New regulations covering organic foods and beverages go into effect tomorrow in BC.
Agricultural Minister Lana Popham says it will give consumers more confidence, knowing that the products have been certified through government programs, and requiring operators to have up -to -date proof of certification.
She says uncertified operators marketing their products as “organic” face possible penalties, including a $350 fine.
“People are more engaged then ever with how their food is grown and processed,” says Popham. “Requiring certification for the use of the term ‘organic’ for the sales of B.C. foods and beverages means producers are able to offer British Columbians an increased level of certainty about the farming and processing practices of their products.”
Previously, there were no official requirements for people who were selling or marketing B.C. food products as organic.
Certifying bodies, like members of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC), will ensure organic standards and requirements are met by producers and processors, and the BC government will enforce any misuse of the term “organic.”
“The organic sector is grateful to the ministry for introducing the new organic product regulation. This step forward is so important for consumer clarity,” says Carmen Wakeling, president of the COABC. “As we transition into the new regulation, we will continue working with the ministry to build a strong organic sector in B.C.”
Popham says the government will use a graduated enforcement approach that initially will focus on bringing businesses and individuals into compliance through education and warnings.
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