Why are organic standards considered to be a priority for the Government of Canada?
- Organic food is a dynamic and rapidly growing sector of the global food industry. Organic production uses farming and production methods that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.
- To be labelled and advertised as organic, products must be certified organic according to the Canadian Organic Standards, under the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB). The certification must be carried out by a certifying body assessed and recommended by a conformity verification body such as SCC and accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
- Given the high demand for organic products, standards for organic production are important for Canada’s trade and commerce, as well as for achieving equivalent requirements for organic production and processing with its trade partners.
- Through the Standards Council of Canada’s (SCC’s) leadership, updated standards will help the federal government maintain the relevance of standards referenced in regulations. CGSB last revised the organic production systems standards in 2006.
Which standards are being updated?
- 32.310-2006/CAN/CGSB Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards
- 32.311-2006/CAN/CGSB Organic Production Systems Permitted Substances Lists
Both standards are referenced in the Canadian federal Organic Products Regulations, 2009.
How do the standards benefit Canadians?
- CAN/CGSB 32-310 requires, among other provisions, that all stages of production, preparation, storage, transportation and marketing of organic products be subject to inspection and comply with this standard.
- CAN/CGSB 32-311 is equally important, given its requirements for adding or amending permitted substances in crop and livestock production and in processing and sanitation.
Which key organizations are involved in the update?
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides information, research and technology, and policies and programs, to achieve an environmentally sustainable agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector.
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency develops and delivers inspection and other services to protect and manage food safety risks.
- Canadian General Standards Board is an SCC-accredited standards development organization responsible for updating the standards.
- The Standards Council of Canada provides funding to ensure that updated standards are available for government and industry use in Canada.