By Gary Sliworsky, Ag rep, Emo
The final Canada Organic Products Regulations (OPR) were implemented on June 30.
They also include the new Canada Organic logo.
The following summary is by Hugh Martin, organic crop production program lead with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs:
The regulations require mandatory certification to the revised National Organic Standard for agricultural products represented as organic in international and interprovincial trade, or that bear the federal organic agricultural product legend (or federal logo).
The Organic Products Regulations are part of the Canada Agricultural Products Act.
They can be found at http://canadagazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2009/2009-06-24/html/sor-dors176-eng.html
The National Organic Standards, for a total cost of $60 plus GST, are available at http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/cgsb/on_the_net/organic/index-e.html
Finally, the CFIA Canada Organic Office (COO) website has been updated to include information on the regulations and the equivalency agreement, as well as other essential details.
It is located at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/orgbio/orgbioe.shtml
•a list of Conformity Verification Bodies (CVB);
•a list of Accredited Certification Bodies (CB);
•Canada/U.S. Equivalency Determination or Import/Export Agreements;
•Canada Organic Regime: Draft Stream of Commerce and Enforcement Policy;
•Canada Organic Regime: A Certified Choice; and
•Questions and answers (these will be updated regularly).
Most, if not all, of the producers will work with their existing certification bodies much as before.
All CBs are now assessed and monitored for accreditation by the Conformity Verification Body, which recommends to the Canada Organic Office who should be accredited by the CFIA.
There are five CVBs and since some of them work in other countries, the list of accredited CBs is now quite long and includes organic certification bodies from around the world.
Most, if not all, of the certification bodies that currently are certifying organic operations in Ontario are now accredited to the new regulations.
The U.S. and Canada reached an agreement in June to allow goods certified organic to be sold in both countries.
The agreement takes effect immediately, though the equivalency does have some exceptions.
Under the agreement, all organic foods being exported from Canada to the U.S. must be certified to the Canadian Organic Products Regulations.
Canada is the largest export market for U.S. organic products while the USDA estimates that more than 75 percent of Canada’s organic consumption comes from the States.
Estimates of the total market for organic products in Canada range from $2.1 billion-$2.6 billion per year.