Organic Trade Association Applauds New Canadian Organic Regulations



    SACKVILLE, New Brunswick, Feb. 13 /CNW/ -- The Organic Trade Association
(OTA) in Canada is pleased to see the significantly amended Organic Products
Regulations (OPR) published in today's Canada Gazette (Part I).
    

    
    "The Canadian organic sector -- including farmers, processors,
certifiers, retailers and consumers -- has been working diligently over the
past year and a half to adjust its organic standards in time for this new
regulation," Holmes said. "The Government of Canada has been a partner with us
the entire way, and we are very excited to see this new regulation."
    

    
    He added, "When these regulations come into effect this summer, consumers
will have a clear idea of what organic is, and will know the Canadian Food
Inspection Agency (CFIA) is monitoring and enforcing organic claims in the
marketplace."
    

    
    Following a public comment period, the new regulations are set to come
into effect on June 30, 2009. The OPR will ensure organic labeling on food
products will be enforced and protected by the government, aligning Canada
with its major trading partners and providing consumers with confidence in
national standards in this rapidly expanding market. Canada's organic food
market is conservatively estimated at close to $2 billion (Canadian) in annual
sales, and has seen more than 20% annual growth for many years.
    

    
    The new regulations provide clarity on what products are covered by the
current regulations, as well as a new organic logo. In December, OTA in Canada
coordinated a survey of the organic sector to provide CFIA with input on the
selection of this new logo.
    

    
    The new regulations also provide detailed provisions on organic imports
and exports, including a possible equivalency agreement with Canada's major
trading partners such as the United States and Europe.
    

    
    "Given the current economic climate, I think the Canadian government is
sending a strong message to the international community that we're committed
to fostering strong trade relationships," noted Holmes. "The organic sector is
growing so fast that we need to make sure that we don't unintentionally
introduce new barriers to trade, particularly now."
    

    
    The new regulations include language allowing possible equivalency
agreements with other regulated organic standards, as well as more flexible
rules for Canadian farmers and manufacturers wishing to sell to export
markets. Canada and the United States are each other's biggest customers for
organic products, and trade with Europe is expanding rapidly.
    

    
    OTA is the membership-based business association for the organic industry
in North America, with affiliate offices in Canada and the United States.
OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit
the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy. OTA's vision is that
organic products are a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people's
lives and the global environment.
    


    




For further information:

For further information: Matthew Holmes, Managing Director of the
Organic Trade Association in Canada, +1-613-482-1717, +1-506-260-7537
(mobile), mholmes@ota.com

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ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION

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