Creating a Canadian Database of Approved Organic Inputs: A Feasibility Study

The Canadian organic industry’s current input review processes present challenges to operators, CBs, input manufacturers, and the organic sector overall. Poor information flow leaves operators – especially those transitioning to organic – struggling to identify commercially available products and to provide their CBs with the product information needed to conduct reviews. As CBs are not required to share information or accept each other’s reviews, products are often subject to redundant reviews and when these reviews result in inconsistent decisions, the integrity of the organic industry as a whole is called into question. Contributing to these challenges is a lack of shared methodology for input review across the organic industry, an insufficient process to resolve inconsistencies, and concerns regarding liability and confidentiality requirements.

The Organic Value Chain Round Table Inputs Task Force and the Organic Council of Ontario commissioned this report to assess the feasibility of a sustainable, dynamic, and comprehensive database of commercially available inputs for Ontario and Canada’s organic operators. Through a comprehensive feasibility study, this report concludes with three potential solutions to improve access to appropriate inputs in Canada. The feasibility study is available for reading below:

Acknowledgements

Thank you to all those who gave their time and insight to this study, including but not limited to: Brian Baker, Jen Berkebile, Nicole Boudreau, Katie Coke, Jenny Cruse, Rochelle Eisen, José Gerardo, Terry Good, Allison Grant, Byron Hamm, Lindsay Hanson, Art Hesje, Sébastien Houle, Simon Jacques, Marie-Ève Levert, Dave Lockman, Kate Loghrin, Kelsey McKee, Peggy Miars, Kelly Monaghan, Yannik Oullette, Julia Perez, Jennifer Scott, Rosemarie Shephard, Karla Sieck, Colin Smith, Gabriela Soto, Bernhard Speiser, Valeriya Staykova, Vincent Vilela, Jane Wade, Verna Wagner, Robert Wallbridge, Jeff Yeandle.

This project was funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. 

Thank you also to the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC) and Pro-Cert for their contributions to this project.