The London Co-op Store’s provisions committee has compiled a summary of the standards for organic certification in Canada (as they were before the new June 2009 regulations). We have also included news on the 2009 agreement between the U.S. and Canada to accept each other’s certification and the new Canadian Organic logo, and have provided links to the government’s webpages on the new Organic Products Regulations 2009, in effect as of June 30th, 2009.
The London Co-op Store’s provisions committee has compiled the following summary of the standards for organic certification in Canada (as they were before the new June 2009 regulations):
- Organic matter produced on-farm must be primary source of soil amendment. Off-farm soil amendments must come from list of permitted substances.
- Use of GMO soil microorganisms is prohibited from use in soil composting
- Use of municipal sewage or manure from intensive livestock operations is prohibited
- Practice of summerfallow is not recommended
- Soil in cultivated fields shall be covered by crop residues or a cover crop in a cycle of crop rotation to prevent erosion. Minimal tillage is recommended.
- Producer shall establish long-term soil quality monitoring program
CROP PRODUCTION STANDARDS
- GMO plants and organisms are prohibited. Isolation from GMO crops and pesticide treated crops and land is required.
- Sanitation of farm equipment to prevent contamination with unpermitted substances and commingling with conventional produce
- Produce storage facilities must be regularly sanitized and kept free of pests and pest wastes.
- Regular rotation of crops to interrupt insect and disease cycles
- Pest and disease management through lists of permitted and prohibited substances
ORGANIC PROCESSING, HANDLING, AND TRADING
- Ionization and irradiation techniques are not allowed for food preservation
- Ingredients containing or produced via GMOs are not permitted
- All extraneous inputs including sanitation agents must be approved by OCPP
- Parallel processing of both organic and conventional, but otherwise identical, products is not allowed unless demonstrated that commingling will not occur
- Packaging materials must be free of fungicides, preservatives, and chemical additives. Food grade packaging materials must be used at all times.
- Transportation, handling, and storage of organic raw materials and finished products must prevent contamination with unpermitted substances. Sanitation logs are mandatory.
- Facilities must have contemporary solid, liquid, and gaseous waste disposal systems which take advantage of recycling opportunities.
ORGANIC INTEGRITY RULES
- All participants in the organic food chain must be independently certified to a recognized standard on an annual basis
- Certification status must be continuous and based on at least one independent inspection per year.
- Specific standards are required for the production and processing of the following products: grain crops; fruits and vegetables; wine and vinegar; herbs and spices; dairy products; honey; poultry and livestock.
Canada and U.S. Reach Agreement to Create More Opportunities for Organic Producers
This agreement will allow Canada to export certified organic products to be marketed in the U.S. as organic without the need for additional American certification. Similarly, Canada would also deem imports of U.S. organic products certified under their organic regime as meeting the Canadian requirements for organic products. Both the Canada Organic Biologique logo and the USDA Organic seal may be used on certified organic products from both countries.
New Organic Logo Will Provide More Opportunities For Organic Producers
The Government of Canada today revealed the new organic logo that will give organics producers access to more markets and make sure Canadian families can find more certified organic food products in their grocery stores.
New Canadian regulations governing organic products
See the website of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for more information about the Organic Products Regulations 2009 and other related information. www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/orgbio/orgbioe.shtml
List of Certification Bodies accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/orgbio/cbliste.shtml
List of Conformity Verification Bodies www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/orgbio/cvbliste.shtml