Organic Food & Beverage Policies

Policy Changes

As of September 1, 2018 the term  “organic” is now a protected label within BC for agricultural products that have been produced or processed in BC, and for which certified organic programs exist.

Under BC’s Organic Certification Regulation, BC’s protected labels are expanded to include the term “organic”, including:

  • Other grammatical forms of the term;
  • Phonetic representations of that term; and,
  • Abbreviations and symbols for that term.

A person or enterprise may use a protected label with respect to agricultural products if they hold organic certification through the BC Certified Organic Program (BCCOP) or the Canadian Organic Regime (COR). Holding an organic certificate requires operators to act in compliance with organic certification requirements and production standards.

Organic producers, processors, distributors and others in the supply chain who use the ‘organic’ protected label are expected to be able to produce proof of up-to-date certification or attestation upon request by a Ministry of Agriculture enforcement officer. Uncertified operators in the province marketing their agricultural products as ‘organic’ could face penalties, including fines.

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