Understanding Organic Certification for Small-Scale Producers in Canada

As small-scale food producers, we might be tempted to label our food products as organic. However, you need to understand that not all products can be label with organic or contain the Canada organic logo. You need to ensure you meet the requirements for the organic logo and organic claims, according to the Canadian Organic Regime and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

This article discussed the benefits and challenges of organic certification and what small-scale food producers must consider before applying for organic certification or organic claims on their products.

While organic certification is becoming increasingly important in Canada, it poses challenges for small-scale food producers who may not have the necessary resources to invest in the infrastructure and documentation required. Organic production methods may be less efficient and labour-intensive than conventional methods, which can increase production costs and reduce yields. Additionally, the certification process can be time-consuming and costly for small-scale producers.

The Canadian Organic Regime (COR) sets out the standards for organic certification in Canada, ensuring that food companies use organic production methods, natural fertilizers, and pest control methods and prohibit using synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms. The certification process involves an inspection of the company’s facilities, records, production methods, and handling practices. If your company meets the organic standards set by the COR, you will receive a certificate of compliance.

Organic certification can bring many benefits, such as improving production methods and reducing the environmental impact of food production. It can also help food companies differentiate themselves in the marketplace and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers willing to pay a premium for organic products. Organic certification can also help ensure that food products are produced socially responsibly, with fair labour practices and respect for animal welfare.

However, small-scale food producers must carefully weigh the benefits and limitations of organic certification. While organic certification can bring many benefits, it can also be challenging for small-scale producers who may not have the necessary resources to invest in the infrastructure and documentation required. Before pursuing organic certification, you must evaluate your production methods, resources, and market demand.

Upon deciding on pursuing organic certification, you must contact an accredited certification body to start your organic certification process, where your systems and programs will be evaluated from production to processing practices, will be evaluated.
Organic requirements can be incorporated into your food safety procedures if you have food safety management procedures available. These include updating your supplier approval programs, cleaning and sanitation program etc.

At SFPM Consulting, we help our food clients with food product labels for organic claims and certification. Our service includes everything from setting up the program to updating your organic products documentation to meet the organic requirements.

Want to know how we can assist your organic certification journey? Book an Organic Certification Blueprint session with Us

Copyright © 2023-2024 by SFPM Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2023-2024 by SFPM Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.