Organic food producers and sellers requires certification from BC government by 2018
Vancouver: A sign says the fruits and vegetables for sale are organic, but what does that really mean and according to whom? The B.C. government is answering those questions by requiring all food and beverage products marketed as “organic” in B.C. to be certified under either a provincial or national certification program. Beginning in 2018, producers, processors and handlers of organic food and beverage products including farm gate sales, farmers’ markets and retail stores will require documentation verifying their products have accredited organic certification. Both the provincial and federal certification programs follow the general principles, management standards and use of permitted substances established by the Canada Organic Stan- dards. Operators producing and selling their organic products strictly within B.C. will require provincial certification. B.C. companies with customers in other provinces or countries will require certification by a federally accredited certification body, just as they do today. Requiring certification is a result of the B.C. government’s consultations with the Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC), organic growers, and other stakeholders from January to March 2015, in which almost 80% of certified organic growers supported the move to required certification. Based on additional input received during the consultations, the B.C. government will also work with COABC to provide assistance to help interested farmers and growers achieve or transition to organic certification by 2018.