Organic aquaculture products

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, other requirements will be introduced in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), organic certification requirements are extended to aquaculture products. Organic aquaculture products will be required to comply with the Organic Aquaculture Standard CAN/CGSB-32.312 Organic Production Systems – Aquaculture – General principles, management standards and permitted substances lists incorporated by reference in the SFCR. An aquaculture product that is sent or conveyed from one province to another or that is imported and that is labelled with an organic expression must be certified by a CFIA accredited Certification Body.

If the product meets the certification requirements it could also display the Canada Organic Logo on the label when sold within or outside of Canada.

Delayed coming into force

Organic aquaculture products are not required to be certified under the SFCR for a 24-month period that ends as of January 15th, 2021. Certification may however be granted for persons requesting certification of organic aquaculture products before the end of the 24-month transition period provided the relevant requirements under the SFCR are met. The Canada Organic Logo cannot be applied unless the product has been certified organic. A delayed coming into force allows for less market disruption while new requirements are introduced. For more information on organic certification bodies, please visit Certification bodies providing organic certification services under the Canada Organic Regime.

Seaweed

The certification of seaweed products that have been certified under the CAN/CGSB-32.310 Organic Production Systems – General principles and management standards before the coming into force of the SFCR remain valid, and subject to the requirements in Part 13 of the SFCR, until the end of January 14th, 2021. After this transition period, seaweed products will be required to be certified under Organic Aquaculture Standard CAN/CGSB-32.312 Organic Production Systems – Aquaculture – General principles, management standards and permitted substances lists.

Aquaponic products

With the incorporation by reference into the SFCR of CAN/CGSB-32.312 Organic Production Systems – Aquaculture – General principles, management standards and permitted substances lists, there is potential overlap of organic commodities certified under this standard and of organic commodities certified under the CAN/CGSB 32.310 – Organic Production Systems – General Principles and Management Standards. Some fruits and vegetables may be certified as organic if they meet the requirements of either standard. Therefore, from a regulatory perspective, there is no distinction between an organic product grown through aquaculture or agriculture. For example, a tomato produced by aquaculture and a tomato produced by agriculture, provided it meets the requirements prescribed in their specific standards, will be certified and can be labelled as organic with no distinctions.

In order to provide consumers with accurate information when making their purchases, producers may include voluntary information on the label of these commodities about which specific organic certification standard their product was certified under, as long as labelling requirements for organic products are met.

Equivalency arrangements for aquaculture products

Organic aquaculture products are not within the scope of Canada's current equivalency arrangements with other countries for organic products. Assessments and future negotiations can be carried out for potential inclusion of aquaculture products.

Definition

Aquaculture products have the same meaning as in the Canadian General Standard Board standard CAN/CGSB-32.312:

Aquaculture products are crops and livestock, or a product wholly or partly derived therefrom, cultivated in a controlled or managed aquatic environment. The products of fishing of wild animals are not considered part of this definition.

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