Canada Organic Regime

The Canada Organic Regime (COR) is a government-run program that is responsible for the certification of organic products in Canada. The COR accredits certifying bodies that are responsible for evaluating and certifying that organic products meet the requirements of the Canadian Organic Standards.

Canada Organic Regime

To obtain accreditation as a certifying body under the COR, an organization must demonstrate that it has the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to certify organic products in a competent and reliable manner. It must also have a quality management system in place that meets the requirements of the relevant accreditation standards.

The COR has established a set of requirements that certifying bodies must meet in order to be accredited, including requirements related to personnel, infrastructure, and processes. Certifying bodies must also have policies and procedures in place to manage conflicts of interest, handle complaints and appeals, and protect confidential information.

Obtaining accreditation as a certifying body under the COR can be beneficial for several reasons. It can help to demonstrate the organization's competence and credibility to regulatory bodies, customers, and other stakeholders, and may be required in order to qualify for certain contracts or business opportunities. Accreditation can also help to improve the quality and reliability of the organic certification being provided, and may lead to increased customer satisfaction and trust in the organization's brand.

The Canada Organic Regime is implemented by the Canada Organic Office (COO), part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The framework for the COR is the Organic Products Regulations of 2009 (OPR 2009) which set out requirements for organic product labeling and the various actors and infrastructure for implementation.

All products which are sold in Canada labeled as organic and which bear the Canada organic logo must have either been certified by an accredited certification body or by one which works under a country system which the CFIA has deemed equivalent.

The CFIA approves Conformity Verification Bodies (CVBs) (of which United States Accreditation Inc. is one) which assess the ability of certification bodies both inside and outside of Canada to conduct inspection and certification of farms and processors involved in production of organic products to be sold on the Canadian market. CVBs perform assessment of certification bodies according to ISO/IEC 17065 but make a recommendation for accreditation to CFIA which is the ultimate decision maker. Accredited CBs are listed on the CFIA web site.

Scheme requirements:

The OPR 2009 require mandatory certification to the Canada National Organic Standard for agricultural products represented as organic in international and inter-provincial trade, or that bear the Canada organic logo. The COO publish an Operating Manual that describes the full scheme including role of the COO, the CVB and CBs. CBs are required to demonstrate conformance with ISO /IEC 17065 and the relevant requirements set out in the COO Operating Manual.

The following categories of activity are recognised:

  • Crop production
  • Grower group certification
  • Livestock Feed
  • Livestock production
  • Processed products
  • Specialized: Apiculture
  • Specialized greenhouse crops
  • Specialized mushrooms
  • Specialized sprouts
  • Specialized wild crops
  • Specialized maple production

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