Organic food and beverages production requirements can be found in the national standards as approved by the Standards Council of Canada. For more information or to read the standards, visit the Certified Organic Associations of B.C.
The Certified Organic Associations of B.C. states that there are almost 500 certified organic agricultural producers and over 200 certified processors and handlers in the province.
Is Certification Required?
Right now, organic food and beverage producers and processors can choose whether to certify organic products that are marketed within B.C. The voluntary certification process is laid out in the Organic Agricultural Products Certification Regulation created in 1993 under the Agri-Food Choice and Quality Act.
Upcoming Organic Policy changes
The regulatory approach is changing. By 2018, all food and beverage products that have the word "organic" on the label or in marketing must be certified.
Food and beverages that are produced or processed using organic methods can be certified organic. The certified organic marks show consumers that the product meets defined national standards. You can confirm that a product is certified organic by looking for a symbol of certification. You can also ask the company for a copy of their certification.
If you suspect that a product is falsely labelled as organic, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
B.C. Organic food and beverage products that are marketed exclusively within B.C. currently do not have to be certified.
If your product is certified under the provincial program, you may be entitled to use the B.C. Certified Organic phrase and checkmark logo.
B.C. organic food and beverage products that are marketed outside of B.C. require federal or ISO certification under the Organic Products Regulations.
If your product is certified under the federal Canada Organic Regime, you may be entitled to use the Canada Organic logo.
Any B.C. grown or processed organic food and beverage products that are going to be exported to other provinces or internationally must be certified organic under the federal government’s Organic Products Regulations (OPR).
How do I Certify?
There are many certification bodies. These organizations certify food and beverage products to the Canada Organic Standard.
Learn more through:
Once you become certified, there are promotional materials available to you including the use of the B.C. checkmark or Canada Organic logos. Materials can be given to your customers to help educate them about what it means when a food and beverage product is marketed organic and how to identify organic food and beverage products in the marketplace. This program helps to build trust in the organic certification system.
You may also consider promoting your organic farm through the farmer profiles on Think Canada Organic.
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