OCO FAQ

How do I certify my business or my products as organic?

There are multiple steps to this process. We’ve created a guide to certification to clarify the process for you. 

The Canadian Organic Growers and Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario also have great resources on becoming certified, for farmers and producers.

 

What is the difference between the Organic Council of Ontario and other organic trade associations?

The Organic Council of Ontario is the only trade association to represent the entire organic sector in Ontario. Other associations, such as the Canadian Organic Trade Association, focus on issues pertaining to organics at a national level, or represent only a specific group within the organic sector (e.g. farmers). 

 

How do I become a member of the Organic Council of Ontario?

Members of OCO include individuals and businesses involved with the organic industry in many capacities. If you want to support the growth and evolution of organic in Ontario, please visit our membership page to learn more about becoming a member.

 

How does OCO communicate with its members?

All members are signed up to receive the member E-News upon registration with OCO. Additionally, OCO sends out occasional members-only newsflashes and updates regarding topics of interest to its membership. We also connect and share information with members via social media.

If members wish to become more involved with OCO, they are invited to attend on of our events or run for a position on the board of directors, who are voted in annually at our AGM.

 

How does OCO fit into the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC/FBC)?

The Organic Council of Ontario is a member of the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC), a national organization whose mandate is to represent the organic industry while working with provincial, territorial, and federal governments on national organic regulatory issues. The OFC is comprised of one organic industry representative from each province, and one representative from the organic trade sector. The Organic Council of Ontario elects the OFC representative for Ontario.

The OFC also oversees the review of the Canadian Organic Standards in partnership with the Canadian General Standards Board, once every five years, by requirement. OCO supports the review of the standards through information sharing and donations in kind to the process.

 

I’ve noticed a business calling its products organic, but I am not sure if they're certified. Who should I report this to?

The Organic Council of Ontario does not enforce organic regulation issues, though we are deeply concerned about their increasing prevalence due to the lack of organic regulation in Ontario. If you wish to officially report this issue, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

If you would like to share your concerns with OCO, please contact us.

 

I’m a farmer and I need certified organic crop inputs. Where should I look?

The Organic Crop Management Institute (OMRI) publishes a list of verified organic inputs in Canada, which are approved for organic production in Canada, but this is not a comprehensive list. Some certifying bodies also keep and/or publish lists of inputs they have verified as approved. For more information and links, please see our post on organic crop inputs. You may also be able to find other organic businesses and suppliers in our Ontario Organic Directory.

 

I’m newly certified and I’m not sure how much to charge for my organic products or crops. Where should I look?

There is no one comprehensive resource for pricing trends, but the Canadian Organic Growers run an Organic Price Tracker service to support organic farmers in determining suitable prices for their produce. Another resource for commodity farmers is the OrganicBIZ price quotes.

 

What do I do if I have more questions about OCO?

Please contact us.