B.C. Organic Certification Regulation

B.C. Organic Certification Regulation

February 21, 2019

On 1 September 2018, the B.C. government implemented the B.C. Organic Certification Regulation. Under this regulation, food & beverage labels using the term organic, along with grammatical and phonetic representations, and abbreviations and symbols for the term organic are protected.

Only operations who hold certification through the B.C. Certified Organic Program (BCCOP) or the Canada Organic Regime (COR) may use a protected label for marketing food or agricultural products.

Some people have asked why this Regulation came into being. The requirement for organic certification will provide assurance to B.C. consumers that their organic purchases have been verified to recognized standards in organic production in B.C. The Regulation will also provide for a more fair, competitive marketplace among organic producers by removing those operations who make false organic claims.

Producers, processors, distributors and marketers in B.C. must hold organic certification to market their products as organic. With respect to retailers, there are a few exceptions where holding organic certification MAY not be necessary, as long as the organic integrity of the product is not compromised at any stage of preparation or handling. If organic producers market their products through retailers, they must obtain an affidavit from the retailer stating that they will follow best organic practices. Examples of specific exceptions, when organic certification is not required, are described in the PDF document, Guidelines for BC’s Organic Certification Regulation (link) from the Ministry of Agriculture.

If you have any questions about the Ministry’s Organic Certification Regulation article included in this blog, or any questions about the type of operations that now must hold organic certification, please contact us!