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, the term “organic” is a protected label for agricultural and aquaculture products produced or processed in B.C., and for with certified organic programs exist. 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 provides assurance to B.C. consumers that their organic purchases have been verified to recognized standards in organic production in B.C. The Regulation also provides 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. Retailers are not required to hold certification for selling bulk or prepackaged organic products, for changing the packaging/container of organic products, or for cutting singular organic products; however, there must be consumer labelling that identifies the certification body of the organic product. Examples of when organic certification is required, or not, are described in the PDF document, Guidelines for BC’s Organic Certification Regulation from the Ministry of Agriculture.

If you have any questions about the B.C. Organic Certification Regulation, or if you would like to discuss whether your operation requires organic certification, please contact us.