The need for organic food production emerged as a response to a shift towards the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers following industrialized agriculture in the 1900s. Since then, demand for organically produced food has continued to rise. In 2017, the number of organic primary producers in Canada reached 4,800. The province of Quebec produces the highest volume of organic milk of any Canadian province, at 549.6 thousand hectoliters in 2017/18.
In Canada, mandatory certification for agricultural products represented as organic in import, exports, and inter-provincial trade was implemented at the federal level in 2009. The value of organic exports from Canada in 2016 was reported to be worth around 652.28 million Canadian dollars and tracked organic imports to Canada as valued at around 652 million dollars in 2015.
In a 2017 survey, it was found that 76 percent of Canadian consumers purchased organic fruit and vegetables. That year, organic fruits and vegetables were also the most regularly purchased categories of organic food products in Canada. The Canadian sales value of organic packaged foods is forecasted to rise from 880 million Canadian dollars in 2017 to 1.24 billion Canadian dollars by 2022.