Eco Farm Day Conference Grows Organically

By Bob Peters
February 23, 2012

BeausOne of Eastern Ontario's most successful conferences returns to Cornwall for the seventh time this Saturday and Sunday, February 25-26 2012, at the Ramada Inn in Cornwall, Ontario. The theme of Eco Farm Day 2012 is "Vibrant Family Businesses in Organic Agriculture and Food".

"The organic sector is the fastest growing sector of agriculture and food in Canada. We are excited to see so many thriving family businesses at the heart of this rural economic revival,"  said Tom Manley, long-time organizer of Eco Farm Day and a fixture in the Ontario organic-agriculture sector.

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.

This year's Eco Farm Day has a great line up of speakers and workshops, including Steve Beauchesne of Beau's All Natural Brewing Co..

Steve Beauchesne 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 practices. 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.

Other speakers include Lucy Sharratt from the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, who will discuss how genetic modification poses new urgent threats to the future of organic food in Ontario, along with providing with the latest information and strategic updates on GM crops and animals.

Randy Whitteker, general manager of the Ontario Natural Food Coop, will speak on Sunday about the markets and opportunities for local farmers and food processors in the growing organic retail sector in Ontario.

Besides the keynote speakers, the conference includes numerous 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 and 3 selected workshops.

"Eco Farm Day has ran for about 25 years, with the last 7 years in Cornwall," said Mr. Manley. "It will again attract about 300 people this year."

About Eco Farm Day

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!

The conference takes place at the Cornwall Ramada Inn and Conference Centre. Registration is now open. More information, along with the program, can be found on the conference website:

Category: Business