Organic Federation of Canada Working Group:
Small Scale Certification

A working group to look at certification concerns and ideas around small scale and local organic farms and businesses has been set up by the Organic Federation of Canada as part of the review of the Canadian Organic Standards currently underway. The working group convener is long time organic farmer, Tony McQuail, who served as executive assistant to Ontario Agriculture Minister, Elmer Buchanan in the 1980’s. The working group is made up of representatives of organic organizations from across Canada. The first effort of the working group is to gather information from small scale and local organic farms and businesses across the country.

A questionnaire has been prepared which is being distributed at various organic conferences and events this winter as well as being available on line by following a link at http://organicfederation.ca/. McQuail said they are gathering information about why people decide to certify or not and ideas for how to develop an organic certification process that is appropriate for smaller scale and local organic businesses. “Our current certification process is designed for maintaining the organic integrity of products in long supply chains which is appropriate for interprovincial and international trade. It appears that a number of local producers growing for farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture and other short supply chains feel the current system doesn’t work for them.” McQuail continued “Our goal is to come up with recommendations for a certification process that will support the local organic sector.”

The working group will review the comments and suggestions received by April 11 and will use this information to draft recommendations which will be shared with the organic sector over the fall and winter of 2014-2015. Comments during this consultation period will form the final recommendations which will be presented to the Canadian General Standards Board as part of the Canadian Organic Standards review.

For more information contact:
Tony McQuail, Convener
Working Group on Small Scale Organic Certification
86016 Creek Line, RR # 1
Lucknow, ON N0G 2H0
519-528-2493
mcqufarm@hurontel.on.ca
Organic Federation of Canada Working Group:
Small Scale Certification


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca