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TFO Changes Organic Policy


November 19, 2009
By Canadian Newswire

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November 19, 2009- The Turkey Farmers of Ontario (The TFO) today announced they have made policy changes to ensure organic turkey farmers can achieve organic certification while maintaining high standards.

November 19, 2009- The Turkey
Farmers of Ontario (The TFO) today announced they have made policy
changes to ensure organic turkey farmers can achieve organic
certification while maintaining high standards.

A condition related to outdoor access has been accommodated for organic turkey farmers in the province to ensure compliance with the Canadian Organic Standards. In May 2008, and at the request of industry stakeholders, the TFO implemented a policy which required turkeys to be grown under a solid roof and have walls of either solid or mesh construction. This policy was put in place to mitigate the risk of the spread of Avian Influenza being transferred through the wild bird population. The outdoor access standards set by the Canadian Organic Standards were inconsistent with this policy.

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The Organic Council of Ontario approached the Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to request the TFO policy be changed. TFO met with the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, the Ministry and other stakeholders and agreed to create a policy specific to organic turkey production similar to those of the Chicken Farmers of Canada and other provincial policies. There have been criteria put in place that will be required for organically-farmed turkeys. This will ensure high quality safety and health standards are met, consistent with the outcomes that are delivered when turkeys are raised free range indoors in biosecure barns.

Turkey Farmers of Ontario is a farmer run organization consisting of 191 turkey farmers and representing approximately 40 per cent of Canadian production.