Role of the certification body
Upon receiving your application, a certification co-ordinator will make a preliminary review of the questionnaire, maps, field histories, etc. If the file is not complete, the certification coordinator may reject the file or request further information.
The certification body contracts an independent organic inspector (verification officer) and forwards all documents to him/her. The inspector reviews the paperwork. Either the inspector or the certification body will set up an appointment.
An inspection may take anywhere from 2 – 5 hours, depending on the complexity of the operation. Please set aside ample time for the inspection, and ensure all the appropriate people are in attendance.
It is in the producers’ best interests for the inspector to be thorough and have a good understanding of the operation. The inspector is there as the “eyes and ears” of the consumer.
Once the inspection report is received, certification body professionals review the file for compliance to the Canadian Standard as well as any other standards that have been requested. They may either:
- Approve the request for organic certification
- Approve the request pending implementation of certain conditions or more information needed
- Deny the request for organic certification, based on the Standards. If the application is denied you will be given a list of specific standards that have been violated. There is an appeal process in place if you disagree with the decision.
The certification body informs the farmer/producer of its decision and issues a Certificate, if approved.
The farmer/producer may then sell their products as Certified Organic and may use the Canadian organic logo in addition to their certifier’s logo on their product packaging. They will receive a Producer Number which should be used on bill of lading and labels. All buyers will require proof of certification. This may be a copy of your actual certificate, and/or a special Transaction Certificate that covers the specific load(s).
If approved with conditions, the farmer/producer should implement any necessary changes as soon as possible. Some conditions may need to only be in place by the following year. Others may be required before certification can be granted, and a follow up inspection may be required.