Q: Why is being certified organic important to you and your business?
A: We are fully committed to supporting a proactive food production system and Organic Certification provides strong tools to do this. By having standards to work to it provides us with a guide and gives our customers the confidence in our commitment to healthy food production.
Q: What are the most important principles or philosophies that guide your company?
A: All aspects of organic production systems are important to us. We want to leave the planet a healthier place than we found it.
Q: What specific questions did you have when learning about organic certification?
A: I honestly can't remember what the most challenging thing about organic production was. I know at the time we first started there was a less developed seed supply for organic sprout production so we had to work hard to support the development and create demand. Right now the hardest part for us is the fact that OMRI Canada is in its infancy and making sure to purchase products that fulfill the Permitted Substance List criteria can be a challenge. I look forward to seeing this aspect strengthened so that producers can have more confidence in understanding subtle differences in process regarding why one product containing X, Y or Z is allowed and another containing what seem to be the same ingredients is not.
Q: If someone you know is thinking of certifying organic, what advice would you give?
A: At a very early stage make sure you understand what your medium and long term needs will be. Will you be shipping your products outside the province ever? How do you expect your farm to diversify? This is key to choosing the right Certification Body for you. If you sign up with a Regional Certification Body when in 10 years you might need ISO accreditation may not seem too important right now but when you have to re-do all your marketing, invoicing and labeling investments 10 years later because you didn't plan ahead is a huge expense and headache that can be avoided.
Q: Why did you choose PACS as your organic certifying body?
A: We choose PACS because it was ISO certified and works in all parts of the province. Being located on Vancouver Island the options were quite limited when we were making the choice. We are very happy to be a member of such a well organized and friendly organization!