Organic production is a system whose ultimate goal is the preservation of the environment and the production of healthy and safe foods. Practitioners follow specific growing, handling and processing standards from the soil to the consumer's table.
According to the Canadian Organic Standards (National Standard of Canada CAN/CGSB-32.310 Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards), the following are the general principles* of organic production:
- Protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health.
- Maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil.
- Maintain biological diversity within the system.
- Recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the enterprise.
- Provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioural needs of livestock.
- Prepare organic products, emphasizing careful processing, and handling methods in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the products at all stages of production.
- Rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems.
*Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services
The key objectives of this production system are the preservation of soil life, the sustenance of soil humus, the protection of ground water, the elimination of synthetic or "chemical" fertilizers and synthetic pesticides from the food supply, and the maintenance of the health and economic welfare of farmers. Not only does this system prohibit the use of highly soluble fertilizers and synthetic pesticides but it also prohibits the use of synthetic growth regulators, irradiation as a food preservation technique, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and intentionally manufactured nano-technology products. There are also very strict protocols on the use of manure, compost and antibiotics.
Organic Certification Agencies:
In New Brunswick, there are some certification bodies that have a role to ensure organic products and processed foods are grown and processed according to organic standards. These organizations will permit the product to be labeled "Organic" when appropriate procedures are followed. Independent inspectors are also involved to verify the integrity of the organic production system. Growers participate in comprehensive record keeping that track the inputs, raw materials and procedures used in the growing and processing of organic products.
Organic certification agencies offering their services in NB:
OCIA-NB: Organic Crop Improvement Association - New Brunswick Chapter
Contact : Susan Linkletter
Address : 291 Scott Road, Salisbury West NB, E4J 3K4
Phone: (506) 372-1085
Fax: (506) 328-0746
Atlantic Certified Organic Co-operative Ltd.
Contact: Angela Patterson
Address: P.O. Box 40, Canning, N.S., B0P 1H0
Fax: 1 (902) 582-3299
Contact: Gilles Belley
Address: Lévis, Québec
Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.
Eastern Office: Dave Lockman
Address: 2311 Elm Tree Road, P.O.Box 74, Cambray, ON KOM 1E0
Tel.: (705) 374-5602
Fax: (705) 374-5604
NB Organic Grade Regulation:
In 2014, the province of New Brunswick implemented an organic regulation, the NB Organic Grade Regulation. This regulation ensures that all products labelled, advertised or marketed as organic which are produced, processed and sold within NB have been certified organic in accordance with the Federal Organic Products Regulations and the Canadian Organic Standards. The NB Organic Grade Regulation is available at: http://laws.gnb.ca/en/ShowTdm/cr/2014-50//
Furthermore, frequently asked questions about the Regulation can be accessed at: FAQ: NB Organic Grade Regulation.
Organic Products Regulations (Federal Regulations)
On June 30, 2009, the Federal Government implemented the Organic Products Regulations. These regulations have a direct impact on the Canadian organic certification system. Canadian organic producers and processors that are involved with inter-provincial and export/import trade must comply with these federal Regulations and consequently must meet the Canadian Organic Standards.
The objectives of the Organic Products Regulations are to facilitate international market access; provide protection to consumers against deceptive and misleading labelling practices through a uniform approach to organic product certification and labelling; and support the further development of the domestic market. These regulations also make provision for a national label "Canada Organic" which can be used by certified organic operators who meet the Regulations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the Regulations. The Canadian Organic Products Regulations are available at: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2009-176/
Canadian Organic Standards:
The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB), with the collaboration of many organic industry stakeholders, has developed the Canadian Organic Standards. The Standards are comprised of two documents: the General Principles and Management Standards (CAN/CGSB-32.310-2006), and the Permitted Substance Lists (CAN/CGSB-32.311-2006). The Standards are revised regularly and can be found on the CGSB website at: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ongc-cgsb/programme-program/norms-standards/internet/bio-org/index-eng.html
The New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture has an organic specialist on staff. This individual's responsibilities range from providing support to the existing industry, to facilitating its growth and identifying new opportunities for the industry. This specialist also provides technical advice to producers who plan to initiate a transition from conventional to organic farming.