Organic Food & Beverage Policies
Some producers have begun to refer to their products as “non-certified organic” because B.C. organic food and beverage products sold exclusively within the province do not have to be certified. This is confusing for consumers, and provides an unfair advantage to the non-certified operators.
As of September 1, 2018, the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture will require all domestically produced and processed food and beverage products marketed in B.C. as “organic” to be certified through an accredited federal or provincial program.
B.C.’s new organic food and beverage product regulatory approach will include compliance and enforcement tools. Once the new regulation is in force (target 2018), organic food and beverage producers and processors will be required to maintain up-to-date proof of certification. Uncertified producers in the province marketing their food or beverage products as “organic” will face the possibility of penalties, including a $350 fine.
There are several advantages to the new regulatory approach. It will:
- Give consumers clear information about what it means when a food or beverage product is labeled "organic"
- Directly contribute to promoting and protecting consumer confidence in B.C. organic food and beverage products
- Support increasing market demand for B.C.'s organic food and beverage products
- Promote the B.C. Certified Organic brand