What started as a support group for aspiring organic farmers has turned into an innovative model that has excited organic growers across British Columbia.
The collective was recently asked to present its logo to the annual general meeting of the Certified Organic Association of BC (COABC) in Vernon.
The presentation was extremely well received and groups of farmers from across the province have stated that they’ll use the logo as a template for their own regional food statement.
The Comox Valley Organic Collective formed in 2012 to exchange information, dialogue about issues in the Valley, and brainstorm about possible solutions.
A dozen farmers from Black Creek to Fanny Bay and Denman Island are the founders. Together, they developed the Produced Organically Grown in the Comox Valley logo that was revealed at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market during Organic Week last September.
All of these farmers are certified by a third party who checks to ensure that all the inputs that are used in production are free of pesticides, that no synthetic fertilizers are used, and that no contamination from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) happens during the growing year.
In Vernon, Carmen Wakeling of Eatmore Sprouts, Moss Dance of Ripple Farm, and Arzeena Hamir of Amara Farm presented the logo to a large crowd at the COABC conference. Afterwards, a lively discussion ensued where farmers from the North Okanagan, Fraser Valley, and Interior all asked how they could adapt the logo for each of their region.
“The logo represents the marriage of two ideals: local and organic,” states Carmen. “We were tired of hearing that customers had to sacrifice one over the other. Here in the Comox Valley, we can have both!”
From the encouraging response of the other growers across B.C., the idea will spread to other regions very soon.
Residents can find the Comox Valley Organically Grown logo at participating stalls in the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market. The collective is also developing stickers that can be used on produce bags in retail stores.
“This was a simple idea that has helped overcome a very complex problem,” concludes Moss. “We spent a great deal of time designing the logo to get all the parts right and now other farmers can benefit from our work.”
For more information, contact Carmen Wakeling at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-338-4860.
— Comox Valley Organic Collective