According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the following are now the certification bodies for organics in Canada. These agencies have either been accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to certify organic products or are recognised under an organic trade arrangement with a foreign competent authority under the 2009 Organic Products Regulations.
Although there are many organic certifying bodies around the world who are authorized to sell organic products in Canada, for now, we have listed only Canadian agencies.
Atlantic Certified Organic Co-operative Limited (ACO) ACO was launched in March 2008 and, by August, it assumed the certification services of the regions two certification bodies, the Nova Scotia Organic Growers Association (NSOGA) and the Maritime Organic Growers (MCOG). By December, ACO was granted accreditation by the CFIA and now offers accredited organic certification services to the organic sector of Atlantic Canada.
Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC) COABC is an umbrella association incorporated in March of 1993 and represents several organic certifying agencies in the province including:
- British Columbia Association for Regenerative Agriculture
- Bio-Dynamic Agricultural Society of British Columbia
- Boundary Organic Producers Association
- Fraser Valley Organic Producers
- Islands Organic Producers Association
- Kootenay Organic Growers
- Living Earth Organic Growers
- North Okanagan Organic Association
- Pacific Agricultural Certification Society
- Similkameen Okanagan Organic Producers Association
- Shuswap Thompson Organic Producers Association
Fraser Valley Organic Producers Association (FVOPA) FVOPA was established in March, 2001, as an incorporated society in the Province of British Columbia. FVOPA is a self-sustaining organic certifier that provides organic certification services to an ISO (International Standards Organization) Guide 65 compliant program that is acceptable to all jurisdictions within BC and other regions of Canada as well as providing access to the global marketplace. FVOPA certifies all stages of organic production (including farms in transition to organic): Farm crops, livestock (including dairy), poultry, egg grading, greenhouses, mushrooms, processing facilities, handling, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and restaurateurs.
Organic Producers Association of Manitoba Co-operative Incorporated (OPAM) In 1988, fourteen individuals with an interest in the future of organic agriculture and an awareness of the need for a formal organization of organic producers and processors attended an informational meeting to discuss the establishment of a provincial certification body. As a result of that meeting, in November 1988, the Organic Producers Association of Manitoba registered as a formal co-operative under the Manitoba Chapter Co-operatives Act. In February 1993, the organization’s co-operative status was amended to that of incorporated, not-for-profit status under the Manitoba Chapter C223 Co-operatives Act. OPAM’s first commitment was to serve its diverse membership from the market gardener, to the wheat farmer, to the wild rice producer. As the industry grew, OPAM became increasingly active at local, provincial, and national levels in the development, teaching, and promotion of organic standards and techniques for growing, producing, and processing organic products.
Pacific Agricultural Certification Society (PACS) PACS was established in 2001 to provide efficient, cost effective, internationally recognised certification services to clients in the agriculture and food sector. Since its inception, PACS has grown steadily and has in excess of 330 members, not only in British Columbia but also in a number of Canadian provinces and the Yukon. PACS is accredited by the COABC to provide ISO 65 (International Standards Organisation) compliant organic certification to producers, processors, handlers, distributors, brokers, and retailers of organic agri-food products. As of June 30, 2009, a new Canadian Standard was implemented and COABC was designated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to monitor and provide accreditation to certification bodies. PACS is an incorporated society within the Province of British Columbia and as a not-for-profit society is controlled by the clients it serves. There are no profits and fees are tied directly to costs.
Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. (Pro-Cert) Pro-Cert is the result of a merger in 1999 of two very similar organic certification agencies:
- Organic Crop Producers and Processors (OCPP) of Ontario, Canada
- Pro-Cert Organic Systems (Pro-Cert) of Saskatchewan, Canada
In September of 2007, Pro-Cert purchased all the shares to OC/PRO and now owns and operates Pro-Cert from its Head Office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and its Eastern Branch Office in Cambray, Ontario. Pro-Cert certifies some 1,700 organic producers, processors, handlers and traders in Canada and the US.
Organisme de Certification Québec Vrai (OCQV) Québec Vrai est un organisme à but non lucratif formé et dirigé par ses membres, soit des producteurs, des transformateurs et des distributeurs, ainsi que des grossistes, des détaillants et des emballeurs.
Nous offrons aussi le service de certification aux transformateurs de fibres végétales biologiques ainsi que celui d’attestation de conformité pour les intrants agricoles, les produits de soins corporels et les divers services (ex: criblage, découpe de viande, …) offerts à ces entreprises. En bref, Québec Vrai se veut l’organisme québecois par excellence pour certifier les produits de chez nous, et ce, dans toutes les sphères de la production agricole!
SAI Global Certification Services Pty Ltd (SAI Global) SAI Global is an accredited organic certifying body that is based in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, in Canada. With trained inspectors and a certification committee of experts in the organic industry, SAI is accredited to certify crop, wild crop, livestock, and handling operations including:
- Farm and range land
- Seed cleaning
- Food processing and handling
- Retail operations
(Updated May 2012)