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Processors & the Standards

How can organic foods be processed under the standards?

The organic standards apply across the value chain, from seed and soil to transportation and processing. CAN/CGSB-32.310-2006, Section 8 outlines the rules associated with processing, handling, and transporting organic products.

Certain rules apply to processing regarding ingredients, processing aids, cleaners/disinfectants/sanitizers, and pest control substances. Conventional processors can process organic products, but care must be taken to ensure that all equipment that comes into contact with organic products is cleaned using sanitizers that are on the Permitted Substances Lists (PSL) (CAN/CGSB-32.311-2006, Section 7) prior to processing an organic batch. Processors can also certify as organic with a certifying body (CB).

Where can I find information about what substances are permitted in organic processing under the standards?

CAN/CGSB-32.310-2006, Section 8 outlines standards associated with preparing and handling organic products. CAN/CGSB-32.311-2006, Section 6 outlines specific permitted substances for use in processing organic products.

How do I certify my processing facility as organic under the new standards?

Step 1:

Identify the certifying bodies (CBs) in Canada approved by a Canadian Food Inspection Agency-accredited conformity verification body. See list of certifying bodies accredited under the new regulation.

Step 2:

Identify your market (e.g. Canada only, United States, European Union, Japan) and identify which certifying bodies can certify you to the standards that you will need to access that market.

Step 3:

Contact a few different certifying bodies to compare their programs and to choose the best certifying body for you. Certifying bodies differ substantially in the services that they provide and in their pricing structures.

Step 4:

Talk to a few processors about their experiences with various certifying bodies. For a list of certified organic processors, check out the COG Directory.