The British Columbia Certified Organic Program is a voluntary agri-food quality program sanctioned by the Government of British Columbia through the Organic Certification Regulation under the Food and Agricultural Products Classification Act. The COABC is designated as the provincial program administrator, working closely with ministry staff in monitoring the program’s credibility and acceptance in domestic and international markets.
Program administration activities are focused on auditing its member certifying associations for compliance and administering the use of the program’s official mark, which is comprised of the prescribed phrase “British Columbia Certified Organic” and the symbol “checkmark in a box”. The COABC also carries out initiatives that support the growth of the sector in the province.
Further in June 2009 the COABC was designated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as a Conformity Verification Bodies (CVB). A CVB is an organisation that has an agreement with the CFIA under subsection 14(1) of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act to assess, recommend for accreditation and monitor certification bodies.
COABC has undertaken the CVB role in relationship to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulation (Part 13) which require mandatory certification to the National Organic Standard for agricultural products represented as organic in international and inter-provincial trade, or that bear the federal organic agricultural product legend (or federal logo).
More information about certification in BC can be found on COABC’s website.