Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants.




What are the costs of obtaining certification?

Each certification body establishes and disseminates a fee grid and ensures that it is applied equitably and without discrimination to all applicants. Fees vary from one certification body to another, depending on the size of the business, the type of product and the market aimed at by the business requesting certification. Please contact certification bodies for more information about their services and their certification fees.

How do I contact a certification body?

In Québec, only certification bodies accredited by the Conseil des Appellations Réservées et des Termes Valorisants can issue certification. The names and contact information of all accredited certification bodies are available here.

What is a certification body, and what is its role?

A certification body is an organization that meets criteria of independence, impartiality, confidentiality and competence, in accordance with recognized international requirements. Its job is to verify whether certified products meet requirements. Certification bodies are accredited by the Conseil des Appellations Réservées et des Termes Valorisants.

When a business has been certified for one or more products, how long does the certification remain valid, and what must the business do to maintain it?

Certification of a product remains valid unless it is suspended or cancelled by the certification body that issued it, and is subject to an annual check. Each year, the certification body asks the business to fulfil certain obligations in order to maintain the certification. Among these obligations are an update of their file (addition/withdrawal of products, inputs, etc.) and an inspection of their site during a production period.

What types of checks does a certification body carry out?

The certification procedure includes an assessment of documents (inputs, labels, recipes, etc.) and an annual inspection to ensure that businesses involved in production or preparation activities comply with standards. For organic products specifically, this includes an inspection of fields, facilities and agricultural activities, as well as samples of soil and products. Accredited certification bodies also carry out unannounced inspections.

What is the difference between certification and accreditation?

These terms are often confused. Certification is an attestation given by a competent certification body that a business using a reserved designation for its products complies with the specifications (standards) for that designation. The certification process requires that businesses undergo periodic inspections. 

Accreditation is a check of the activities of a certification body carried out by the Conseil des Appellations Réservées et des Termes Valorisants. Its purpose is to guarantee that the work of certification is done competently and impartially. Rules of conduct must be observed.