central prairie city of Portage La Prairie. Growing up in the prairies with small-town values helped shape his character into the person he is today. Described as a creative leader, with an extroverted personality, Jay has never been one to shy away from challenge or adventure. After graduating as class valedictorian from Arthur Meighen High School, he went on to study advertising, design and communications at Red River College; graduating in 2006 with a post-diploma in Advanced Graphic Design. After school, Jay cut his teeth working in a small design boutique in Winnipeg’s St. Boniface neighborhood, and gained valuable experience in design and project management. In the winter of 2007, he landed a design position with a world-class company, National Leasing. A position which has allowed him to develop an extremely well-rounded skill set in not only design, but also business and marketing management. Through years of growth and hands-on experience, Jay grew to become Marketing Manager; specializing in business-to-business marketing, targeting multiple industries across Canada. He continues to build his career while also maintaining a design consultancy. A proud Winnipeger, Jay Leslie resides in the heart of Osborne Village with his girlfriend and their rabbit, Buns. In the spare time Jay has, he lives to snowboard, loves to golf, and makes time to stay active. Above all Jay values family and friendship, and gains a sense of pride from the outstanding people in his community.