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A new organic label

By Gary Sliworsky
Ag. Rep.

More and more of us are purchasing and eating organically grown food. We are soon to see something new in the organic world here in Canada – a new ‘Canada Organic‘ label.
In December 2006 the Canadian government published the Organic Products Regulation to regulate organic certification in Canada for organic products. Details on this new regulation are available on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Canadian Organic Office website. The new regulation allows for a 2-year implementation period.
The regulations aim to protect consumers against deceptive and misleading labeling practices on organic products and set out requirements for organic products in inter-provincial and international trade. The ‘Canadian Organic ‘ logo will be permitted for use only on those food products certified as meeting the newly revised Canadian standard for organic production.
This federal regulatory program for organic products will build upon existing standards and certification systems and will contribute to the organic industry’s capacity to respond to international and domestic market opportunities. It also will govern the use of the new Canada Organic logo.
So in the future, look for the logo Canada organic on the food label of organic foods, as well as the label of the certifying body, such as OCPP.
This new Canadian logo is rectangle logo with green hills and a red maple leaf with the words ‘Canada Organic.’ You’ll see it in about a year as producers start to use it on their organic foods. Organic producers can’t use the ‘Canada Organic’ logo it until they are certified or recertified to this new CFIA system. There is a 2 years certification period.
This Canada organic logo is a voluntary logo. Organic producers here in Ontario will use it if they are exporting outside of Canada or Ontario. Many markets may require this federal certification. For example if Loblaw’s is exporting these foods, then they will require this federal certification.
The Canada Organic logo is a sign of credibility. Many organic producers will want to use it as it is an indication that you and your organic product can trusted. These regulations are providing a competitive advantage for the Canadian organic sector and protecting consumers. Also, the organic industry’s capacity to respond to international and domestic market opportunities will be strengthened.
Phased in over the next two years, the Canada Organic logo will be permitted for use only on those food products certified as meeting the revised Canadian standard for organic production and that contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients. Following this phase-in period, it will be mandatory that all organic products be certified when traded across provincial or international boundaries (i.e. import/export, inter-provincial.)
Canada now joins more than 40 other countries world-wide with organic regulations.

Dates to Remember
Apr. 2 – Crop Insurance Information meeting, Forage Program, 7:00 pm, Stratton Municipal Building.