British Columbia's fertile Fraser River Delta is home to a group of dedicated organic farmers who are committed to sustainable agriculture and progressive organic farming practices. The Harris, Chong and Dhaliwal families together produce high quality organic vegetables marketed under the label Fraserland Organic. The three families cultivate over 1,200 acres of certified organic farmland and produce certified organic potatoes (Red, Russet, Yukon Gold & Early White), broccoli, winter squash, sweet corn, green and yellow beans, sugar snaps, English shelling & snow peas.
The Fraserland Organic story begins with the Harris Family, who are 5th generation farmers. The family began farming in 1896 in Delta, at a time when everything was produced organically. The current generation started farming organically again in 1993 with 20 acres of organic corn destined for processing. Brent Harris of Fraserland Farms and his childhood friend, Danny Chong of Bow Chong Farms decided to combine the strengths of each farm to grow organic potatoes. Fraserland had the tractor power and Bow Chong had the washing and grading facilities. The partnership was very successful, and over times the Harris’ and Chongs transitioned more land to organic production and expanded beyond potatoes. As market opportunities for organic vegetables increased, they acquired another partner in 1999 the Dhaliwal Family of Dhaliwal Farms, and quickly became the largest farm (or rather, group of farmers) in Canada to produce and sell organic produce under one brand. Fraserland Organics Inc. became an incorporated company in 1999.
The land producing Fraserland Organic vegetables is certified organic by Oregon Tilth, which is an internationally recognized certification agency based in the US. Farms certified by Oregon Tilth have ready access to the export market south of the border. This export market was critical in the growth of Fraserland Organics since produce that was not absorbed by the local Canadian market found eager buyers in the US who were seeking high quality organic vegetables from a reliable source. Fraserland Organic fit the bill.
The farmers of Fraserland Organic Inc. are not only committed to sustainable organic agriculture but participate as much as possible in agricultural research to help improve organic farming techniques. On staff are two scientists who research and develop soil nutrient and pest management programs for the farms. They manage field-monitoring teams and submit data on a weekly basis to Fraserland Organic. In addition, Fraserland Organics participates in joint research initiatives with the University of British Columbia, creating the synergies that are critical for innovation in organic agriculture.