Local food legislation

With more organic products on store shelves and in farmers’ markets in Alberta, government and industry want to assure consumers that products labelled as organic are certified organic.

As of Apr. 1, 2019, any product sold or labelled as organic must be certified through a third-party certification body.

This change is part of the Supporting Alberta’s Local Food Sector Act, aligning Alberta’s requirements with federal organic requirements.

Alberta Organics Legislation Factsheet (PDF, 69 KB)

Organic certification

Uncertified producers and processors that were previously marketing and selling products as organic within Alberta will now have to get certification if they want to continue marketing and selling products as organic.

Producers and processors wanting to market their products as organic will have to submit an application to a certifying body.

The certifying body will review the application, and if the operation is in compliance with the standard, an inspector will conduct a site visit and submit a report to the certifying body. If the certifying body finds the farm or processor in compliance with the Canadian Organic Standard (COS), it will issue an organic certificate listing the farm’s organic products.

The process is repeated annually. An organic certificate may be revoked if the farm is found to fall out of compliance with the COS.

Producers and processors that do not want to go through the certification process, must choose language that does not imply they are adhering to organic standards.

Compliance and enforcement

The Alberta government will work to support producers who want to transition to organic certification and focus on consumer, producer, processor and retailer education.

If you suspect a producer or processor is selling products as organic that are not certified organic, complaints can be submitted to organicsspecialist@gov.ab.ca or by calling 310-FARM.

Contact

Phone: 310-FARM (3276)
Email: organicsspecialist@gov.ab.ca

Address:
Office of the Organic Specialist
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Provincial Building
5030 50 Street
Olds, Alberta  T4H 1S1