Or­ganic food pro­duc­ers and sellers re­quires cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from BC gov­ern­ment by 2018

Asian Journal - - British Columbia -

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.

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