This year in Nanaimo, February 24th - 26th,our annual conference will celebrate and connect our certified organic community. The COABC conference strives to provide a weekend of inspiration, learning, and networking by inviting presenters from all walks of the Organics world. We will enjoy locally sourced, certified organic ingredients, paired with local musicians that will rouse us to cut loose, in the most organic way, of course.
2017’s theme is “Relationships in Transition: Land, Livestock, Waterways, and Community." The diversity of the presentations and discussions will be a reflection of the hats we wear as entrepreneurs, marketers, growers, processors, retailers and researchers, and so many more.
We will be incorporating cross cultural exchange at our conference, to enhance relationships with our neighbours and the land we farm. We are pleased to announce that Nicholas Peterson will be our keynote speaker this year. Nicholas is a farmer at Nicola Valley Produce and member of the Lower Nicola Indian Band in Merritt, BC. Nicholas will speak to the significance of relationships and ceremony as the foundation for sustainability. We look forward to celebrating Indigenous food sovereignty and learning from the ancestral stewards of our lands. Thank you Fieldstone Organics for Sponsoring Nicholas.
Officially, the conference kicks off with our Reception: welcoming remarks, beer tasting and activities at 6:30 pm in the Ballroom, Friday the 24th. However, we have Sustain BC that has an afternoon session happening, free for all those with conference tickets - see below for details. We also have a Friday Workshop for those looking to learn about Organic Certification and even fill out paperwork - see below for details.
FRIDAY WORKSHOP: We are offering Organic Certification 101 on Friday afternoon prior to the conference. Presented by Rochelle Eisen, the 3 hour workshop will give an orientation to the certification process. Rochelle will cover the do’s and don’ts of organic standards, and explain who’s who in the organic certification world in BC, Canada and beyond. Those in attendance are encouraged to ask questions and Regional Administrators for Certification Bodies will join the last hour to help fill in paperwork. Registration for this workshop is separate from the conference, you can register on this page.
Friday Sustain BC Session -- Open to all those with Conference Tickets:
It's Free! Please RSVP if you will attend by booking a free ticket: "Sustain BC: Friday Afternoon"
Sustain BC is a new provincial initiative enabling the many actors involved in BC food systems to align their work and coordinate action towards our ambitious goal, healthy, local food sustains all in BC by 2030. This workshop will build upon the momentum of the Finding Common Ground Summit that took place in 2016 to advance action planning in the following priority areas:
- Farmland protection, access and stewardship
- Training and support for new entrants
Sustain BC is guided by a collective impact approach to strategic coordination founded on the recognition that no one organization or entity, however well managed or funded, can single-handedly solve complex social and environmental issues. Instead, Sustain BC will bring together many actors within BC’s food systems. To help ensure the success of the Sustain BC initiative, dedicated support is provided by the BC Food Systems Network (BCFSN) to facilitate the connection and alignment of everyone involved, enabling these organizations to either self-organize or, formally under Sustain BC, come together into partnerships to achieve common ends.
COABC Seed Swap: Come and share seeds with fellow farmers! The COABC Seed Exchange is the perfect place to explore new varieties, share your favourite cultivars, donate the extra seeds you have, and learn about seeds and seed saving from fellow seed producers. Bring seed that are open-pollinated and share as much information as possible about your seeds (location, population size, cultural stories, etc.). Packets and markers will be provided. The Seed Exchange will be hosted by the B.C. Eco Seed Co-op and the UBC Farm Seed Hub.
Young Agrarians Mixer: All ages welcome! This event is for the young and the young-at-heart. Meet other awesome agrarians, who value food, farmers, nature and community. Connect and find out who is in the room, doing what, and where with local food.
COABC Trade Show: The COABC conference features an exciting Saturday trade show. Located on the second floor with the conference Open Networking area and snacks. This is a great opportunity to discover new resources and products that could be integrated into your farm operation.
If you would like to register for a booth in our Trade Show we offer a commercial price and a non-profit price, please visit our Eventbrite COABC 2017 Conference Trade Show page.
Please Visit our Conference Website for more details
Cancellation Policy: The COABC will refund registration fees less a 25% service fee until Feb. 17, 2017.
Cancellation requests must be made to the Conference Coordinator to the following address:
or to the COABC office: COABC, 202 – 3002 32 Avenue, VERNON, BC V1T 2L7
Refunds will not be provided after Feb. 17, 2016 and refund payments will be prepared after the conference.