Canada's Organic Products Regulations are now fully enforced, some two years after regulations became law in 2009, after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) followed a two-year Stream of Commerce and Enforcement Policy that allowed operators time to become fully compliant with the new regulations.
During this so-called 'phase-in' period, the CFIA managed non-compliances through notification and education, requiring correction within reasonable timelines.
"Full compliance with all provisions of the Organic Products Regulations is now mandatory," said Matthew Holmes, executive director of the Canada Organic Trade Association. "The Stream of Commerce policy was a great help for organic operators working to bring their documentation and labeling into compliance. Now products labelled as 'organic' in Canada and subject to the regulations must be certified by a CFIA-accredited certification body, and all organic product labels must carry the name of the certifier."
To build the new regulations, the CFIA consulted with the organics sector to build on the pre-existing industry self-regulated standards, with the new organic standards mandatory for both Canadian and imported products, launching the new 'Biologique Canada Organic' logo.
In addition to offering consumers piece of mind, the Canadian organic system is trusted by major trading partners such as the EU and the US, according to the Canada Organic Trade Association.
"Recognition of Canada's organic standards by both the EU and US shows that our standards are among the best in the world, assuring consumers that strong organic standards have been followed, while eliminating the burdensome costs of multiple organic certifications now carried by farmers, processors and traders," Holmes said.