Operations Within Canada

Information for Operations Located in Canada

If your operation is in Canada, CCOF can provide organic certification to the Canadian Organic Regime Standards (COR) with identical benefits to CCOF USDA NOP certification. Any operation or portion of an operation located in Canada that is producing organic food products is required to be certified directly to the COR standards. In order to obtain this certification from CCOF, organic operations located in Canada must:

If part of your operation is in Canada and part is in the United States, it is necessary for you to have two separate certifications with CCOF. The facilities in Canada must be certified to COR and cannot be certified to the NOP. The facilities in the United States must be certified to the NOP and cannot be certified to COR.

CCOF has developed a helpful International Market Labeling Guide to explain labeling requirements for products sold in Canada. These requirements apply whether the product originates from outside or inside Canada. Submit all labels to CCOF for approval prior to printing.

Download the COR logo. Use of the COR logo is optional for imported products. Additional information on labeling is available from CFIA.

Contact canada@ccof.org for more information about how to enroll in the CCOF COR Compliance program.

EU-Canada Equivalence Arrangement (back to top)

On July 5, 2011, the European Commission and the Canadian Organic Office announced an Equivalency Arrangement. The equivalency allows products grown in Canada to be exported to the EU without any additional verification. Additionally, products made in the EU may be imported to Canada without any additional verification.

Highlights of the Arrangement:

  • Products exported from Canada to the EU under this equivalency arrangement must be 100% Canada-grown.
  • No additional verification is required for COR organic exports to the EU or for EU organic imports into Canada.
  • Product labels must be compliant with the country in which they are sold. For additional information on EU labeling requirements, see our EU page and helpful International Market Labeling Guide.
  • The arrangement applies to live or unprocessed agricultural products and vegetative propagating material, seeds for cultivation, and processed agricultural products for use as food and feed.
  • EU products imported into Canada can be produced with COR and EU certified ingredients from anywhere in the world but must be "final processed/labeled" in the EU, and must ship from an EU port.
  • Each export to the EU must be accompanied by an import certificate issued by an EU accredited certifying agent. EU imports to Canada are not required to be accompanied by an import certificate.

If your operation is located in Canada and you export products to the EU that are NOT 100% grown in Canada, or export products to EU certified operators other than the United States or EU, you must enroll in CCOF’s International Standard program, in addition to the CCOF COR Compliance program.

Background (back to top)

On June 24, 2009, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) released updated organic regulations for implementation on July 1, 2009, that included a new Canadian Organic Logo.

On June 18, 2009, the USDA and CFIA signed an agreement that recognizes each country’s organic standards as equivalent. This agreement, the first of its kind for the United States, promises to benefit U.S. and Canadian producers, processors, and consumers.

On July 1, 2009, Canadian Organic Regime (COR) standards became effective for organic products sold in Canada. CCOF prepared our clients for this important organic standards development with the United States’ largest agricultural trading partner by modifying our programs and documents to ensure that the needs of CCOF clients are met for products sold to, or produced in, Canada.

Full implementation of the U.S.-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement came into effect on July 1, 2011. This means full enforcement of the rules regarding export of U.S. certified organic crops and products that are sent, either directly or indirectly, to Canada. Prior to this date, the Canadian Organic Office allowed a "stream of commerce" policy while the industry readied itself for full compliance with the requirements.

Regulatory Bodies in Canada (back to top)

  • Canada Organic Office (COO): Rola Yehia, National Manager. Tel: (613) 773-5476; Rola.Yehia@inspection.gc.ca; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Floor 6, Room 134, 1400 Merivale Road, Tower 2, Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): Implements standards, approves accreditors and accredits certifiers (with accreditor recommendation), negotiates equivalency agreements.
  • Canadian General Standards Board: Develops standards and materials lists as part of a public consensus-based process. Composed of several working groups: PSL, Crops, Livestock, Processing.

Additional Information (back to top)

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) and the OTA Canada office have been working to keep the U.S. organic market informed regarding the Canadian organic program, and is one of the best sources of information with a U.S. perspective. They are facilitating a Canada/U.S. equivalency task force that CCOF is participating in on behalf of our members.

List of CCOF COR Compliance Program Certified Operations (back to top)

A list of CCOF clients enrolled in the COR Compliance program can be accessed through the advanced search of our online directory. Simply select the “COR Compliance (Handling)” box in the search form. All clients with Canadian equivalency can be searched by selecting “Canada Equivalency” in the same advanced search form.

Contact canada@ccof.org for more information about the CCOF COR Compliance program.