Directive 10-05:
Labelling of organic products under the Canada Organic Regime

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Intended for: CFIA designated CVBs, CFIA accredited CBs and all operations under COR

EFFECTIVE DATE: 22.09.2011

2nd Revision

CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY
Canada Organic Office
1400 Merivale Road
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0Y9

1.0 Purpose and Scope

This directive specifies the labelling requirements for organic products marketed in Canada.

2.0 Authority

Reference documents:

  • Canadian Organic Standard (CAN/CGSB 32.310 and CAN/CGSB 32.311)
  • The Organic Products Regulations, 2009 (OPR)

3.0 Background

In Canada, all products represented as organic in interprovincial and international trade, or bearing the Canadian Organic Logo, must comply with the labelling requirements of Part 3 from the Organic Products Regulations, 2009

  • Only products with organic content that is greater than or equal to 95% may be labelled as: "Organic", "organically grown", "organically raised", "organically produced" or bear the Canada Organic logo. These products must be certified and the name of the Certification Body must appear on the label.
  • Multi-ingredient products with 70-95% organic content may have the declaration: "contains x% organic ingredients". These products may not use the organic logo and/or the claim "Organic". These products must be certified and the name of the Certification Body must appear on the label.
  • Multi-ingredient products with less than 70% organic content may only contain organic claims in the product's ingredient list. These products do not require certification and may not use the organic logo. However, the organic ingredients contained within these products must be certified as organic.
  • "100% organic" and "Made with organic x" are not permitted under the OPR.

Use of the Logo

  • The use of the Canada Organic Logo is voluntary.
  • The statement "Product of" shall immediately precede the name of the country of origin or the statement "imported" is must be in close proximity to the logo on imported products which bear the Canada Organic Logo. Close proximity is generally defined as "near" or "next to each other" so that one can see them at the same time, rather than having to look at a different side of the package. Thus it would be unacceptable to indicate that the product is imported on a different side of the package than the side where the logo is displayed.
  • Other logos are permitted only if they are not misleading and what they represent is true.

Access to the Logo

  • The Canadian Organic Logo is available to producers through Canadian Food Inspection Agency accredited CBs though United States Accredited Certifying Agents recognised under the US-Canada Organic Equivalence Arrangement and through the EU Control Bodies that are on the CFIA list of recognised CBs.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture's Organic Seal may be downloaded from the National Organic Program webpage.
  • The EU logo may be downloaded from the European Commission webpage.

Labelling Requirements related to import/ export arrangements

  • Organic products shall meet the labelling requirements of the importing country; that is, the country where it is marketed and sold.
  • Organic products imported into Canada shall meet the labelling requirements of the OPR.
  • Products certified to the US-Canada Organic Equivalence Arrangement may bear either or both logos (Canada Organic logo and USDA logo) provided the organic content of the product is 95% or greater.
  • Organic products exported from Canada for import to the EU may bear the EU logo, under the conditions spelled out in article 24 of Regulation 834/2007, in particular the last paragraph of paragraph 1 of article 24.

4.0 Roles and Responsibilities

CFIA - accredited Certification Bodies will be responsible for the application of this directive. They are responsible for ensuring that the Canada Organic Logo and, the USDA Organic Seal and the EU logo are available to producers which products are properly certified.

The CBs shall review the labels for compliance with the OPR. If the holder of the certificate does not comply with any provisions of OPR including labelling and advertising requirements, the CB may request corrective actions.

The CB shall notify the CVB in case of unresolved disagreement with the operator in the interpretation of the OPR labelling requirements.

The CFIA inspectors verify organic claims for compliance with the OPR in the marketplace.

5.0 Activities

Certification Bodies

The CFIA accredited CBs can only offer a copy of the Canada Organic logo to operators which products are properly certified and meet the OPR requirements.

The CFIA accredited CB shall communicate this directive with the operators.

CFIA accredited CBs shall maintain records to provide evidence that the certification complies with this directive.

Conformity Verification Body

CVB shall verify compliance with this directive during each onsite audit of a CB.

6.0 Inquiries

Inquiries concerning this directive should be addressed to Valeriya Staykova, Lead Auditor, Canada Organic Office at valeriya.staykova@inspection.gc.ca.

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