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What is Organic?

Organic is the only type of agriculture with a set of principles that puts nature first. These principles are enshrined in industry-developed standards approved by consumers and verified annually by third party organizations. As of 2009, federal organic standards are now backed by government regulation and oversight.

Organic standards are based on seven general principles:

  1. Protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health.
  2. Maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil.
  3. Maintain biological diversity within the system.
  4. Recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the enterprise.
  5. Provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioural needs of livestock.
  6. 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
  7. Rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems.

CAN/CGSB - 32.310 -2006

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) operates around four principles of organic agriculture. 

  1. Principle of Health: Healthy soil, plants, animals, humans = healthy planet.
  2. Principle of Ecology: Emulating and sustaining natural systems.
  3. Principle of Fairness: Equity, respect and justice for all living things.
  4. Principle of Care: For the generations to come.

Local AND Organic

Sadly, "local" and "organic" have had the misfortune of entering our vocabulary as separate concepts and then getting jumbled into one, unclear concept. Canadian Organic Growers and its chapters and affiliated organizations are about local AND organic. To find out how you can 'Regain control of your Food Choices', click here.

To find local AND organic food, click here.


If you have questions about Organic Products, Please email COG at: A panel of experts is available to answer your questions!


If you're like to address your questions regarding Organic Products to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the government body that oversees the regulation fo the Canadian Organic Standards, please use  “Contact Us” form available through the CFIA external website here