https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/ en Celebrating 20 Years of Organic Certification https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/blog/celebrating-20-years-organic-certification <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Celebrating 20 Years of Organic Certification</span> <div class="field field--name-field-seenherd-news-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-08/pacs-20-year-logo.png" width="1828" height="1238" alt="Pacific Agricultural Certification Society 20th Anniversary Logo" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/pacsmember/28" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">pacsadmin</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 08/04/2021 - 07:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>PACS is very excited to be celebrating <u>20 years</u> of providing organic certification! </strong></p> <p>To celebrate, PACS has created a special 20th Anniversary logo.  </p> <p>Established on August 3, 2001, the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society, commonly known throughout the industry as PACS, has grown and become a strong leader in organic certification across Canada. A group of health-minded individuals interested in supporting a sustainable food system were the pioneers of organics and the founders of PACS. We honour their dedication and legacy every day by actively focusing on the growth of PACS nationwide.</p> <p>PACS continues to focus on its core values to provide outstanding customer service and reliable certification to the members it serves. </p> <p><strong>PACS Core Values</strong>: Here are a few things PACS believes in with the delivery of our brand as we <strong>CERTIFY</strong> products and services.</p> <ul><li><strong>C</strong>ertify: We believe in providing certification with competence, knowledge and professionalism.</li> <li><strong>E</strong>thical: We believe in providing service with a high moral standard and integrity.</li> <li><strong>R</strong>eputation: We believe in developing and building trust with our clients and consumers while growing our client base.</li> <li><strong>T</strong>ransparency: We believe in maintaining accountability with the standards that guide us.</li> <li><strong>I</strong>nterests: We believe in protecting our current programs while proactively diversifying.</li> <li><strong>F</strong>uture: We believe in never standing still and are constantly looking for opportunities to improve our systems to meet our high standard of customer service.</li> <li><strong>Y</strong>ou: We believe service should be given from our team to your team with care, professionalism, knowledge and pride.</li> </ul><p>PACS would like to thank each and every one of its members. We value your hard work, dedication and support over the last 20 years and we look forward to working together to grow organics for many years to come. </p> <p> </p> <p><em>*Please note this logo was designed for internal use only and will not be available for operators to use as marketing material. </em></p> </div> Wed, 04 Aug 2021 14:01:15 +0000 pacsadmin 4794 at https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca Young Agrarians: Growing the next generation of ecological farmers https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/blog/Young-Agrarians-Growing-next-generation-ecological-farmers <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Young Agrarians: Growing the next generation of ecological farmers</span> <div class="field field--name-field-seenherd-news-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/blog/unnamed-2.jpg" width="512" height="341" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/pacsmember/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">seenherd</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 04/23/2020 - 15:27</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Young Agrarians (YA) is a network for new and young ecological and organic farmers. It started as a grassroots network in 2012 with the mission to grow new farmers, and has since spread across Canada from coast to coast. YA delivers educational events from farm tours to two-day farmer “mixers”, a B.C. Business Mentorship Network, the <a href="https://youngagrarians.org/tools/land/">B.C. Land Matching Program</a>, an Alberta apprenticeship program, and an extensive online community and bank of resources. To date, YA has hosted 231 events with more than 10,000 participants, representing 4,750 farmer volunteer hours.</p> <p>The Young Agrarians network is made up of a diverse array of food growers and lovers: rural and urban farmers, market gardeners, seed savers, food activists, beekeepers, community gardeners, food/farmer organizations and more, all working to steward land and soil, and grow our local food systems.</p> <p>YA facilitates capacity building by supporting new farmers to navigate startup through farmer2farmer learning. YA’s community economic development approach is to engage new, young, and potential farmers and friends online, bring them together to network and learn on and off farms, and when ready to start farms, support them to access land, as well as receive business and production mentorship from a seasoned farmer. This approach works to create and engage many people, thousands or even millions, that then refines down to new farmers serious about starting farms who need support to enter the sector. The long-term goal of YA is to increase the number of new, viable, and ecological farms in Canada.</p> <p><strong>Young Agrarians Programs</strong></p> <p>YA operates both online and offline programming to build the food and farm community:</p> <p><strong>Online:</strong></p> <ul><li><a href="https://maps.youngagrarians.org/"><strong>U-MAP</strong></a> - a self-serve map that aggregates farm resources across Canada.</li> <li><a href="https://youngagrarians.org/"><strong>Farmer blog</strong></a> - sections for <a href="https://youngagrarians.org/farm-jobs/">jobs, apprenticeships</a>, prospective <a href="https://youngagrarians.org/tools/land/">land </a>to farm, and other opportunities.</li> <li><a href="https://youngagrarians.org/tools/"><strong>Online tools</strong></a> - business resources, downloadable tools, such as <a href="https://youngagrarians.org/young-agrarians-bc-land-access-guide-lease-license-templates/">land lease and license templates</a> and a <a href="https://youngagrarians.org/young-agrarians-bc-land-access-guide-lease-license-templates/">BC Land Access Guide</a>.</li> <li><strong>Social media channels</strong> - buzzing networks that share opportunities, experiences, and connect our network across the country. Join the conversation on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/YoungAgrarians/">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/youngagrarians/">Instagram</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/youngagrarians">Twitter</a>. Hashtag #youngagrarians and grow the network with us!</li> </ul><p><strong>Offline:</strong></p> <ul><li><a href="https://youngagrarians.org/tools/land/"><strong>B.C. Land Matching Program</strong></a> - provides land matching and business support services to new farmers looking for land to farm, and landowners interested in finding someone to farm their land. Offers support developing leases and other land agreements.</li> <li><a href="https://youngagrarians.org/tools/business/"><strong>Business Mentorship Network</strong></a> that pairs up new farms in start-up with experienced mentors.</li> <li><a href="https://youngagrarians.org/tools/apprenticeships/"><strong>Alberta Apprenticeship Program</strong></a> - coordinates advanced, hands-on apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture</li> <li><a href="https://youngagrarians.org/events/"><strong>Event series</strong></a> - regular year-round events ranging from farm tours, potlucks, and small-scale farming workshops to two-day mixers and more.</li> </ul><p> </p> <p><strong>Spotlight on Plenty Wild Farms</strong></p> <div class="align-center"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Image:</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2020-09/dsc-0353_1_orig_0.jpg?itok=7ZKz56EY" width="480" height="370" alt="Alyssa and David own and operate Plenty Wild Farms" title="Alyssa and David own and operate Plenty Wild Farms" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /></div> </div> </div> <p>Alyssa and David own and operate Plenty Wild Farms, a small-scale, PACS-certified organic farm located in the beautiful Pemberton Valley of British Columbia. Alyssa and David have been involved with Young Agrarians since the beginning, hosting events and writing fantastic farming articles for our blog. More recently, they participated in our Business Mentorship Network in 2016/17 under the mentorship of Chris Bodnar of Close to Home Organics. The purpose of their mentorship was to look for efficiencies to streamline their operation and marketing, write a business plan, and strategize for farming while having a new baby!</p> <p> </p> <div class="align-center"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Image:</div> <div class="field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2020-09/handtomatoes_orig.jpg?itok=JWq6WcVl" width="480" height="310" alt="Tomatoes from Plenty Wild Farms" title="Tomatoes from Plenty Wild Farms" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /></div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p>Seven years after starting the farm they have built a very successful farm business, and they now work alongside part-time &amp; full-time seasonal staff to produce over 40 delicious types of vegetables, herbs, apples, and strawberries. You can find Plenty Wild at the Squamish and Whistler Farmers’ Markets, at their own staffed farm stand two days a week in Pemberton, or by signing up for their farm share program. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for them and their new little farmer, Felix!</p> </div> Thu, 23 Apr 2020 22:27:17 +0000 seenherd 1145 at https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca Navigating new government measures, April 16 BCFB Virtual Town Hall https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/blog/Navigating-new-government-measures-April-16-BCFB-Virtual-Town-Hall <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Navigating new government measures, April 16 BCFB Virtual Town Hall</span> <div class="field field--name-field-seenherd-news-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/blog/BCFB.jpg" width="960" height="960" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/pacsmember/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">seenherd</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 04/16/2020 - 15:26</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has announced several measures to assist employers and their employees during this turbulent time.</p> <p> </p> <p>Join us for our next BCFB <a href="https://my.demio.com/ref/9j5khO3VVuG4fTCV">Virtual Town Hall</a> with Grant Thornton to navigate the programs and resources available to food, beverage, and NHP companies in BC.</p> <p> </p> <p>Up-to-date details will be provided on these programs:</p> <ul><li>Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy</li> <li>Temporary Wage Subsidy</li> <li>Canada Emergency Business Account</li> <li>Canadian Emergency Response Benefit</li> <li>Work-Sharing Program, amongst others</li> </ul><p> </p> <p>A Q&amp;A session follows this presentation.</p> <p> </p> <p>Meet our speakers:</p> <p> </p> <p>Peter Veerman, CPA, CA</p> <p>As a partner in Grant Thornton’s Langley office, Peter has spent the last 14 years working closely with small and medium-sized businesses across the Lower Mainland, gaining extensive local knowledge and a home-grown outlook along the way. Peter is the leader of the region’s Consumer and Industrial Products group where he strives to provide clients with in-depth market knowledge and an understanding of the challenges and best practices required to help them meet their objectives.</p> <p> </p> <p>Phil Ross, CPA, CA</p> <p>Phil Ross is the Tax Service Line Leader for Grant Thornton’s South Coastal business unit, bringing 25 years of experience advising privately-held companies and their shareholders. Phil works closely with his clients to develop creative solutions to the business challenges they face.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://my.demio.com/ref/9j5khO3VVuG4fTCV">Register here</a></p> </div> Thu, 16 Apr 2020 22:26:12 +0000 seenherd 1144 at https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca Organic Industry Updates - COVID-19 https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/blog/Organic-Industry-Updates-COVID-19 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Organic Industry Updates - COVID-19</span> <div class="field field--name-field-seenherd-news-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-09/8..jpg" width="4096" height="2304" alt="COVID 19" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/pacsmember/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">seenherd</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 03/24/2020 - 15:24</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>Industry Updates – COVID-19</strong></p> <p> </p> <p>Industry update 2 April 2020 - Support through COVID-19</p> <ol><li>Small Business BC  - COVID-19 Small Business Supports. This comprehensive resource provides a listing of ALL supports that have been announced to date (including suspension of payments for student loans).</li> <li>Benefit Information – This list was compiled by a professor at the University of Carleton and will help individuals navigate when and how they should apply for EI versus the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.</li> <li>Updates from WALI – This <a href="https://mailchi.mp/bcac/wali-update-new-requirements-from-government-of-canada-for-employers-of-tfws-re-covid-19">link </a>provides an update on the Government of Canada’s requirements for receiving temporary foreign workers. Please note that the Ministry continues to work on the issue of labour for both TFWs and domestic labour sources. For more information on keeping farm workers safe during COVID-19, <a href="https://agsafebc.ca/tools/emergency-planning-resources/">Ag Safe BC</a> has centralized resources at this time.</li> <li>Go2HR Job Board - has opened its tourism and hospitality focused job board to include the agriculture and food processing sector. This provides a unique opportunity to connect displaced tourism and hospitality employees (due to COVID-19 pandemic) with employment opportunities in agriculture. Producers and processors can post their job vacancies on the job board for free here: <a href="https://www.go2hr.ca/">www.go2HR.ca</a></li> <li>Canadian Agriculture Human Resource Council – has made their <a href="https://cahrc-ccrha.ca/programs/emerging-agriworkforce-issues/information-and-updates-coronavirus-covid-19">AgriHR Toolkit</a> available to all producers/processors during COVID-19. These tools can help producers address their labour planning and continuity needs.</li> </ol><p> </p> <p>Industry update 1 April 2020</p> <p><strong>Updates for COTA Members Re: COVID-19 from Agriculture &amp; Agri-Food Canada/Canadian Food Inspection Agency  </strong></p> <p>The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA), as the national voice of Canada’s organic sector, is continuing to participate in regular conference calls being hosted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Our objective is to keep information flowing between industry and government – to provide critical information to assist you all in guiding your businesses during COVID-19 measures being in place. </p> <p><strong>Updates from the Wednesday, April 1st call</strong>. </p> <p><strong>Updates to Temporary Foreign Workers’ access</strong>.  The government has provided an update to the <a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/notices/update-opening-agrifood-immigration-pilot.html?mc_cid=675a94c1e2&amp;mc_eid=109200e48a">Agri-Food Immigration Pilot</a>. The Pilot is now scheduled to open on May 15, 2020, and will accept applications until May 14, 2023. Also, for Temporary Foreign Workers already in Canada, the government has taken measures to facilitate <a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/visitors-foreign-workers-students.html?mc_cid=675a94c1e2&amp;mc_eid=109200e48a">extensions</a> of work permits. </p> <p><strong>CFIA update</strong>. The CFIA released <a href="https://www.inspection.gc.ca/covid-19/cfia-information-for-industry/guidance-to-meat-slaughter-and-processing-establis/eng/1585620151816/1585620617343?mc_cid=675a94c1e2&amp;mc_eid=109200e48a">guidance for meat slaughter and processing establishments</a> on prevention and response to suspect and confirmed COVID-19 plant employees. While aimed at meat processing facilities, this guidance can also be applied more broadly to other third party establishments and will provide a sense of CFIA’s thinking regarding its broader inspection responsibilities in these times. CFIA has committed to further industry-specific guidance to be published soon. </p> <p><strong>Survey on Essential Supplies Shortages</strong>. The government is interested in understanding the pressures on supplies of Sanitization Products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Recognizing that the spread of COVID-19 has created shortages in our essential food production establishments, the government is seeking input from owners and operators to better understand the scope of potential shortages in Canada. Please take the time to fill out this <a href="https://www.inspection.gc.ca/covid-19/cfia-information-for-industry/guidance-to-meat-slaughter-and-processing-establis/eng/1585620151816/1585620617343?mc_cid=675a94c1e2&amp;mc_eid=109200e48a">important survey</a>. </p> <p><strong>75% Federal Wage Subsidy</strong>- Applicability to Agriculture and Agri-Food. Today the Finance Minister made a further announcement with more details to the wage subsidy program. The program is available broadly to any employer who is able to demonstrate a revenue reduction of 30% or more. It is to be calculated monthly on a year-over-year basis and applied for each month as required.  A website is available to learn more about the federal government’s response to the crisis. <a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html?mc_cid=675a94c1e2&amp;mc_eid=109200e48a#businesses">Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan</a> . Questions still persist regarding how it will be applied to the agriculture sector where revenues are more seasonal while labour costs are often up-front and less seasonal. There will be more details to come when these questions are answered. </p> <p><strong>Supply Chain Concerns- Mexico Suspends Non-Essential Services</strong>. Government officials announced that they have learned from their Mexican counterparts of a reduction of government services in Mexico, ie, a suspension of all non-essential government services. This includes the Mexican public health agency which has confirmed that it will only be issuing import permits for essential goods related to fighting the COVID-19 virus. AAFC officials continue to seek further clarification of potential impacts of our exports to Mexico. Here is the text of the note from AAFC officials, <a href="https://www.canada-organic.ca/sites/default/files/subject.pdf?mc_cid=675a94c1e2&amp;mc_eid=109200e48a">COEFPRIS Halts Import Permits</a>. </p> <p>If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact COTA’s Manager of Policy and Research, Brian Lemon at blemon@canada-organic.ca or call 613-482-1717 ext. 206. </p> <p> </p> <p>Industry update 27 March 2020 - <a href="https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0020-000568">Province takes unprecedented steps to support COVID-19 response</a></p> <p> </p> <p>Here are several surveys, and various links for your reference on COVID-19 updates from 24 March 2020</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>BC MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE (BCMA)</strong></p> <p>Minister Lana Popham has an active <a href="https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157327409832893&amp;id=33232647892">Facebook </a>page with updates on the Ministry’s activities.</p> <p>Latest post:</p> <ul><li><a href="https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158366953268804&amp;id=559993803&amp;refid=52&amp;__tn__=%2As-R">Ministry outreach to agriculture, food and fish stakeholders around the province</a></li> <li><a href="https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158371874553804&amp;id=559993803&amp;refid=52&amp;__tn__=%2As-R">Summary of the Agri-related Federal economic measures from the announcement that was made by the Government.</a></li> </ul><p><strong>SURVEYS</strong></p> <ul><li><strong>Impact of COVID-19 on organic operations</strong> - <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/7536WM8">Survey</a> <ul><li>Here is a survey from Canada Organic Trade Association shared by the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC) and SaskOrganics. “The COVID-19 affects Canadian operations and we need to know how organic operations are impacted by the COVID-19”.</li> <li><em>The information collected will be shared with AAFC and CFIA.</em></li> </ul></li> <li><strong>Young Agrarians</strong> - <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdHxNCnmBNzdXkO1jVIweS9uS2QJwkh5ma-QTKqEP6G3j0uPw/viewform?mc_cid=f69b7f57cf&amp;mc_eid=52af7a680d&amp;fbclid=IwAR3_iYtcqjbXWalNKG0tBmvXUMWjuJMgqSas-p2rHy5myDMuykjKHulwslA">Survey</a> <ul><li>Survey distributed by Young Agrarians; the information collected with be shared with the BC Ministry of Agriculture</li> </ul></li> </ul><p><strong>CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY (CFIA)</strong></p> <p>CFIA is taking action to preserve the integrity of Canada's food safety system, while safeguarding its animal and plant resource base.</p> <ul><li><a href="https://inspection.gc.ca/covid-19/cfia-information-for-industry/eng/1584462704366/1584462704709#a1">Full statement</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.inspection.gc.ca/covid-19/eng/1584729805758/1584729899016">CFIA information on COVID-19</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html">Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): PHAC Outbreak update</a></li> </ul><p><br /><strong>AgSafe</strong></p> <p>COVID-19 <a href="https://agsafebc.ca/tools/emergency-planning-resources/">emergency planning resources</a> from AgSafe (updated regularly).</p> <p><strong>BC FARMERS’ MARKETS ASSOCIATION (BCFMA)</strong></p> <ul><li><a href="https://bcfarmersmarket.org/bcafm-covid19/">https://bcfarmersmarket.org/bcafm-covid19/</a></li> </ul><p><strong>BC Agriculture Council (BCAC)</strong></p> <ul><li><a href="https://bcac.ca/">https://bcac.ca/</a></li> <li>Temporary Foreign Workers program updates</li> </ul><p><strong>Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada </strong>travel exemption for seasonal workers</p> <ul><li><a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2020/03/canada-provides-update-on-exemptions-to-travel-restrictions-to-protect-canadians-and-support-the-economy.html">https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2020/03/canada-provides-update-on-exemptions-to-travel-restrictions-to-protect-canadians-and-support-the-economy.html</a></li> </ul><p> </p> </div> Tue, 24 Mar 2020 22:24:30 +0000 seenherd 1143 at https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca PACS Response Plan Update - COVID-19 Virus Pandemic https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/blog/PACS-Response-Plan-Update-COVID-19-Virus-Pandemic <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">PACS Response Plan Update - COVID-19 Virus Pandemic</span> <div class="field field--name-field-seenherd-news-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/blog/image003.jpg" width="720" height="286" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/pacsmember/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">seenherd</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 03/24/2020 - 15:23</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Dear PACS Operators and Interested Parties:</p> <p>The Pacific Agricultural Certification Society (PACS) Executive Director, Board Executives, Certification Committee, and PACS Administrative Staff are meeting regularly to develop and implement strategic plans for response during, and following, the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic. </p> <p>The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a global issue impacting individuals and businesses around the world. Rest assured, PACS is monitoring all recommendations and updates from government officials surrounding COVID-19 and we will inform our clients and interested parties of relevant changes as they become available. </p> <p>As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, PACS is taking strategic health measures for preventative action. Know we are taking added precautions to keep our Operators, Verification Officers and Employees safe. This is our number one priority.</p> <p>This is the third in a series of communications to keep you informed on measures taken to ensure continuity of service and your certification status during, and following, this difficult period.  We are currently in discussion with regulatory authorities in Canada and British Columbia, addressing potential impacts and steps which may be taken to mitigate. For now, we can provide you with the following information: </p> <p><u><strong>PACS Functionality Update:</strong></u></p> <p>We would like to reassure our Operators and new clients that the PACS office will continue to operate in full capacity: Monday – Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm.</p> <p>In consideration of the current situation, PACS’ physical office is closed to public access for your protection and that of our staff. We will have limited phone answering availability. Therefore, if you receive our voice mail, please leave a detailed message. For a prompt response we encourage everyone to send an email.</p> <p>We remain working in full capacity to serve our valuable Operators. We will continue to provide you with service in the completion of your certificate and all other certification requirements, to ensure your documentation remains valid in order to safeguard your product distribution.</p> <p>Arrangements are in place to continue prompt service via electronic access to our administration staff and the certification team.  As the COVID-19 response develops, we have taken proactive measures for our staff to self-isolate and work remotely.</p> <p>To avoid possible delays in response, we are strongly encouraging clients to submit any required paperwork, applications or payments electronically.  At this time, mail, couriers and other physical deliveries continue to be received, but continuity of such services in the coming weeks is out of our control.</p> <p>Please forward electronic documents in a Word format or as a PDF to ensure our access.  Electronic payments may be made via our secure online portal. <a href="https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/forms/Contact-Us">Contact the PACS office</a> if you don’t have this information on hand.</p> <p><u><strong>IMPORTANT: Certificate Status</strong></u></p> <p>We wish to remind you that products certified under the <strong>Canada Organic Regime (COR)</strong> and <strong>PACS-Compliant Certification programs (Natural Health, Cannabis, etc.) </strong>they are non-expiring certificates.</p> <p>COR certified operators with an <strong>Attestation of Compliance</strong>, or <strong>Section 348 Certificate</strong> (for contract Packaging and Labelling), as well as certificates issued under the <strong>BCCO program</strong>, do bear expiring certificates.</p> <p>We are receiving updates frequently from our Accreditors for these certification programs.  Right now, we understand that certification can be maintained; however some continued diligence by PACS and our Operators will be required to do so.  Certification applications and updates/changes to Operators’ Plans must still be reported as normal to PACS. We will provide further information as we are informed and as any changes develop. </p> <p>In this uncertain time, we remain committed to working with you to minimize the impact on your organic certification.</p> <p><u><strong>Renewals: STATUS</strong></u>: Business as usual: Please continue to submit your renewal (forms and fees) at your scheduled time. This will ensure that we can process your information and be ready when we commence on-site inspections again. This will allow PACS to manage the workflow and avoid overloading the system when things return to normal.</p> <p><u><strong>Renewals:</strong></u> For forms and information about renewal requirements, visit our website at: <a href="https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/renew">Renewals (Existing Members)</a>  </p> <p><u><strong>New Registrations and Transfers:</strong></u> For initial registration forms, documentation requirements, and information for new members, visit our website at: <a href="https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/register">Register and Transfers (New Members)</a></p> <p><u><strong>File Reviews and Operator inquiries:</strong></u> STATUS: Business as usual: All of our staff, including the Certification Reviewers, will continue to review files, respond to emails and inquiries, and may reach out to Operators from time to time for further information as per normal business practice. Our quality, performance and dedication to our highly valued operators will continue.</p> <p>General Inquires: Contact the PACS office</p> <p><strong>Input Approval Request:</strong> Visit our website at: <a href="https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/forms/Input-Inquiry-Form">Input Inquiry Form</a> or submit all required information by email to the Certification Committee.</p> <p><u><strong>On-site Inspections: STATUS:</strong></u> Effective March 19, 2020, PACS will postpone all 2020 inspections for all operations until further notice. Additional changes/updates are expected, including, but not limited to, rescheduled dates and alternative practices/methods of inspection. These are to be determined as we acquire more information over the coming weeks.</p> <p>This means all scheduled on-site inspections have been put on hold until such time as the risk to Operators, Verification Officers and Staff has diminished.  As mentioned above, we are investigating possible alternative practices/methods of inspections such as virtual inspections or audits that can be conducted remotely. Once we have more guidance from the CFIA and our Accreditation Board (AB) as to their expectations, we will provide additional updates.</p> <p>In anticipation of what appears to be some trying times ahead, we would like to thank our Operators for your patience and understanding during this time. PACS will ensure that all Operators are informed as the situation evolves.</p> <p>PACS would like to take this opportunity to express, wholeheartedly, our concerns to all who have been directly, or indirectly, affected by COVID-19. Once again, PACS’ top priority is the health and safety of our Operators, Staff and Verification Officers in these uncertain times.</p> <p>Our thoughts are with all of you, as we know this virus impacts each of us on various levels. We appreciate your patience at this unusual time and wish you good health.</p> <p>If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to <a href="https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/forms/Contact-Us">contact the PACS office</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p>Kindest regards,</p> <p>_________________________</p> <p>Verna Wagner</p> <p>Executive Director</p> <p>PACS Certified Organic</p> <p> </p> </div> Tue, 24 Mar 2020 22:23:21 +0000 seenherd 1142 at https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca Ministry of Agriculture takes action during COVID-19 pandemic https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/blog/Ministry-Agriculture-takes-action-during-COVID-19-pandemic <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Ministry of Agriculture takes action during COVID-19 pandemic</span> <div class="field field--name-field-seenherd-news-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/blog/covid19%20blog%20photo.jpg" width="1024" height="684" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/pacsmember/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">seenherd</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 03/24/2020 - 15:22</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>This is a message from the BC Ministry of Agriculture. To view this on your browser link here: <a href="https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/ministry-takes-action-during-covid-19-pandemic">Ministry takes action during COVID-19 pandemic</a>.</p> <p>Dear friends,</p> <p>Thank you for doing your best in the fight against COVID-19!</p> <p>As a member of the cabinet of British Columbia, I can say with great sincerity that your provincial government is working incredibly hard to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. We are in this together and we will get through it together.</p> <p>As the minister of agriculture, I want to comment on two of the many urgent issues that my ministry is prioritizing on behalf of B.C.’s farm, fish and food sector.</p> <p>The first is seasonal labour. Seasonal labourers are a crucial and appreciated part of our food supply system. Every year more than 10,000 seasonal farm workers travel from their homes to work on farms and food-processing locations all over the province. They come from different regions, provinces and countries.</p> <p>It is the federal government that determines who can enter Canada and under what conditions. The Ministry of Agriculture’s executive team is working with the federal government and other provinces on a daily basis regarding foreign labour.</p> <p>I want to acknowledge the work done by the federal government as reflected in the announcement they made on March 20, 2020: <a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2020/03/canada-provides-update-on-exemptions-to-travel-restrictions-to-protect-canadians-and-support-the-economy.html">https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2020/03/canada-provides-update-on-exemptions-to-travel-restrictions-to-protect-canadians-and-support-the-economy.html</a></p> <p>To safeguard health and food security, temporary foreign workers in the agriculture sector will be allowed under specific conditions to travel to Canada. I will be redoubling my efforts and working closely with key stakeholders and decision-makers – including foreign governments and the provincial health officer of B.C. – to help farmers and processors safely employ the foreign farmworkers they need. This is an urgent matter and with the proper precautions in place, it will benefit all British Columbians, as we all need access to safe, fresh, local food.</p> <p>We are also actively looking at new ways to encourage employment opportunities for British Columbians in the agriculture sector.</p> <p>Second, farmers markets. Under additional conditions regarding COVID-19, farmers markets can continue to operate in B.C. at this time. The Ministry of Agriculture is working directly with the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets to assist with this season, and I'm pleased to share that the ministry will be providing financial support for it to develop an operating model better suited to times of a pandemic.</p> <p>Farmers in B.C. are a fundamental part of our food system, and farmers markets come in many shapes and sizes. Regrettably, at this time, the COVID-19 pandemic means they will not be about socializing and community. They will be focused on serving a very important purpose, though: helping people all over this province access fresh, locally grown or raised meat and other proteins, vegetables, fruit and many more foods and beverages. I want to thank everyone who works in the farm, fish and food sector – you are critical, and we appreciate you!</p> <p>I'm so proud of the agricultural sector that is working to adapt and keep on going. The harvest season comes early in many parts of B.C., so the work demands are already enormous. For farmers and others in the sector who need help, please see these messages I put out previously:</p> <p>A summary of the agri-related federal economic measures that we have so far, coming from the announcement that was made by the government: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/lana.popham/posts/10158371874553804">https://www.facebook.com/lana.popham/posts/10158371874553804</a></p> <p>Ministry outreach to agriculture, food and fish stakeholders around the province: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/lana.popham/posts/10158366953268804">https://www.facebook.com/lana.popham/posts/10158366953268804</a></p> <p>Thank you for helping us all get through this.</p> <p>Lana Popham<br /> Minister of Agriculture</p> </div> Tue, 24 Mar 2020 22:22:06 +0000 seenherd 1141 at https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca Certified Organic is Non-GMO https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/blog/Certified-Organic-Non-GMO <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Certified Organic is Non-GMO</span> <div class="field field--name-field-seenherd-news-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-09/Non-GMO.jpg" width="389" height="338" alt="Non-GMO" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/pacsmember/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">seenherd</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 08/26/2019 - 15:20</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>Certified Organic means Non-GMO and Beyond!</strong></p> <p><strong>Celebrate Organic Week with PACS – September 9 – 15, 2019</strong></p> <p><em>Extra-Extra, read all about it... being “certified organic” means non-GMO and <strong>beyond</strong>!</em></p> <p>This is old news, but let’s keep spreading the word to continue educating consumers.</p> <p>We think it really comes down to continuing to educate the public about the value of certified organic products. Being certified organic means products are non-GMO. However, it’s so much more than just that. One has to return to the principles that are in the Organic Standards to get a fuller picture. Having organic certification means the certificate holder subscribes to the principles of <strong>health </strong>(in soil, plants, animals, humans),<strong>ecology </strong>(working with and sustaining living ecological systems and cycles), <strong>fairness </strong>(building on relationships respecting the common environment and life opportunities), and <strong>care </strong>(managing agriculture in a responsible manner for current and future generations and the environment).</p> <p>Consumers are becoming more and more aware these days about the health benefits that are connected to the foods they are offering their families. In particular, they are looking for ways to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Perhaps one day we will see mandatory labelling on food indicating the presence of GMOs. For now, we can avoid foods that are genetically engineered by selecting “Certified Organic” products knowing they are, by definition, non-GMO. However, the reverse is not true: non-GMO products does not mean they are certified organic products.</p> <p>Certified organic farms and processors are required to follow approved methods in order to achieve organic certification. These operators follow a site-specific organic system plan and are inspected annually by a third-party organic verification officer to ensure compliance. The PACS monitors each operator all year, not just at inspection time, including communications to and from the PACS office to approve labels, inputs, etc. to ensure compliance to the Organic Standards, as well as answering other questions to ensure organic integrity is adhered to. In order to fulfill the Canada Organic Regime (COR) and Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), farmers and processors must demonstrate that they aren’t using genetic engineering in any part of their production and are utilizing approved practices to develop their products or cultivate their crops.</p> <p>So, what have we learned? When you look at a label or product bearing a “Certified Organic” claim, you can rest assured that this product is in compliance and has met the following requirements:</p> <ul><li>Annual certification verification and compliance is maintained</li> <li>No genetic engineering in any aspect of farming or processing</li> <li>No use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides</li> <li>No synthetic drugs or reproductive or growth hormone use for livestock and no antibiotics in meat animals</li> <li>Requires livestock to consume only certified organic feed and pasture</li> <li>No synthetic colouring, flavouring and preservatives</li> <li>Regulated and monitored by our government authority, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)</li> </ul><p>Now when you are comparing products at the grocery store, keep this in mind: If a product is certified organic, it is also Non-GMO! Remember, organic products are produced without the use of synthetic chemicals, which are dangerous for farmers, consumers, our land, and our water systems. These extra steps help to promote a sustainable and safe food system. Buying Certified Organic is the best way to avoid purchasing products that contain GMO and other undesirable ingredients!</p> <p>To lean more about the steps to become certified with PACS you can follow this link to the <a href="https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/learn" target="_blank">PACS learn page</a></p> <p>To learn more about organic labelling requirements you can follow this link to the CFIAs <a href="http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/requirements-and-guidance/organic-products/guidance-documents/directive-10-05/eng/1327873462610/1327873537276" target="_blank">Directive 10-05: Labelling of organic products under COR.</a></p> <p> </p> </div> Mon, 26 Aug 2019 22:20:19 +0000 seenherd 1140 at https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca Is Organic Certification Suitable for my Business? https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/blog/Organic-Certification-Suitable-my-Business <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Is Organic Certification Suitable for my Business?</span> <div class="field field--name-field-seenherd-news-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/blog/blog--organic-suitable.jpg" width="1000" height="750" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/pacsmember/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">seenherd</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 06/11/2019 - 15:16</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The real question should be, ‘do you see the value in organic certification for you and your family, whether you are a producer or a consumer?’ Is it right for your lifestyle? In my humble opinion, if we want to live a healthy lifestyle it starts with the right food choices, mental wellness and physical fitness. Choosing to certify is choosing to become a part of an industry that contributes to the health and well being of our families and society as a whole. From a producer perspective, sustainable ranching and farming are imperative to ensure regrowth and balance for our future farming. Some of our members have been around the organic farming movement since the establishment of organics, such as Charlie Lasser, with Lasser Ranches, who says he has always practiced organic farming and ranching before it was a movement.  </p> <p>Consumers often wonder: is buying organic worth the investment? Certification gives the consumer confidence in the product, as well as reassurance that the products have gone through the process of meeting the Canadian Organic Standards. Knowing they have received validation of having met organic integrity. It all comes down to trust in the product and producer. With organic certification you have third-party verification to support the organic claim.</p> <p>Businesses often wonder: is organic certification worth my time and financial investment? From small-scale farms to large multi-ingredient processors, this question is asked by both, yet all businesses will have completely different business strategies, operational needs and concerns. Small farmers might wonder, ‘am I too small for certification? Is it only for large farmers and processors?’ Large processors might wonder, ‘we have too many ingredients and how can I orchestrate all of them to meet organic integrity?’ and ‘What will be my time and financial commitment to obtain certification?’</p> <p>Are you wondering, ‘how do I know if being certified organic is right for our business’?  Are you still on the fence and feel as if you just don’t have the time to research it?  Organic certification can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Organic certification can be seen as an extra expense. However, the cost is not meant to be prohibitive. In practice, the actual cost varies based on the individual needs of the client, their standard operating procedures (SOP), recordkeeping, organisation, gross organic sales and the size of the farm/processor and other factors like certification reviewer time.</p> <p>During our years as a Certification Body, we’ve recognized that businesses sometimes need a helping hand before they make the big jump into organic certification. PACS has launched a new program just for businesses in this situation called the PACS Organic Suitability Assessment (OSA) program.  This service is exclusive to PACS. The cost of this program is $105. This service allows a business to spend up to 2 hours via email questions and/or phone meeting with PACS’ very knowledgeable certification experts to determine eligibility, ask questions, etc. This allows businesses to ask the big questions before committing themselves to the organic certification process. We explore different elements based on your enterprise goals and unique structures and abilities. If you are thinking about getting certified, but have had some reservations, this OSA program should address those common reservations and leave you with a clear idea of what’s involved in the process and if organic certification is right for your business at this time.</p> <p>At the end of the OSA process, you might realize that organic certification might not be as expensive or cumbersome as you initially thought. If you end up registering with PACS within the allotted time frame, the $105 fee is discounted from your initial registration fee. If you deem it is not the right time for your enterprise, no worries!  We are here to educate you and want the best for you, and your business’ future endeavours. </p> <p>To find out more about the PACS Organic Suitability Assessment (OSA) program, please <a href="https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/forms/Contact-Us" target="_blank">contact us</a>!</p> <p> </p> </div> Tue, 11 Jun 2019 22:16:46 +0000 seenherd 1138 at https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca PACS Re-Branding https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/blog/PACS-Re-Branding <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">PACS Re-Branding</span> <div class="field field--name-field-seenherd-news-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/blog/pacs-branding_0.jpg" width="990" height="666" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/pacsmember/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">seenherd</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 02/21/2019 - 15:02</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>We are proud to announce the launch of our Pacific Agricultural Certification Society (PACS) logo as part of the ongoing evolution of the PACS Certified Organic brand. With our new branding we've also new launched a website in the Spring of 2019. We are so excited!<br /><br /> Last year we started considering new ways to use web technologies to support and expand our dedication to client services. The first step involved updating our branding. Pacific Agricultural Certification Society is commonly known throughout the industry as “PACS,” so we decided to keep the acronym in our new logo for easier name recognition. Next, we developed a new website that reflects current standards, electronic device capabilities and offers a more robust platform for user experience and feedback. To streamline the transition from the current logo to the new logo, both logos will be available for a period of time. If you are an operation with a large inventory of labels (expected to last 2 years before exhaustion), please let us know.<br /><br /> Over the past seventeen years, PACS has grown and become a strong leader in organic certification across Canada. We’re developing new certification to a broader infrastructure of service opportunities. We have also continued to innovate new procedures to reduce the burden of paperwork for our clients. With the release of our new logo and website we will further enhance our customer service. As always, PACS strives to provide customers with top quality services at competitive prices while maintaining a consistently high level of customer service. We are motivated to establish and maintain a sustainable system that will save operators time during the certification process.<br /><br /> A group of organic, health-minded individuals interested in supporting a sustainable food system were the pioneers of organic and the founders of the PACS. We honor their dedication and legacy every day by actively focusing on the growth of PACS nationwide. We redesigned our logo to reflect who we are today and to symbolize our dynamic and unswerving commitment to the organic industry and our clients.<br /><br /> Our next goal is to use our new infrastructure to increase client engagement and satisfaction. We are eager to receive client input during this phase. Please let us know what would be most valuable to you on the website: blog posts, resource material, <a href="http://verwag.dreamhosters.com/faq" target="_blank">frequently asked questions </a>(FAQ), etc. We want to customize the experience to best suit your needs and preferences.<br /><br /> As always, we appreciate your loyalty to PACS and will continue striving to deliver the best service and support to help facilitate your vital work of providing continuous certified organic products and services for consumers all over the world.</p> </div> Thu, 21 Feb 2019 23:02:46 +0000 seenherd 1133 at https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca B.C. Organic Certification Regulation https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca/blog/bc-organic-certification-regulation <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">B.C. Organic Certification Regulation</span> <div class="field field--name-field-seenherd-news-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/blog/organic-certification.jpg" width="990" height="666" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/pacsmember/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">seenherd</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 02/21/2019 - 14:55</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>On 1 September 2018, the B.C. government implemented the B.C. Organic Certification Regulation. Under this regulation, food &amp; beverage labels using the term organic, along with grammatical and phonetic representations, and abbreviations and symbols for the term organic are protected.<br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /> 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 <a href="/node/534">contact us</a>!</p> </div> Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:55:05 +0000 seenherd 1131 at https://pacscertifiedorganic.ca