Organic standards


Do international reference standards exist?

Yes, the Codex Alimentarius, published by FAO under UN auspices, is used by the organic agri-food community as a reference standard. These are international standards and they apply to all stages of the production chain, from the farm to the store shelf.

What are the differences between the Quebec, Canada, American and European organic standards?

On January 1, 2012 , Québec adopted the technical requirements (CAN / CGSB- 32.310-2006 ) and the list of permitted substances (CAN / CGSB- 32.311-2006 ) used in the Canada Organic Regime in order to simplify the administrative burden for businesses wishing to obtain organic certification for their products. Only a few differences related to the labeling requirements and the production of greenhouse vegetables now remain.

American standards include lower and upper limits, thus they define both minimum and maximum standards. For example in their particular approach, input lists include both prohibited natural products and authorized synthetic products. Finally, these labeling rules different from those in practice elsewhere in the world

In general, European standards are more detailed than those in Québec, Canada or the USA, particularly at the livestock production and the environmental levels.

The document Overview of Organic Certification and National Organic Standards Applied Worldwide published by the CEAQ helps to identify these differences.


Organic standards