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Organic industry gets ready for new federal rules governing "organic"

February 11, 2009

For Immediate Release February 10, 2009 Canadian Organic Growers, the Organic Trade Association in Canada and the International Organic Inspectors Association have teamed up with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to help get Canada′s organic industry up to speed on new federal rules governing organic.

On June 30, 2009, standards that control how organic food is grown and processed in Canada will gain legal force through the Organic Products Regulations. "As we move from a voluntary to a mandatory organic regime, it′s important that certification bodies, organic inspectors, organic farmers and processors understand the new rules", said Laura Telford, executive director of Canadian Organic Growers.

"Our training program aims to ensure a smooth transition to the new regime and to minimize disruption for consumers who want organic products", said Margaret Scoles, executive director of the International Organic Inspectors Association. "This type of training would have made our lives much easier when the US was implementing its organic regulations eight years ago!"

One-day farmer trainings will focus on the standards as they relate to organic crop and livestock production, certifiers and organic inspectors will receive more in-depth two-day training on the legal implications of the new regime and standards, while organic food processors will learn about rules related to food processing and labelling of organic product.

"The organic standards are extremely strict for food processing," said Matthew Holmes, the Organic Trade Association′s managing director, "synthetic colours, flavours and preservatives are not allowed, and only very specific additives and cleaners are permitted, ensuring the organic food is not compromised in any way." The processor sessions will provide attendees with a comprehensive guide to the new federal labelling rules for organic claims and marketing.

Trainings will take place across Canada in February and March, beginning with a training session for certifiers this week in Toronto (February 11 and 12).

For details on training locations, visit and for more information, please call:

For more information contact:
Laura Telford
Executive Director
Phone: 613 216-0742

Mathew Holmes
Managing Director, Canada
Phone: 613 482-1717

Margaret Scoles
Executive Director
Phone: 406 436-2031

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