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Local food legislation

More and more organic products are 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.

Organic certification

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

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. 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 go through the certification process must not use language that implies they are following organic standards.

Compliance and enforcement

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

If you suspect a producer or processor is selling products as organic that are not certified organic, you can submit a complaint by calling 310-FARM.

Contact

Phone: 310-FARM (3276)

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