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Identifying locally produced organic products

The Organic Products Regulations apply to products traded between provinces, as well as products exported to other countries or imported into Canada. What happens when locally produced products are sold within the same province?

Only Quebec and British Columbia have instituted public accreditation and certification regulations pertaining to established organic standards. Manitoba is preparing to implement regulations to match the Federal Regulations for Organic Products that will control organic production at the provincial level.

Other provinces have established various organic agriculture support programs, but no regulations have been adopted to require producers or processors of locally produced organic products to have their operations certified. Consumers who buy locally produced products that claim to be “organic” must contact their province or territory’s consumer protection bureau to check the product’s organic authenticity.

In any case, all products labelled in Canada must comply with the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. Section 7 stipulates:

Section 7. (1) No dealer shall apply to any pre-packaged product or sell, import into Canada or advertise any pre-packaged product that has applied to it a label containing any false or misleading representation that relates to or may reasonably be regarded as relating to that product.

— Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (R.S. 1985, c. C-38)

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