By Connor Lynch
BERWICK — A year after the collapse of Homestead Organics, former president Tom Manley is still in the organic game.
“I’ve reinvented myself,” Manley said sunnily at the Eco Farm Day at Cornwall last month.
Homestead Organics was one of Eastern Ontario’s largest players in the organic industry.
The company, started in 1988 by his parents, went bankrupt last year. Manley said a combination of ambition and competition spelled the end of his business. Problems arose in late 2017, when he was given six months to pay off his line of credit. A month later, Agricorp suspended the business’ grain buying licence, forcing it to buy through a third party, adding to the strain. By January, 2018, Manley himself was saying the situation looked “dire,” though he was hopeful it could still be repaired. It wasn’t to be; Homestead Organics declared bankruptcy in the spring of 2018.
But Manley hasn’t given up on the organic business. Alongside teaching ballroom dancing classes, he’s running an independent organic consulting business, focusing on the paperwork certified organic growers and businesses have to deal with. More information is available at www.tommanley.ca.