Canada

Mandatory Organic Standards and Labels

In Canada, organic production has been regulated by the Organic Products Regulations (OPR) since 2009. From 15th January 2019, organic production, packaging and labelling will be regulated by the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (Section 13) and the OPR will be repealed. The major change for organic producers in the new regulation is an extension of scope to include the production and marketing of aquaculture products. Organic food and agricultural feed products (excluding aquaculture products) must be certified according to two Canadian Organic Standards (CAN/CGSB 32.310 - General Principles and Management Standards, and CAN/CGSB 32.311 – Permitted Substances List). Aquaculture must be certified according to Organic Production Systems – Aquaculture – General principles, management standards and permitted substances lists (CAN/CGSB-32.312).

The Organic Products Regulations established the Canada Organic Regime (COR) which remains to regulate all parties involved in the certification of organic products including packaging and labelling and to verify that applicable regulatory requirements and standards are being met.

The Competent Authority in Canada is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Responsibilities for the implementation and the enforcement of the COR are shared between the Food Import Export Division and the Consumer Protection and Market Fairness Division within that service.

The Canada Organic Regime Operating Manual sets out requirements for approval of conformity verification bodies (CVBs), accreditation of certification bodies (CBs) and requirements for certification of operators.

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SOR/2018-108)
Compliance with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) is required if a product makes an organic claim on the label and is sold between provinces or territories or if it is imported. The SFCR covers rules for agricultural products that are labelled organic including food for human consumption, livestock feed and seeds. Aquaculture and aquaculture products are included, but non-food items such as health and beauty products and textiles are excluded from the scope. The requirements for organic products are described in Part 13.
en
National Organic Standard: General principles and management standards
The national standard “Organic production systems – General principles and management standards (CAN/CGSB-32.310)” covers general principles as well as requirements for organic production.
en
National Organic Standard: Permitted Substances List
The national standard “Organic production systems – Permitted Substances List (CAN/CGSB-32.311)” provides additional information to CAN/CGSB-32.310. It covers a list of permitted substances as well as information on their origin and usage.
en
National Organic Standard: Aquaculture
The national standard “Organic production systems – Aquaculture - General principles, management standards and permitted substances list (CAN/CGSB-32.312)” includes all requirments for organic aquaculture animals, plants and feed.
en
Canada Organic Regime Operating Manual V15
The Canada Organic Regime Operating Manual V15 sets out requirements for approval of conformity verification bodies (CVBs), accreditation of certification bodies (CBs) and requirements for certification of operators.
en
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Website of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) informing about organic production in Canada.
en
Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC)
The Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC) was created by the CFIA as an advisory body to assist in interpretation of the Canadian Organic Standard.
en
Organic Federation of Canada
Website of the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC), a stakeholder organisation which appoints the members of the Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC). The OFC publishes the interpretations of the Canadian Organic Standard on its website.
en
Interpretations of Canadian Organic Standards
Standards interpretations determined by the SIC and accepted by the CFIA provided by the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC).
en

To top

Voluntary Organic Standards and Labels

There is a voluntary Canadian Organic Logo. Its use is regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The logo may be used on products that have an organic content equal to or greater than 95 percent and which have been certified according to the requirements of the Canada Organic Regime. It may also be used for advertising and promotional purposes provided that permission is first sought from the CFIA. Imported products may carry the Canada Organic Logo provided they meet the requirements of the Canada Organic Regime and provided that a statement product of... immediately precedes the name of the country of origin or that there is designation imported in close proximity to the logo. Such statements must appear on the label in both French and English.

Canada Organic Logo
Information on the use of the Canadian Organic Logo on organic products provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
en

To top

Control Bodies

The control and certification process is performed by private control bodies accredited by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) through approved conformity verification bodies (CVBs). The CVBs are responsible for the monitoring of the certification bodies. Certification Bodies accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency may be based either in Canada or abroad.

List of certification bodies certifying organic operators in Canada
List of certification bodies certifying organic operators in Canada provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
en
List of certification bodies certifying organic operators outside Canada
List of certification bodies certifying organic operators outside Canada, arranged according to the countries in which they provide services, provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
en

To top

Import Requirements

All products imported to Canada must meet the requirements of the Canada Organic Regime including certification by a certification body accredited by The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for the scope of the Canada Organic Standards unless there is an equivalency arrangement in place with the country of export.

Organic products imported from countries with whom Canada has established an equivalency arrangement must be certified by a body accredited by that foreign country and recognized by Canada. These products may bear the Canada Organic Logo.

Additionally, general import requirements must be met. Guidance on import requirements is provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Organic Equivalency Arrangements with Other Countries
Information on Organic Equivalency Arrangements with other countries provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
en
CFIA: Food Imports
Information on general import requirements for food imports provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
en

To top

Further Information

Further information on organic agriculture in Canada.

Organic statistics and market information
Statistics and market information about the organic sector in Canada provided by the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
en
CFIA: Organic products
Information on organic production in Canada provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
en
CFIA: Understanding the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: A handbook for food businesses
Guidance "Understanding the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: A handbook for food businesses" provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). the information on organic products is summarized in Part 13.
en
Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA)
Website of the Canada Organic Trade Association, a membership-based trade association for the organic sector in Canada.
en
Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA): Market Analysis
Information and reports on the Canadian organic market provided by the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA).
en

To top