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2025 Review of the Canadian Organic Standards

June 5, 2024

The fundraising campaign to finance the revision of the Canadian Organic Standards is launched! 

Supporting the revision of our organic standards is your best investment in sustainable food production!

Visit the sponsorship page to select what you want to contribute to the review and to have your logo featured as a convinced supporter of organic agriculture! 

  

The recipe for a successful standards revision?   

Competent people, an active commitment, patience and an adequate budget!  

 

Discussions on changes to the Canadian Organic Standards are underway!  

Some modifications proposed to the Organic Standards

 

                                                                                                               Read more

April 29, 2024

Work on the 2025 revision of the Canadian Organic Standards (COS) is progressing: the first meeting of the Canadian General Standards Board’s Technical Committee on Organic Agriculture (TC) has been held on April 8, 2024.

OFC highlights the contribution of working group and task force members to the revision of the COS: 61 2-hour meetings have been held since November 2023, totalling 1458 hours of attendance by the 120 members of these groups.

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March 26, 2024

Discussion around the use of guano in organic production systems – good or bad?

Guano, organic fertilizer or trigger for war and pandemic’s?

Guano, a traditional organic fertilizer, might soon be banned from Canadian organic production. During the review of the Canadian Organic Standards (COS), working groups re-examine what substances are permitted in the context of the latest research.

After being used by farmers for centuries, the use of guano is now in question. What has changed?

February Updates – Review of the Canadian Organic Standards

February 28, 2024

Government of Canada announces investment in standardization of organic agriculture and agri-food products

 

YO-TO ORGANICS?  

The Canadian Organic Standard’s ban on alternating organic and non-organic production needs to be clarified or changed. 

Read on to discover
what organic stakeholders feel about this issue. 
 

                                                                                        January 30, 2024

Revision of the Canadian Organic Standards

A fabulous teamwork

The work of revising the Canadian Organic Standards goes smoothly, thanks to the work of the chairs of the working groups and task forces, the managers who provide administrative and logistical support (planning meetings, keeping minutes), and the research consultants (who provide scientific background on issues related to petitions and compare our standards with those of our trading partners).

And, of course, thanks to the active participation of the volunteer members of the working groups and task forces.

To date, a total of 29 meetings have been held by 10 working group and task forces (WG/TF) to analyze petitions for changes that have submitted by the industry and other organic stakeholders and to make the recommendations that will be sent to the TC.

WG/TF members have been steadfast in their commitment to preserve the integrity of organic products. However, they need to determine how to apply organic principles realistically. 

“The members of the WG/TF discuss with conviction. They are interested, motivated and concerned: this involvement confirms that, although a young sector, Canadian organics is already built on solid foundations that are beneficial to the Canadian environment,” comments Nicole Boudreau, supervisor of the review work.

The list of working group and study group members can be found here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Read more

Additional information

The list of the voting members of the CGSB Technical Committee

Reducing the impact of agriculture and improving resilience, the complete version of the article, by Janet Wallace

Greenhouse gas reduction measures and organic farming, a comprehensive guide for the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) to illustrate how the Canadian Organic Standards (COS) can be amended to include both measures to reduce greenhouse gases and measures to adapt to climate change.

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December 7, 2023

If an organic farmer violates the organic standards by, say, spraying a prohibited substance, what happens?

The farm loses its organic certification immediately and the field must go through a three-year transition period. But then what?

This question is being debated by the people entrusted with reviewing the 2020 Canadian Organic Standards (COS). Currently, the COS states “Production methods shall not alternate between organic and non-organic on a production unit (5.1.7).” 

The exception is the rare situation where prohibited substances are required as part of a mandatory government program.

 In this case, non-sprayed parts of the operation could retain certification provided the farmers contact their CB immediately as stated in 4.4.6. The affected area would lose certification and, depending on the exact circumstances, undergo a three-year transition.

Why allow switching from organic to non-organic? Why oppose switching? 

Read more and answer our survey and this issue.

 

Who’s Who in the COS Review

A look behind the scenes
to learn who is shaping the future
of organic standards in Canada

The review of the Canadian Organic Standards (COS) has begun. For the next two years, volunteers from across the country will be reviewing the current standard, analyzing petitions for changes and discussing what should and should not be permitted in organic production.

Click here to read how Working Groups and Task Forces are created and to meet the Chairs who will lead them.

                                                              November 11, 2023

Rabbits shall have space to run, hop and dig, and to sit upright on their back legs with ears erect. (6.14.3 – 32.310)

 

 

WANTED

Organic rabbits are orphans. The Livestock Working Group is looking for organic rabbit producers or animal welfare experts in rabbit farming.

Please contact OFC –info@organicfederation.ca

to join the working group responsible for section 6.14 of the COS – Additional requirements for rabbits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              October 11, 2023

                                                                                                                       Discussion Topics of the Review

A diversified menu: from insect care to struvite, parallel production to sprout inhibitors 

The Canadian Organic Standard (COS) is more than just a set of rules and restrictions governing what can be labelled as certified organic in Canada: it is an ever-evolving guide to organic production and processing. Canada’s Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB), which publishes the standard, requires a review every five years. This provides a great opportunity for organic farmers, industry representatives, academics, activists and consumers to suggest ways to improve the standard.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Read more on InfoBio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               September 13, 2023

List of proposals

Over 250 proposals for changes were submitted following the launch of the review process in July 2023. Each of these requests will have to be analyzed to determine whether the suggested changes should be incorporated into the Canadian Organic Standards.

The list of proposals as updated on September 13, 2023 can be consulted:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                   August 28, 2023

The Canadian Organic Standards (COS) are attracting a great deal of interest: more than 250 requests for changes were submitted following the launch of the review process in July 2023. Each of these requests will have to be analyzed to determine whether the suggested changes should be incorporated into the COS.

Following the procedures of the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB), the Organic Federation of Canada is now moving on to the next stage:
the reconstitution of the Working Groups (WG) and Task Forces (TF).

These groups will analyze the requests submitted by the industry and make recommendations to the voting members of the Technical Committee on Organic Agriculture (which will decide by ballot on the final content of the 2025 COS).

Read more about responsibilities of the members of the WGs and TFs. 

Each person wishing to join a WG or TG is invited to complete
a brief application form describing their expertise and experience
within the Canadian organic industry.

To apply, click on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MBWGBD9

DEADLINE – SEPTEMBER 14, 2023

 

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News in Brief

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     August 14, 2023

  • 269 modification requests have been submitted as part of the revision of the Canadian Organic Standards (COS). The Lists of Permitted Substances in Crop Production section received the highest number of submissions – with almost 50 requests for modifications.
  • In accordance with the procedures of the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB), the OFC will soon publish the full list of submissions. 
  • The CGSB is responsible for managing the Technical Committee on Organic Agriculture (TC). Any organization or individual concerned by TC decisions and having expressed an interest in standards development is eligible for TC membership if it can demonstrate its ability to participate actively in the review process. Any organization wishing to acquire voting member status must contact the CGSB by August 24, 2023.
  • The OFC is responsible for managing the working groups. Recruitment of working group members will take place at the end of August.
  • In order to fund the COS review, the OFC has submitted an application for funding under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Agri-Assurance Program. The OFC expects to receive news of its application in September. In the event of a positive response from AAFC, OFC will launch a fundraising campaign to raise the matching funds required by the AAFC program, which amount to 25% of the budget allocated to the revision project. Stay tuned!
Review Milestones of the Canadian Organic Standards


Have your say! (closed)

The Canadian Organic Standards are an evolving document that is modernized every five years to consider and integrate new ecological practices that will enhance soil health and facilitate pest control under certified organic management.

In order to prepare the review of the 2020 Canadian Organic Standards that has to be completed in the fall of 2025, the Organic Federation of Canada invites all organic stakeholders to submit requests for modifications to the Canadian Organic Standards.

                                                                                                        DEADLINE – JULY 28, 2023

 

To submit your request:

OR

            Please submit all completed modification requests
                to standards- normes@organicfederation.ca
               
  
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