What Does Certified Organic Mean?
Certification is the process used to ensure that organic products are in line with the Canadian Organic Standards (COS). Canada’s Organic Products Regulations legally require organic products to be certified according to the COS if they are traded across provincial or international borders or use the Canada Organic Logo.
Organic certification is a system that helps ensure the integrity of organic products from field to table. It is a minimum benchmark that determines the basic requirements for organic food production systems. In Ontario and Canada, the certification of organic farms is carried out by third party certification bodies which have been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
It takes a producer up to three years to transition to the production and sale of certified organic products. During the transition phase, products can still be sold, but not as certified organic. If producers can prove that no prohibited substances have been used on the property in the last three years, it can take a minimum of 15 months to achieve certification.