'Organics' Acquire Integrity With New Federal Standards

� � Aug-10-2009

By laying down a national arrangement of benchmarks that are now mandatory for the products to fulfill if they are to be designated genuinely 'organic', the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has finally provided a new plane of reliability to the organics industry in the country. As per the newly formulated Organic Products Regulations, only the products that would meet the criterion set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency would be eligible for being authorized as organic items for consumption.

It is important to note here that the new regulations stipulate that any product containing several constituents ought to possess at least 95 per cent organic ingredient to qualify to be branded with the latest Biologique Canada Organic Logo. In case any product fails to not fulfill the new set of standards set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the manufacturer of the product will need to spell out the proportion of organic elements included in the particular product on the label of the product.

Recent news released by the Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said that the new Biologique Canada Organic Logo will benefit the consumers immensely as they will now be able to make a more informed and confident choice before purchasing any product. Ritz further said that the latest regulations laid down by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will enable the country's organic farmers to get their farm produces be acquainted with the consumers in this up-and-coming market.

The set of new standards laid down by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is applicable for the agricultural products and livestock mentioned below:

  • Food and beverages meant for consumption
  • Livestock
  • Livestock feed
  • Farming of different plants

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the new rules regarding the standards will be applicable for the domestic products as well as those imported. However, the CFIA has said that products imported from the neighboring United States and those that have already fulfilled the prerequisites of the American organic standards will not be required to undergo any further certification in Canada.

The news release issued by the Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz emphasized that the 'equivalence' agreement between the United States and Canada will provide the consumers in Canada a wider range of choices, while the farmers engaged in producing organic food will have enhanced trade prospects.

At the same time, a spokesman for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Canada Organics Office, Stephane O'Neil has pointed out that the new set of standards established by the CFIA will help create a new benchmark for evenhandedness for the food producers too. He further said that as per this voluntary method, food producers who want to provide certification for the cost paid by the consumers for their produces as well as the producers who have not done so had equal advantages. He, however, emphasized that henceforth it is mandatory for all producers to provide certification regarding the percentage of organic content in their products. By establishing the new set of standards for the organic food producers, the Canadian authorities have, in fact, provided a just playing field for the consumers, O'Neil concluded. According to the CFIA's Canada Organics Office spokesman, a number of organic producers were up against the execution of the national standards regulation on idealistic grounds as they were of the view that the government interference was not required in the organics industry.

However, according to the Organic Council of Ontario, the new set of standards would provide the consumers with more guarantee regarding the superiority and worth of the organic products available in the market. In addition, it will also offer more comprehensible instructions to those who are already producing organic products or those who intend to produce organic foods. Ted Zettle, a director on the board of the Organic Council of Ontario, said that producers who were of the view that they were generating organic foods (like tomato, potato, beans, peaches, carrots, etc.), but did not know what it denoted, will now have the advantage of following a specific guideline and thereby improve on their respective products. At the same time, Ted Zettle warned that the new rules will help the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to implement the new standards and in case any producer is found to be adopting fraudulent measures or making deceptive claims regarding their products, the government will be able to take up the matter and deal with such producers in the right perspective to protect the consumers' interests.