The Organic Trade Association (OTA) in Canada has applauded the “significantly amended” Organic Products Regulations (OPR) published in the Canada Gazette (Part I) on Saturday (14 February).

“The Canadian organic sector – including farmers, processors, certifiers, retailers and consumers – has been working diligently over the past year and a half to adjust its organic standards in time for this new regulation,” said OTA managing director Matthew Holmes in a press statement.

“The Government of Canada has been a partner with us the entire way, and we are very excited to see this new regulation,” added Mr Holmes. “When these regulations come into effect this summer, consumers will have a clear idea of what organic is, and will know the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is monitoring and enforcing organic claims in the marketplace.”

On 30 June 30 standards which control how organic food is grown and processed in Canada will gain legal force through the OPR. The new regulations provide clarity on what products are covered by the current regulations, as well as a new organic logo. They also provide detailed provisions on organic imports and exports, including a possible equivalency agreement with Canada's major trading partners such as the US and Europe.

'As we move from a voluntary to a mandatory organic regime, it’s important that certification bodies, organic inspectors, organic farmers and processors understand the new rules”, said Laura Telford, executive director of Canadian Organic Growers.