Complaints & Appeals
It is important to the PACS that we provide an impartial and transparent certification service. Therefore, we welcome input from any concerned parties on the performance of our applicants under our certification at any time. All enquiries including complaints and reports of misuse of certification status or scheme owner logos are taken seriously and are answered. Similarly, the option to appeal against a PACS certification decision by its applicants are also a basic right.
In order to encourage transparency, all enterprises certified by PACS are posted on the PACS website Client Directory page.
PACS prides itself on responding to and investigating relevant complaints. These may be against the PACS itself or against enterprises certified under its surveillance.
If the complainant feels the issue warrants the attention of its certification body, it can be referred directly to PACS.
The PACS shall have the responsibility to conduct a primary investigation on all complaints directed to PACS as follows:
- Complaints related to certification matters or non-conformities by PACS clients shall be addressed by the Certification Committee.
- Complaints which involve matters unrelated to certification criteria or PACS clients shall be addressed by the Certification Committee where possible, otherwise they shall be referred to the Dispute Resolution Committee.
- The Executive Director shall document all complaints and follow-up actions.
PACS can investigate complaints anywhere in Canada where the issue is relevant to activities under PACS supervision.
The complainant is always anonymous and is informed of the completion our PACS investigation.
To file a compliant, go to the contact us page on this site and complete with the following information:
- Name of PACS client or other;
- Your name and contact information
- Detailed including description of the matter or potential non-conformity by the PACS clients.
If a PACS operator disagrees with a certification decision, they may wish to submit a formal appeal. To appeal cancellation of their certification, or a certification decision, the appeal must be made in writing to the PACS. If theoperator wishes to have a certification decision reconsidered or a deadline extended, their request must be made in writing and must be received by the PACS office within the deadline identified on the relevant certification document. The letter must state the reasons and rationale for reconsideration of the decision or time limit, such as:
- Relevant background information on the case;
- Justification for delay or reasons to change the Certification Committee’s position; and
- Evidence (relevant documentation) to support the operator’s assertions.
The full PACS appeal policies can be found in the PACS Certification Procedures Manual and can be forwarded to clients upon request by using our contact us page. The policies explain the appeals process regarding certification decisions made by the PACS.
The PACS encourages feedback from clients to help us continuously improve our services. Upon completion of the annual certification process, we send all clients a feedback e-survey, fax or Canada Post, asking about the various service aspects of the PACS certification process.
We are, however, happy to receive any comments at any time on how our services may be improved, or better yet, how our services met your expectations.
Misuse of marks, logos and names
There are PACS procedures in place regarding the use of marks, logos and trademarks. For more information place your request by using our contact us page.
Falsified certification claims and/or negligence
Organic farming and food production require the establishment of various measures and systems to maintain the integrity of products. Incomplete measures and negligence can lead to a breakdown of that integrity. Organic standards set requirements to ensure that this does not happen, and the inspection and certification service provided by certification bodies exists to ensure that these standards are applied and adhered to.
Given the premium prices obtainable for organic products, intentional cheating and fraud can arise at the farmer and trader level. Good inspection and certification procedures can ensure that such cases remain very rare.
PACS is helping to stimulate discussion on the issues of false claims, its prevention and detection in collaboration with the trade, certification organisations and authorities.