FEB 23-25: ABBOTSFORD, BC – #COABC2018 Conference

Posted by Moss Dance on January 20, 2018


Organic farmers from across British Columbia are gathering in Abbotsford Feb 23-25 for #COABC2018 – Bioregionalism: Resilience in a Changing Climate!

COABC 2018 Conference in Abbotsford February 23-25th

WHEN: Feb 23-25, 2018

WHERE: Quality Hotel & Conference Centre in Abbotsford, BC

FMI & REGISTRATION: https://www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca


The Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC)’s annual gathering is almost here! Register to attend #COABC2018 in Abbotsford – while early bird tickets are still on sale! This year the COABC is celebrating its 25th anniversary and the conference will feature not one but two thought-provoking keynote presenters each exploring the conference theme of Bioregionalism: Resilience in a Changing Climate.

This event is a chance to visit with the leaders in our organic community, exchange ideas, eat amazing meals, learn from experts, and return home inspired by our incredible movement before the season kicks into high gear. The theme for this year is inspired by the past few years of extreme weather events and a need to adapt as a community to the increasing frequency of these events. The diversity of presentations have been selected to foster effective discussions and provoke progress towards the organic community’s common goals as environmentally concerned food producers, entrepreneurs, distributors, citizens, and leaders.

Friday looks different each year, and this year there are two highly anticipated guest presenters from 1:30-3:30 pm. Space is limited for these, so pre-register online today. We are fortunate to have Tia Loftsgard, Executive Director with the Canadian Organic Trade Association join us out west to give an update on the State of Organics in Canada, up-close and personal! Also, BC’s own Heather Pritchard, who sits on the SustainBC Farmland Protection and Production Committee and is Chair of Slow Food in Canada, to name just a few highlights from her CV, will be speaking about the newly incorporated BC Foodlands Cooperative. Again, be sure to pre-register to secure your spot.

The official kick-off to the weekend is Friday evening at the conference reception at 6:30 pm beginning with welcoming remarks and followed by the first keynote address of the weekend.

Dawn Morrison, who is of Secwepemc ancestry and is the Director of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty will present a keynote address. She will be speaking on the topic of Sustainable Land and Food Systems – Indigenous Peoples, Social Justice, and Original Instructions. Dawn has consistently organized and held the space over the last 10 years for Indigenous food sovereignty related research, action and policy proposal projects including: Decolonizing Research and Relationships, Indigenous Food Sovereignty Learning Circle, Strengthening Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Canada, and Wild Salmon Caravan. Dawn has a background in horticulture, ethnobotany, adult education, and restoration of natural systems, and is an internationally recognized author. Dawn’s work shines a light on the cross cultural interface where Indigenous food sovereignty provides a baseline of historical reference points in the movement to a more just and sustainable land and food system.

Following her engaging presentation there will be organic hors d’oeuvres that are made with locally sourced ingredients donated by BC’s amazing community of growers. Wash those down with organic wine and ale during the annual Organic Ale Tasting hosted by Crannóg Ales. This night is the start to a busy weekend that never seems to leave enough time for visiting, so we hope to see you there to start the weekend off right!



The COABC hosts an exciting Trade Show that will have experts who are keen to offer technical information and support for a variety of aspects of farming. Inside the Trade Show the COABC Seed Swap will be hosted by BC Eco Seed Co-op with an organic seed corner offering mini-presentations during the breaks between conference workshops. Bring your seeds and seed questions we have a handful of organic seed producers present in the Trade Show. See the website for who else is attending the Trade Show as an exhibitor.


Saturday morning the conference will kick off with Kent Mullinix presenting as the second Keynote Address generously supported by Nature’s Path. Food Systems in a changing environmental, economic, and societal climate: our path to a sustainable food system future. In this presentation Kent will examine the predominant social, economic and environmental outcomes of and factors impinging on the near andlonger term sustainability of agriculture and our food system. Specific challenges, developments, and opportunities will be identified and discussed.  All to inform vision and offer direction for our way toward a robust, sustainable agriculture and food system future.

Kent Mullinix is Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen University in British Columbia, Canada. Mullinix attended the University of Missouri where he earned a B.S. in Agriculture, M.S. in Horticulture and Ph.D. in Agriculture Education. He also earned a Ph.D. in Plant Science specializing in integrated pest management from the University of British Columbia. Formerly Mullinix was an Associate Professor and the Endowed Joint Chair in Pomology at Washington State University and Director of Agriculture Programs at Wenatchee Valley College. His areas of professional focus are pomology, biologically based-ecologically sound crop production systems, regionalization of  agri-food systems and family-based agriculture revitalization. Mullinix has, lived and worked on farms, owned and operated an orchard with his family in eastern Washington and oversaw the establishment and management of a 45 acre organic apple, sweet cherry, and peach teaching and research orchard in eastern Washington.

These are just a few of the exciting things coming down the pipe – the full conference schedule is available on the COABC website https://www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca.



RSVP On Facebook

RSVP on the Facebook Event to see who is coming and to coordinate rideshares, etc: https://www.facebook.com/events/134723383871083/

Register Online at Eventbrite.ca: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/coabc-2018-conference-tickets-39344641883

Location & Accommodation

Quality Hotel & Conference Centre in Abbotsford, BC. Accommodation at the Hotel can be booked by phone 1-(888)-411-1070 – be sure to specify that you are attending the COABC Conference. You may receive a discount in the COABC guest room block if you book soon!

Silent Auction

At the COABC auction you will find an amazing array of items to place your bid on: clothing, art, books, art, food, wine, tools, seeds, services, and so much more. If you would like to donate an auction item, please do!

Poster Session:

Offering free space for poster presentations related to innovative organic production. Contact the conference organizer with your poster idea and to book space. conference@certifiedorganic.bc.ca

Young Agrarians Mixer

Join us for a YA social mixer on Saturday evening! Meet other awesome agrarians, who value food, farmers, nature, and community. All ages welcome! This event is for the young and the young-at-heart.

Saturday Feast

Enjoy locally sourced, certified organic ingredients, followed by music!  

One of the ways we keep the conference costs affordable is by featuring food donated by local growers and producers. Please contact conference@certifiedorganic.bc.ca if you are able to donate.

Kids Programming at the Conference

We are in the early stages of planning to provide a program for a small number of kids on the Conference Saturday. This would include kids hosting a mini farmers market to actively engage children in the important work that we do as organic farmers. Please email conference@certifiedorganic.bc.ca if you are interested. Spots will be limited to 10 with a fixed price.

COG Wants to Hear About Your Experience Transitioning to Organic!

Canadian Organic Growers has spent the last few months working with farmers and producers to identify the main costs and barriers involved in transitioning to organic production.

Now it’s time to validate their findings and they want to hear from you!

Over the coming months, COG will be hosting focus groups across Canada. You should attend a COG focus group if you:

  • are interested in transitioning to organic;
  • started to transition but stopped;
  • have completed transition successfully;
  • have been organic from the start or
  • are a producer that wants to tell us how we can support transition

Abbotsford, BC – February 25th, 2018 – Noon-3pm – COABC Conference

For more information, go to www.cog.ca or to reserve your spot, get in touch with Rachael@cog.ca


If you are looking for inspiration for the upcoming growing season, #COABC2018 is sure to offer it in spades – it’s going to be a blast. Get your tickets today to save $$ before January 31st.

REGISTER at: https://www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca