The Conseil des Appellations Réservées et des Termes Valorisants was set up by the Québec government in 2006 to oversee the application of the Act respecting Reserved Designations and Added-Value Claims (A‑20.03) in Québec. The purpose of the act is to protect designations given to specific agricultural and food products. Reserved designations are governed by strict specifications and subject to external certification by accredited certification bodies.
A reserved designation or an added-value claim may reflect a product’s origin, a specificity, particular characteristics of a production method, or a particular quality sought by consumers.
The Conseil des Appellations Réservées et des Termes Valorisants (“the Conseil”) acts on behalf of the Ministre de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries. Its job is to:
- advise the Minister on the recognition of reserved designations and the authorization of added-value claims
- hold consultations on recognition of a designation or authorization of an added-value claim
- accredit certification bodies as competent to certify reserved-designation products and audit their operations
- monitor the use of recognized reserved designations and authorized added-value claims.
The Conseil is registered as a public authority with Québec’s Inspector General of Financial Institutions. Its head office is located at 4.03 – 201 boulevard Crémazie Est, Montréal, QC, H2M 1L2, Canada.
The Conseil is made up of a Board that is assisted in its work by a number of expert committees. Its operations are governed by Bylaws (in French). All members of the Board, the expert committees and staff must abide by a Code of Ethics and Deontology (in French).
- Mission: To act as guardian and defender of the authenticity of distinctive agri-food products recognized by the Québec government.
- Vision: To exploit the full potential of appellations so that they promote our local products and our identity around the world.
- Values: Integrity — Skills — Pride — Audacity — Cooperation.
In 2023, the Conseil submitted its 2023‑2026 Strategic Plan to the Minister. The plan focuses on three major issues:
- increased protection and enhancement of the authenticity of Quebecois products and collective know-how;
- deployment of surveillance and accreditation, here and abroad;
- an organization that listens to its employees, equipped with effective management tools.