Corrigendum No.1, March 2021
Organic production systems
General principles and management standards
Incorporating Amendment No. 1
International Classification for Standards (ICS) 67.040 / 67.120.30
Published by the Canadian General Standards Board
About the standard
This is a National Standard of Canada for organic food. The standard is written with specialized technical terms and is not considered plain language.
Cette Norme Nationale du Canada est disponible en versions française et anglaise.
Published December 2020 by the Canadian General Standards Board Gatineau, Canada K1A 0S5
©Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, the Minister responsible for the Canadian General Standards Board 2021.
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Canadian General Standards Board Committee on Organic Agriculture
Voting membership at date of approval
Independent Consultant (General interest)
General interest category
Organic Federation of Canada
Manitoba Organic Alliance
Table Filière Biologique du Québec
Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada, Dalhousie University
Organic Council of Ontario
Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network
Lactanet, The Canadian Network for Dairy Excellence
SaskOrganics Association Inc.
British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Certification Division
Canadian Organic Growers
Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Union des producteurs agricoles
Canadian Horticultural Council
British Columbia Organic Tree Fruit Association
Small Scale Food Producers Association
Loblaw Companies Limited
Egg Farmers of Canada
Canada Organic Trade Association
Prince Edward Island Certified Organic Producers Co-Operative
Dairy Farmers of Canada
Pacific Organic Seafood Association
Canadian Seed Growers' Association
Producteurs et productrices acéricoles du Québec
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec
Consumer Interest Alliance
Herb, Spice and Specialty Agriculture Association of Saskatchewan
International Organic Inspectors Association
Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters
Food Secure Canada
Committee Manager (non-voting)
Canadian General Standards Board
Translation of this National Standard was conducted by the Government of Canada.
This National Standard of Canada, CAN/CGSB-32.310-2020, supersedes the 2015 edition and 2018 amendment. The following corrigendum has been published and incorporated in the December 2020 edition of this standard in February March 2021. The following changes have been made.
Changes since the previous edition
- Clarifications in Scope of document
- Additional and revised definitions
- Additions, deletions and changes in the following clauses: Organic plan; Crop production; Livestock production; Specific production requirements (particularly Apiculture; Maple products; Sprouts, shoots and microgreens production; and Crops Grown in Structures or Containers (previously known as Greenhouse crops)) Maintaining organic integrity during cleaning, preparation and transportation, and Organic product composition
- New informative annex: Permitted Substances Decision Tree
No changes in the English version. Only in the French version in clause 8.2.1 b)
On this page
- 1 Scope
- 2 Normative references
- 3 Terms and definitions
- 4 Organic plan
- 5 Crop production
- 5.1 Land requirements for organic crop production
- 5.2 Environmental factors
- 5.3 Seeds and planting stock
- 5.4 Soil fertility and crop nutrient management
- 5.5 Manure management
- 5.6 Management of crop pests, including insects, diseases and weeds
- 5.7 Irrigation
- 5.8 Crop product preparation
- 5.9 Facility pest management
- 6 Livestock production
- 6.1 General
- 6.2 Origin of livestock
- 6.3 Transition of livestock production units to organic production (except poultry covered by 6.13.1.c.1)
- 6.4 Livestock feed
- 6.5 Transport and handling
- 6.6 Livestock health care
- 6.7 Livestock living conditions
- 6.8 Manure management
- 6.9 Livestock product preparation
- 6.10 Pest management
- 6.11 Additional requirements for cattle, sheep and goats
- 6.12 Additional requirements for dairy cattle housing
- 6.13 Additional requirements for poultry
- 6.14 Additional requirements for rabbits
- 6.15 Additional requirements for pigs and farm-raised wild boar
- 7 Specific production requirements
- 8 Maintaining organic integrity during cleaning, preparation and transportation
- 9 Organic product composition
- 10 Procedures, criteria and conditions to amend CAN/CGSB-32.311 Organic production systems – Permitted substances lists
- Annex A (informative) Categorization of organic products
- Annex B (informative) Permitted substances decision tree
- Annex C (informative) Notes on organic principles
Organic production is a holistic system designed to optimize the productivity and fitness of diverse communities within the agro-ecosystem, including soil organisms, plants, livestock and people. The principal goal of organic production is to develop operations that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.
CAN/CGSB-32.310, Organic production systems—General principles and management standards, describes the principles and management standard of organic production systems.
CAN/CGSB-32.311, Organic production systems—Permitted substances lists (PSL), provides lists of substances that are allowed for use in organic production systems.
As is the case for all products sold in Canada, organic inputs—such as, but not limited to, fertilizers, feed supplements, pesticides, soil amendments, veterinary treatments, processing additives or aids, sanitizing and cleaning material—and products derived from organic agriculture, such as, but not limited to, feed and food, should comply with all applicable regulatory requirements.
General principles of organic production
Organic Agriculture is based on the following general principlesFootnote 1,Footnote 2:
Principle of health—Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plants, animals, humans and the planet as one and indivisible.
Principle of ecology—Organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.
Principle of care—Organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.
Principle of fairness—Organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
Neither this standardFootnote 3 nor organic products produced in accordance with this standard represent specific claims about the healthiness, safety and nutrition of such organic products.
Management methods are carefully selected in order to restore and then sustain ecological stability within the operation and the surrounding environment. Soil fertility is maintained and enhanced by promoting optimal biological activity within the soil and conservation of soil resources. Pests, including insects, weeds and diseases, are managed using biological and mechanical control methods, and cultural practices that include minimized tillage, crop selection and rotation, recycling of plant and animal residues, water management, augmentation of beneficial insects to encourage a balanced predator – prey relationship, the promotion of biological diversity and ecologically based pest management.
Under a system of organic production, livestock are provided with living conditions and space allowances appropriate to their behavioural requirements and organically produced feed. These practices strive to minimize stress, promote good health and prevent disease.
Organic products are produced and processed under a system that strives to preserve the integrity of the principles in this standard.
Organic practices and this standard cannot ensure that organic products are entirely free of residues of substances prohibited by this standard and of other contaminants, since exposure to such compounds from the atmosphere, soil, ground water and other sources may be beyond the control of the operator. The practices permitted by this standard are designed to ensure the least possible residues at the lowest possible levels.
In the development of the standard, it was recognized that differences between Canada's agricultural regions require varying practices to meet production needs.
This standard is intended for certification and regulation to prevent deceptive practices in the marketplace. The certification process assesses operational compliance. Certification is granted to compliant products. Certification Bodies must allow a period of up to 12 months after the publication date of an amendment to this standard and to CAN/CGSB-32.311 for an applicant to come into compliance with any changes to the requirements.
Notes and examples in this standard
In this standard, notes and examples are used for giving additional information intended to assist the understanding or use of the document and are not a normative part of the standard.
1.1 This National Standard of Canada applies to the following organic products
- Unprocessed plants and plant products, livestock and livestock products, to the extent that the principles of production and specific verification rules for them are described in the standard
- Processed agricultural crop and livestock products intended for human consumption or use and derived from the items mentioned in 1.1 a
- Livestock feed
- Processed agricultural crop and livestock products intended for animal consumption or use and derived from the items mentioned in 1.1 a
1.2 Organic products referenced in this standard are derived from a production system that
- seeks to nurture ecosystems through its management practices in order to achieve sustainable productivity; and
- provides control of pests including insects, weeds and disease through enhancement of biodiversity, recycling of plant and animal residues, crop selection and rotation, water management, tillage and cultivation
1.3 Units of measure
Quantities and dimensions in this standard are given in metric units with yard/pound equivalents, mostly obtained through soft conversion, given in parentheses. The metric units shall be regarded as being official in the event of dispute or unforeseen difficulty arising from the conversion.
1.4 Prohibited materials or techniques in organic production and preparation
If producing or preparing organic products, the following materials or techniques are prohibited since they are incompatible with the general principles of organic production:
- all products of and materials from genetic engineering (GE), as defined in this standard, and as specified in 4.1.3, 5.1.2 and 6.2.1 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- all products, materials or processes intentionally using nanotechnology, as defined in this standard, with the following exceptions:
- naturally occurring nano-sized particles or those produced incidentally through processes such as grinding flour
- contact surfaces, such as equipment, work surfaces or packaging, where transference of nano-sized particles to organic crops, livestock or products is unintended and unlikely to occur
- irradiation, as defined in this standard, for the treatment of organic products and inputs used in the production of organic products, except as specified in CAN/CGSB-32.311
- cloned livestock and its descendants
- equipment, harvest and storage containers, storage facilities and packaging materials treated with fungicides, preservatives, fumigants and pesticides not listed in CAN/CGSB-32.311, except as permitted in 8.2.3 and 8.3.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.310
1.5 Prohibited substances in organic production and preparation
In addition to Clause 1.4, when producing or preparing organic products, the following substances are prohibited since they are incompatible with the general principles of organic production:
- soil amendments, such as fertilizer or composted plant and animal material, that contain a substance not listed in CAN/CGSB-32.311
- sewage sludge
- any crop production aids or substances not listed in CAN/CGSB-32.311
- plant, fungal and animal growth regulators, except as specified in CAN/CGSB-32.311
- veterinary drugs, including antibiotics and parasiticides, except as permitted by this standard
- non-organic ingredients, food additives and processing aids used in organic product preparation, including sulphates, sulphites, nitrates and nitrites, except as permitted by this standard or specified in CAN/CGSB-32.311
- formulants except as specified in CAN/CGSB-32.311
See the PSL Decision Tree in Annex B for a methodology that may assist in the completion of input reviews.
2 Normative references
The following normative documents contain provisions that, through reference in this text, constitute provisions of this National Standard of Canada. The referenced documents may be obtained from the sources noted below.
The addresses provided below were valid at the date of publication of this standard.
An undated reference is to the latest edition or revision of the reference or document in question, unless otherwise specified by the authority applying this standard. A dated reference is to the specified revision or edition of the reference or document in question.
2.1 Canadian General Standards Board
CAN/CGSB-32.311 – Organic production systems – Permitted substances lists.
CAN/CGSB-32.312 – Organic production systems: Aquaculture—General principles, management standards and permitted substances lists
The above may be obtained from the Canadian General Standards Board.
Canada K1A 1G6
- 819‑956‑0425 or 1‑800‑665‑2472
- Web site:
- Canadian General Standards Board
2.2 Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Safe Food for Canadians Act (S.C, 2012, c 24)
- Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SOR/2018-108), Part 13
The above may be obtained from Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) at Canadian Food Inspection Agency or from Justice Laws Website.
2.3 IFOAM Organics International
Principles of Organic Agriculture.
The above may be obtained from the IFOAM Web site at IFOAM Organics International.
2.4 National Farm Animal Care Council
In the event of any conflict or inconsistency between this standard and a Code of Practice listed below, this standard shall take precedence.
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Veal Cattle
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals: Transportation
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pullets and Laying Hens
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens and Turkeys
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Sheep
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Goats
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Rabbits
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Bison
The above may be obtained from the Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals (NFACC) Web site.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this National Standard of Canada, the following terms and definitions apply.
- 3.1 aeroponics (aéroponie)
- soil-free cultivation method whereby plants are suspended with their roots exposed to the air.
- 3.2 agricultural (agricole)
- pertaining to crops and livestock and any products resulting from crops and livestock.
- 3.3 agro-ecosystem (agro-écosystème)
- system consisting of the form, function, interaction and equilibrium of the biotic and abiotic elements present within the environment of a given agricultural operation.
- 3.4 allopathic (allopathique)
- use of allopathy.
- 3.5 allopathy (allopathie)
- method of treating disease with substances that produce a reaction or effects different from those caused by the disease itself.
- 3.6 annual seedling (semis annuel)
- young plant grown from seed that will complete its life cycle or produce a yield and be able to be harvested within the same crop year or season in which it was planted.
- 3.7 antibiotic (antibiotique)
- any drug or combination of drugs which is prepared from certain microorganisms, or which formerly was prepared from microorganisms but is now made synthetically, and which possesses inhibitory action on the growth of other microorganisms including fungi, bacteria and viruses.
- 3.8 apiculture (apiculture)
- management and production of honeybees, queens and their products. Examples are honey, beeswax, pollen, royal jelly, propolis and bee venom.
- 3.9 bedding (litière)
- material added to livestock housing environments for the purpose of adding comfort and to encourage natural behaviours. Examples: chopped straw, wood shavings.
- 3.10 biobased (biosourcé)
- substance that is derived from a plant, animal or microbial source.
- 3.11 biodegradable (biodégradable)
- crop and livestock inputs and production aids capable of microbial decomposition within 24 months in soil (with the exception of plant biomass), one month in aerated water and two months in anaerobic water, with minimal impact on the environment.
- 3.12 biological (organique)
- pertaining to multicellular or unicellular organisms (or their components), such as animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, proteins, nucleic acids and viruses, etc.
- 3.13 buffer zone (zone tampon)
- clearly defined and identifiable boundary area that separates an organic production unit from adjacent non-organic areas.
- 3.14 carbohydrate (glucides)
- sugar or starch compound, such as dextrose (glucose).
- 3.15 cloned animals (animaux clonés)
- identical animals resulting from human manipulation of embryos and embryo transfer, using techniques such as somatic cell nuclear transfer, embryonic cell nuclear transfer or embryo splitting.
- 3.16 colony (colonie)
- typically an aggregate of several thousand worker bees, drones, and a queen bee living together in a hive or in any other dwelling as one social unit.
- 3.17 commercially available (disponible sur le marché)
- documented ability to obtain a production input or an ingredient in an appropriate form, quality, quantity or variety, irrespective of cost, in order to fulfill an essential function in organic production or preparation.
- 3.18 commingling (mélange)
- mixing of or physical contact between bulk, unbound or unpackaged organic products and non-organic products during production, preparation, transportation, or storage.
- 3.19 compost (compost)
- product of a carefully managed aerobic process by which biological materials are digested by microorganisms.
- 3.20 compost tea (thé de compost)
- liquid soil amendment or foliar feed used to promote beneficial bacterial growth that is created by steeping mature compost in water.
- 3.21 crop rotation (rotation des cultures)
- practice of alternating crops grown in a specific field in a planned sequence and in successive crop years so that crops of the same species or family are not continuously grown in the same field. Perennial cropping systems employ techniques such as alley cropping, intercropping and hedgerows to introduce biological diversity in lieu of crop rotation.
- 3.22 derivative (dérivé)
- a substance created by a molecular modification of another substance (the source) usually by a chemical substitution or additional reaction.
- 3.23 feed additive (additif pour alimentation animale)
- substance added to feed in small quantities to fulfil a specific nutritional need. Examples are essential nutrients in the form of amino acids or vitamins and minerals, and non-nutritive additives such as anticaking agents and antioxidants.
- 3.24 feed supplement (supplément alimentaire)
feed that is used in conjunction with other feeds to improve the nutritive balance of the total and that is intended to be:
- fed undiluted as a supplement to other feeds
- available separately and offered free choice, along with other parts of the ration, or
- further diluted and mixed to produce a complete feed
In Canada, the Feeds Act requires that the resulting feed is acceptable for registration.
- 3.25 fermentation (fermentation)
- conversion of a carbohydrate into simpler or more complex carbon-based compounds by an enzyme or enzymes produced by microorganisms. For example, sugars can be fermented in the presence of yeast to produce alcohol or acetic acid along with carbon dioxide. Fermentation followed by extraction and purification can isolate the substance from other products of fermentation and impurities; this can be used to produce compounds such as enzymes, antibiotics, amino acids and organic acids (e.g., citric, gibberellic, lactic acids). Also known as microbial fermentation or biofermentation.
- 3.26 fertilizer (engrais)
- single or blended substance composed of one or more recognized plant nutrients.
- 3.27 filtrate (filtrat)
- liquid that passes through an osmosis filter in the production of maple or other tree sap syrup.
- 3.28 food additive (additif alimentaire)
- has the same meaning as in B.01.001 of The Food and Drug Regulations.
- 3.29 food-grade (qualité ou grade alimentaire)
- designation used to identify that a substance (for example, a cleaning material, gas, etc.) or material (for example, a counter, containers, a conveyor, etc.) may come in contact with food, food contact surfaces or is safe for human consumption
- 3.30 forage (fourrage)
- vegetative material in fresh, dried or ensiled state that is fed to livestock, for example, pasture, hay or silage.
- 3.31 genetic engineering (génie génétique) also commonly known as resulting in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
artificial manipulation of living cells for the purpose of altering its genome constitutes genetic engineering and refers to a set of techniques from modern biotechnology by which the genetic material of an organism is changed in a way that does not occur other than through traditional breeding by multiplication or natural recombination. The genome is considered an indivisible entity; artificial technical/physical insertions, deletions, or rearrangements of elements of the genome constitute genetic engineering.
Techniques developed in future may be considered genetic engineering. Examples of the techniques used in genetic engineering include, but are not limited to:
- genome/gene editing techniques, such as but not limited to Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), that replace one deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence with another, transposes, deletes or adds a gene sequence or a part of gene sequence
- recombinant DNA (rDNA) techniques that use vector systems
- techniques involving the direct introduction into the organism of hereditary materials prepared by whatever means, inside or outside the organism
- cell fusion (including protoplast fusion) or hybridization techniques that overcome natural physiological, reproductive or recombination barriers, where the donor cells/protoplasts do not fall within the same taxonomic family or are created outside, or manipulated within, the organism through techniques such as, but not limited to, synthetic biology
Unless the donor/recipient organism is derived from any of the above techniques, examples of techniques not covered by this definition include:
- in vitro fertilization
- conjugation, transduction, transformation, or any other natural process
- polyploidy induction
- cell fusion (including protoplast fusion) or hybridization techniques where the donor cells/protoplasts are in the same taxonomic family and not created outside, or manipulated within, the organism through techniques such as, but not limited to, synthetic biology
- 3.32 herbivore (herbivore)
- animal that feeds chiefly on plants.
- 3.33 hive (ruche)
- human-constructed housing for bees including related components.
- 3.34 hydroponics (hydroponie)
- cultivation of plants in aqueous nutrient solutions without the aid of soil.
- 3.35 incidental additives (additifs indirects)
- substances used in organic processing facilities that have the potential to remain present in organic products as residues. Examples are: hand products (cleaners, antiseptics, lotions, barrier creams), boiler water treatment compounds, water treatment compounds, lubricants (release agents, solvents), anti-foaming agents and non-food chemicals (sanitizers, disinfectants, cleaning agents and detergents).
- 3.36 ingredient (ingrédient)
- substance, including a food additive, used in the manufacture or preparation of a product. The substance is present in the final product, possibly in a modified form.
- 3.37 input (intrant)
- substance used in production or preparation. Examples are: fertilizers, feed supplements, pesticides, soil amendments, veterinary treatments, processing aids, sanitizing and cleaning materials.
- 3.38 irradiation (irradiation)
- treatment with ionizing radiation.
- 3.39 isolation distance (distance d’isolement)
- distance established to segregate an organic crop from a commercialized GE crop of the same crop type. An isolation distance is the shortest distance from the edge of an organic crop to the edge of the nearest genetically engineered (GE) crop of that crop type.
- 3.40 litter (portée)
- a group of young animals born at one time to one mother. Example: a litter of piglets.
- 3.41 litter material (fumier)
- a mixture of bedding material with animal excreta, such as manure, dust and feathers, collected from the floor of livestock housing (e.g., barn, coop).
- 3.42 livestock (animaux d’élevage)
- any domestic or domesticated animal including bovine, ovine, porcine, caprine, equine, lagomorph (rabbits), poultry and bees raised for food or used in the production of food. The products of hunting or fishing of wild animals are not included in this definition.
- 3.43 manure (déjections animales)
- livestock feces, urine and other excrement.
- 3.44 microgreens (micro-verdurettes)
- edible young plants that are harvested later than sprouts, generally when cotyledons are fully formed or when two or four true leaves are present.
- 3.45 nanotechnology (nanotechnologie)
- manipulation of matter at atomic, molecular, or macromolecular dimensions typically between 1 and 100 nm to create materials, devices and systems with fundamentally new properties and functions. Nanoscale chemical substances, or nanomaterials, behave differently from their macroscale counterparts, exhibiting different mechanical, optical, magnetic or electronic properties.
- 3.46 nutrient management plan (plan de gestion des nutriments)
- nutrient budget or plan in which the timing and rate of nutrient application is based on soil nutrient status (soil test results), crop nutrient needs, the amendment (manure, compost, plow-down crop or other permitted substance), nutrient content and expected nutrient release rates. The goal of a nutrient management plan is to minimize nutrient loss, protect water quality, maintain soil fertility and ensure effective use of permitted soil amendments.
- 3.47 operation (exploitation)
- farm, company or organization that produces or prepares an organic product; an operation may have multiple production units (see 3.62 production unit).
- 3.48 operator (exploitant)
- person, company or organization that produces, prepares, packages or owns the brand of product(s) with a view to the subsequent sale, trade or marketing of products labelled as organic.
- 3.49 organic integrity (intégrité biologique)
- maintenance of the inherent organic qualities of a product from the receipt of ingredients through to the end consumer.
- 3.50 organic product (produit biologique)
- any commodity or output produced by a system compliant with this standard.
- 3.51 organic production (production biologique)
- method of agricultural production in compliance with this standard.
- 3.52 parallel production (production parallèle)
- simultaneous production or preparation of organic and non-organic crops, including transitional crops, livestock and other organic products of the same or similar varieties that are visually indistinguishable by the common person when the crops, livestock or products are positioned side by side.
- 3.53 parasiticide (antiparasitaire)
- pharmaceutical substance or veterinary drug, such as an anthelmintic (dewormer), used to control internal or external parasites in livestock.
- 3.54 perennial crop (culture vivace)
- crop, other than a biennial crop, that can be harvested from the same planting for more than one crop year or that requires at least one year after planting before harvest.
- 3.55 pest (organisme nuisible)
- organism causing damage to humans or to resources used by humans, such as certain viruses, bacteria, fungi, weeds, parasites, arthropods and rodents.
- 3.56 pesticide (pesticide)
- substances used, directly or indirectly, to attract, prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate pests; or to alter the growth, development or characteristics of weeds. Includes any organism, substance or mixture of substances, and devices, such as lures or traps.
- 3.57 planting stock (matériel de reproduction végétale)
- plant or plant tissue, other than annual seedlings, used in plant production or propagation. Examples are rhizomes, shoots, leaf or stem cuttings, roots or tubers, bulbs or cloves.
- 3.58 prebiotics (prébiotiques)
- fibre food and potential carriers for bacteria. Examples of prebiotic substrates are inulin, lactulose, various galacto- oligosaccharides, fructo-oligosaccharides, xylo-oligosaccharides and sugar alcohols.
- 3.59 preparation (préparation)
- includes, with respect to an organic product, post-harvest handling, manufacturing, processing, treatment, preservation and slaughter.
- 3.60 probiotics (probiotiques)
- microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed.
- 3.61 processing aids (auxiliaires de production)
- substances added to food during processing for a technological effect, but are not present in the finished product or are at insignificant and non-functional levels.
- 3.62 production unit (unité de production)
- identifiable portion of an operation as outlined in the organic plan in which production or preparation of an organic product occurs. For example, a production unit may be a field with clearly marked boundaries, a pasture, a greenhouse, a series of greenhouses, a building or buildings. A “livestock production unit” is a herd or flock of animals or birds with its associated infrastructure such as barns and pastures. An entire operation, even one with disconnected fields or buildings, may be considered one production unit if the whole operation is organic and following one organic plan. Where there is split or parallel production, organic production units shall be sufficiently segregated from non-organic production units to ensure that there is no cross-contamination.
- 3.63 prohibited materials (matériaux interdits)
- materials prohibited by Clause 1.4.
- 3.64 prohibited substances (substances interdites)
- substances prohibited by Clause 1.5 or not listed in CAN/CGSB-32.311
- 3.65 records (registres)
- information in written, visual or electronic form that documents the activities undertaken by an operator engaged in the production or preparation of organic products.
- 3.66 removal event (intervention subséquente)
- procedure performed prior to organic production runs, batches or loads, to prevent organic product from coming into contact with prohibited substances or commingling with non-organic products. Examples of removal events are rinsing with potable water, letting surfaces drip-dry, and purging a system with organic product.
- 3.67 salt (sel)
- sodium chloride, or low-sodium and sodium-free substitutes that serve the purpose of providing salt flavour, nutrition or microbial control in a product. When used as a soil amendment, the term "salt" also includes calcium chloride and potassium chloride.
- 3.68 seed coating (pelliculage des semences)
- a substance applied to the surface of a seed for a function distinct from seed pelleting.
- 3.69 seed pelleting (enrobage des semences)
- augmenting a seed with substances to increase the size of seed to facilitate seeding.
- 3.70 seed priming (trempage des semences)
- adding water-based solutions into seeds, before sowing, to improve the uniformity and speed of germination. Once wetted, the seed is dried to allow for shipping and short-term storage.
- 3.71 seed treatment (traitement des semences)
- adding pest control products, plant growth regulators or inoculants, etc., to seeds to assist with their field performance. Can be performed pre- or post-sowing.
- 3.72 sewage sludge (boues d’épuration)
- solid, liquid or semisolid residues generated by municipal or industrial sewage treatment facilities. Sewage sludge includes but is not limited to: domestic septage; scum or solids removed in primary, secondary or advanced wastewater treatment processes; or material derived from sewage sludge.
- 3.73 soil (sol)
- mixture of minerals, organic matter and living organisms.
- 3.74 Specified Risk Material (SRM) (matériel à risque spécifié [MRS])
- the skull, brain, trigeminal ganglia (nerves attached to the brain), eyes, tonsils, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (nerves attached to the spinal cord) of cattle aged 30 months or older; and the distal ileum (portion of the small intestine) of cattle of all ages.
- 3.75 split production—split operation (production fractionnée – exploitation fractionnée)
- operation that produces or prepares organic and non-organic agricultural products, including transitional products.
- 3.76 symbiotics (symbiotiques)
- combination of prebiotics and probiotics. Many contain a combination of probiotic culture with a prebiotic substrate that favours its growth.
- 3.77 synthetic biology (biologie synthétique)
- broadly describes the design and construction of novel artificial biological pathways, organisms or devices, or the artificial redesign of existing natural biological systems.
- 3.78 synthetic substance (substance synthétique)
- manufactured substance, including petrochemicals, formulated by a chemical process or by a process that chemically alters compounds extracted from plant, microorganisms, animal or mineral sources. This term does not apply to compounds synthesized or produced by physical processing or biological processes, which may include heat and mechanical processing. However, minerals altered through chemical reactions caused by heating or burning are classified as synthetic.
- 3.79 traceability (traçabilité)
- ability to track product, backwards and forwards, through all stages of production and preparation.
- 3.80 traditional breeding (sélection génétique traditionnelle)
- traditional breeding has its basis in biological sexual reproduction. It occurs between closely related organisms, in reproductive cells, and between related chromosomes through homologous recombination.
- 3.81 transitional period (période de conversion)
- period of time between the start of an organic management program and the attainment of organic status by a production unit or operation.
- 3.82 transplant (plant repiqué)
- seedling that has been removed from its original place of production, transported and replanted.
- 3.83 veterinary biologic (produit biologique vétérinaire)
- helminth, protozoa or microorganism; or a substance or mixture of substances derived from animals, helminths, protozoa or microorganisms; or a substance of synthetic origin that is manufactured, sold or represented for use in restoring, correcting or modifying functions in animals or for use in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder, abnormal physical state, or the symptoms thereof, in animals. Veterinary biologics include vaccines, bacterins, bacterin-toxoids, immunoglobulin products, diagnostic kits and any veterinary biologic derived through biotechnology.
- 3.84 veterinary drug (médicament vétérinaire)
- substance or mixture of substances represented for use or administered in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of disease, disorder, abnormal physical state or its symptoms in animals; restoring, correcting or modifying functions in animals.
- 3.85 wild crop (plante sauvage)
- plants collected or harvested in their natural habitat.
- 3.86 yeast (levure)
- single-celled microorganisms that produce enzymes, carbon dioxide (CO2), and other metabolites from carbohydrates, whose functional roles are frequently used in the processes of fermentation, baking and flavouring foods, adding nutritional value and providing health benefits.
- 3.87 yeast autolysate extract (extraits d’autolysats de levure)
- water-soluble components of the yeast cell, generally produced by autolysis, a process in which the rupture of cell wall is induced mechanically or chemically.
4 Organic plan
4.1 The operator shall prepare an organic plan outlining the details of transition, production, preparation and management practices.
4.2 The organic plan shall be updated annually to address changes to the plan or management system, problems encountered in executing the plan, and measures taken to overcome such problems.
4.3 The organic plan shall include a description of the internal record-keeping system, with documents sufficient to meet traceability requirements as specified in 4.4.2 and other record-keeping requirements.
4.4 Record keeping and identification
4.4.1 The operator shall maintain records and relevant supporting documentation such as visual aids (for example, maps, work-flow charts) concerning inputs and details of their use, production, preparation, handling and transport of organic crops, livestock and products. The operator shall maintain the organic integrity of products and shall fully record and disclose all activities and transactions in sufficient detail to be easily understood and sufficient to demonstrate compliance with this standard.
4.4.2 Records shall make it possible to trace
- the origin, nature and quantity of organic products that have been delivered to the production unit or operation
- the nature, quantity and consignees of products that have left the production unit
- any other information for the purposes of verification, such as the origin, nature and quantity of inputs, ingredients, additives and manufacturing aids delivered to the production unit, and the composition of processed products
- activities or processes that demonstrate compliance with this standard
4.4.3 An identification system shall be implemented to distinguish organic and non-organic crops, livestock (for example, general appearance, colour, variety and types) and products.
4.4.4 The operator shall design and implement a risk management plan to prevent GE contamination which may include strategies such as physical barriers, border rows, delayed planting, testing of seeds, isolation distances and equipment and storage sanitation protocols.
4.4.5 Records shall be maintained for at least five years beyond their creation.
4.4.6 If a pest control substance that is not listed in CAN/CGSB-32.311 is used under any mandatory government program, the operator shall monitor and document its use.
In the event of emergency pest outbreak, Canadian operators are required to notify their certification body immediately of any change that may affect organic product certification.
5 Crop production
Clause 8.4 on Transport applies to the transportation of plants and harvested crops.
5.1 Land requirements for organic crop production
5.1.1 This standard shall be fully applied on a production unit for at least 12 months before the first harvest of organic products. Prohibited substances shall not have been used for at least 36 months before the harvest of an organic crop.
5.1.2 When new production units are added to an existing organic operation, the operator shall provide records to show that prohibited substances have not been used for at least 36 months (see 5.1.1) and verification shall be conducted before the first harvest of products from this new production unit.
Part 13 Organic Products of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations requires that the application for the organic certification of crops grown in fields, gardens or pastures be filed at least 15 months before the day on which the food is expected to be sold. During that period of time, compliance with this standard will be assessed by the certification body and this assessment must include at least one inspection of the production unit, during production, in the year before these crops may be eligible for certification and one inspection, during production, in the year these crops are eligible for certification.
5.1.3 The operation shall aim at a complete transition of its production. During the transition period, the operation can maintain, in addition to the production in transition, a non-organic system of production (split operation) that shall be entirely separate and identified separately, pending its incorporation into the overall transition process.
5.1.4 The operation can be converted one production unit at a time, and each converted production unit shall respect the requirements of this standard. The exception to this norm, parallel production, is only allowed in the following cases:
- annual crops harvested during the final 24 months of the transition period when fields are added to existing operations
- perennial crops (already planted)
- agricultural research facilities; and
- production of seed, vegetative propagating materials and transplants
5.1.5 The following special conditions shall be observed for parallel production:
- The operator shall clearly demonstrate that the identity of the crops produced in this manner can be maintained during their production, harvesting, storage, processing, packaging and marketing
- The operator shall maintain verifiable, accurate records of both non-organic and organic produce and product storage, transportation, processing and marketing
Parallel production crops, both organic and non-organic, are inspected just prior to harvest and an audit of all parallel production crops occurs after harvest.
5.1.6 All production units shall have distinct, defined boundaries.
5.1.7 Production methods shall not alternate between organic and non-organic on a production unit.
5.2 Environmental factors
5.2.1 Measures shall be taken to minimize the physical movement of prohibited substances onto organic land and crops from:
- adjacent areas
- equipment used for both organic and non-organic crops
5.2.2 If unintended contact with prohibited substances is possible, distinct buffer zones or other features sufficient to prevent contamination are required:
- buffer zones shall be at least 8 m (26 ft 3 in.) wide
- permanent hedgerows or windbreaks, artificial windbreaks, permanent roads, or other physical barriers may be used instead of buffer zones
- crops grown in buffer zones shall not be considered organic whether or not they are used on the operation
- crops at risk of contamination from commercialized GE crops shall be protected from cross-pollination. Mitigation strategies such as, but not limited to, physical barriers, border rows, strategic testing or delayed planting shall be implemented unless generally accepted isolation distances for the at-risk crop type are present (see Note below)
Generally accepted isolation distances for crops at risk of contamination from commercialized GE crop types include: soybeans—10 m (33 ft); corn—300 m (984 ft); canola, alfalfa (for seed production) and apples—3 km (1.8 mi.).
5.2.3 Untreated wood or wood treated with substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 are permitted, such as for fence posts.
- For new installations or replacement purposes, fence posts or wood treated with prohibited substances are prohibited. Alternatives, such as metal, plastic, concrete or protective sleeves, may be used
- Recycling of existing fence posts treated with prohibited substances within the operation is permitted
5.2.4 Management practices shall include measures to promote and protect ecosystem health on the operation and incorporate one or more of the following features:
- pollinator habitat
- insectary areas
- wildlife habitat
- maintenance or restoration of riparian areas or wetlands; or
- other measures which promote biodiversity
Existing native prairie, parkland, or wetland habitats should be maintained and enhanced whenever possible.
5.3 Seeds and planting stock
5.3.1 Organic seed, bulbs, tubers, cuttings, annual seedlings, transplants, planting stock, and other propagules shall be used. Organic seed and planting stock may be treated, primed, pelleted, or coated with substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1 or 2) or Table 7.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311.
5.3.2 Non-organic seed and planting stock are permitted provided that:
- the organic seed or planting stock variety is not produced on or available from within the operation; and
- the organic seed or planting stock is not commercially available, and a documented search involving potential, known organic suppliers has been conducted
- when treated, primed, pelleted or coated, it is with substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1 or 2) or Table 7.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 with the following exceptions:
- Seed primed with substances not listed on Table 4.2 (Column 1 or 2) or Table 7.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 is permitted providing that the priming process does not contain pesticides that are not listed on Table 4.2 (Column 2) or Table 7.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- Seeds and planting stock treated with substances necessary for compliance to international, federal or provincial phytosanitary or food safety regulations and approved for use by regulatory agencies such as Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) are permitted.
- non-organic perennial planting stock treated with substances prohibited by 1.5 a, 1.5 b, 1.5 c or 1.5 d shall be managed in accordance with this standard for at least 12 months before the first harvest of organic products. The land on which non-organic stock is planted is subject to the requirements of 5.1.1
5.3.3 Annual seedling transplants started in winter or spring which will be planted in the operation may be started by the operation in structures under 100% artificial lights from seeding to first transplanting. The expression "first transplanting" means moving a seedling to another growing medium (in a box, pot, container or in the ground). All clauses of 7.5 except soil volumes (22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52) apply to annual seedlings grown in structures.
5.4 Soil fertility and nutrient management
5.4.1 The main objective of the soil fertility and nutrient management program shall be to establish and maintain a fertile soil using practices that:
- maintain or increase levels of soil organic matter
- promote an optimum balance and supply of nutrients, and
- stimulate biological activity within the soil
5.4.2 Where appropriate, the soil fertility and biological activity shall be maintained or increased, through:
- crop rotations that are as varied as possible and include plough-down crops, legumes, catch crops and deep-rooting plants
- incorporation of plant and animal matter in compliance with this standard and with Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311, including the following:
- composted animal and plant matter
- non-composted plant matter, specifically legumes, plough-down crops or deep-rooting plants within the framework of an appropriate multiyear rotation plan; and
- unprocessed animal manure, including liquid manure and slurry, subject to the requirements of 5.5.1
5.4.3 Tillage and cultivation practices shall:
- maintain or improve the physical, chemical and biological condition of soil, and
- minimize damage to the structure and tilth of soil, and
- minimize soil erosion
5.4.4 Plant and livestock materials shall be managed to maintain or improve soil organic matter content, crop nutrients and soil fertility, and in a manner that does not contribute to the contamination of crops, soil or water by plant nutrients, pathogenic organisms, heavy metals or residues of prohibited substances.
5.4.5 The organic matter produced on the operation shall be the basis of the nutrient cycling program. It may be supplemented with other nutrient sources described in the standard or listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311. Manure is also subject to the requirements of 5.5.1.
5.4.6 Burning to dispose of crop residue produced on the operation is prohibited. However, burning may be used for documented problems with pests, including insects, diseases or weeds (see 5.6.1), or to stimulate seed germination.
5.5 Manure management
5.5.1 Manure sources
184.108.40.206 Animal manure produced on the operation shall be used first. When all available manure is used up, organic manure from other sources may be used. If organic manure is not commercially available, non-organic manure is permitted provided that:
- the non-organic source is not a fully caged system in which livestock cannot turn 360°; and
- livestock is not permanently kept in the dark; and
- the source and quantity of manure, type of livestock, and evaluation of the criteria in 220.127.116.11 a and 18.104.22.168 b shall be recorded
Organic operations should make it a priority to use manure obtained from transitional or extensive livestock operations, not from landless livestock production units or from livestock operations that use genetically engineered (GE) ingredients or GE derivatives in animal feeds.
5.5.2 Land application of manure
22.214.171.124 The manure application program shall address land area, rate of application, time of application, incorporation into the soil and retention of nutrient components.
126.96.36.199 Soil amendments, including liquid manure, slurries, compost tea, solid manure, raw manure, compost and other substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311, shall be applied to land in accordance with good nutrient management practices
In Canada, some additional provincial requirements may also apply.
188.8.131.52 Where manure is applied, the soil shall be sufficiently warm and moist to ensure active bio-oxidation.
184.108.40.206 The seasonal timing, rate and method of application shall ensure that manure does not:
- contribute to the contamination of crops by pathogenic bacteria
- create significant run-off into ponds, rivers and streams
- contribute significantly to ground and surface water contamination
220.127.116.11 The non-composted solid or liquid manure shall be:
- incorporated into the soil at least 90 days before the harvest of crops that do not come into contact with soil and are intended for human consumption; or
- incorporated into the soil at least 120 days before the harvest of crops that have edible parts that come into direct contact with the surface of the soil or with soil particles
18.104.22.168 If livestock are used as part of the cropping or pest control program, a management plan shall be in place to ensure that livestock are controlled and that manure or manure-related contamination does not reach the portion of the crop intended for harvest.
5.5.3 Manure processing
Processing of animal manure using physical treatment (for example, dehydration), biological treatment or chemical treatment with substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1 or 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 is permitted. Loss of nutritional elements due to processing shall be minimized.
5.6 Management of crop pests, including insects, diseases and weeds
5.6.1 Practices to control pests, including insects, diseases and weeds, shall focus on organic management practices that enhance crop health and reduce losses due to weeds, disease, insects and other pests. Management practices include cultural practices (for example, crop rotations, establishment of a balanced ecosystem, and use of resistant varieties), mechanical techniques (for example, sanitation measures, cultivation, trapping, mulching and grazing) and physical techniques (for example, flaming against weeds and the use of heat against diseases).
5.6.2 When organic management practices alone cannot prevent or control crop pests, including insects, diseases and weeds, a biological or botanical substance, or other substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1 or 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 may be used. Conditions that led to the use of substances shall be documented in the organic plan (see clause 4).
5.6.3 If application equipment, such as a sprayer, is used to apply prohibited substances, it shall be thoroughly cleaned prior to use in an organic crop.
The irrigation of organic crops is permitted provided that the operator documents the precautions taken to prevent contamination of land and products with substances not included in CAN/CGSB-32.311.
5.8 Crop product preparation
Wherever organic product preparation takes place, 8.1 and 8.2 apply.
5.9 Facility pest management
Subclause 8.3 applies to pest management practices in and around crop facilities
6 Livestock production
Livestock excludes apiculture which is covered in 7.1.
Subclause 8.4 on Transport applies to the transportation of organic livestock
6.1.1 Livestock can make an important contribution to an organic agricultural system by:
- improving and maintaining the fertility of the soil
- managing the flora through grazing
- enhancing biodiversity; and
- facilitating complementary interactions on the operation
6.1.2 Organic livestock products shall be from livestock raised according to this standard.
6.1.3 Livestock production is a land-related activity.
- Herbivores shall have access to pasture during the grazing season and access to the open air at other times whenever weather conditions permit:
- calculated on the basis of dry matter intake, the consumption of grazed forage by ruminants that have reached sexual maturity shall represent a minimum of 30% of the total forage intake
- consumption of grazed forage shall rise above 30% during high forage growth periods
- a minimum of 0.13 ha (0.33 ac.) per animal unit shall be devoted to grazing. [One animal unit = one cow or one bull, or two calves each 102 to 227 kg (225 to 500 lb), or five calves, each less than 102 kg (225 lb), or four ewes and their lambs, or six does and their kids]
- Other livestock, including poultry, shall have access to the outdoors whenever weather conditions permit
- Winter-only production of poultry is restricted to operations that are able to comply with land-related requirements for the specific livestock type, regardless of the time of year (see 6.13.13)
- Exceptions in 6.7.2 and 6.11 may apply
6.1.4 Livestock stocking rates shall correspond to local agri-climatic conditions and take into consideration feed production capacity, stock health, nutrient balance and environmental impact.
6.1.5 Livestock management shall aim to utilize natural breeding methods, minimize stress, prevent disease, progressively eliminate the use of chemical allopathic veterinary drugs, including antibiotics, and maintain animal health and welfare.
6.1.6 As a general principle, the operator shall demonstrate their commitment to animal welfare. When an animal welfare issue is identified, the operator shall develop a corrective action plan. The operator shall document demonstrated improvements in animal welfare practices and shall make available upon request any documents or assessments mandated by industry associations.
6.2 Origin of livestock
6.2.1 Livestock breeds, strains and types shall be:
- suitable for, and able to adapt to, site-specific conditions within the local environment and production system
- known for their absence of disease and health problems, specific to breeds or strains
- recognized for their vitality and resistance to prevalent diseases and parasites
6.2.2 Livestock breeders shall:
- use natural methods of reproduction. Artificial insemination is permitted, including the use of sexed semen if it is mechanically separated
- not use embryo transfer techniques or breeding techniques using genetic engineering or related technology
- not use reproductive hormones to trigger and synchronize estrus
6.2.3 Livestock used for organic livestock products
22.214.171.124 Livestock used for organic livestock products (e.g., eggs, milk, meat, etc.) shall:
- be born or hatched on organic production units
- be the offspring of organic parents
- be managed organically throughout their lifetime
126.96.36.199 Exceptions to 188.8.131.52 a, 184.108.40.206b, and c apply to poultry:
- poultry products shall be from poultry that has been under continuous organic management, beginning no later than the second day of life; and
- no medication other than vaccines shall be used to treat fertilized eggs or day-old poultry
220.127.116.11 An exception to 18.104.22.168 a, 22.214.171.124b and c applies when herds and individual animals (used as new breeding stock), whether from within or from outside the operation (according to 6.2.4), are converted to organic production:
- animals used for milk production shall have been under continuous organic management for at least 12 months; and
- animals used for meat shall have been under continuous organic management from the beginning of the last third of the dam’s gestation period
6.2.4 Animals purchased for breeding shall be organic. However:
- if suitable organic breeding stock is not commercially available, non-organic, non-gestating breeder animals and non-organic breeding males may be brought onto an organic operation and integrated into the organic system. Meat from such animals shall be non-organic
- if transferred outside the organic operation, livestock obtained from non-organic sources in accordance with 6.2.4 a shall be considered non-organic, either for breeding or slaughter
- when expanding a herd and increasing the land-base, breeding stock brought onto the operation may graze third-year transitional pasture until the end of the second trimester
- non-organic animals brought into a milk production unit shall be non-lactating
- in case of catastrophic events, such as a barn fire or disease leading to a need for herd repopulation, non-organic breeding stock (excluding poultry) may be brought onto an organic operation before the last third of gestation if suitable organic animals are not commercially available
6.2.5 Livestock or livestock products removed from an organic operation and subsequently managed on a non-organic operation shall be considered non-organic.
6.3 Transition of livestock production units to organic production
(except poultry covered by 6.13.1)
6.3.1 If an entire dairy herd is under conversion to organic production, the operator shall provide:
- in the first nine months of the 12-month transition period, a minimum of 80% feed, calculated in terms of dry matter intake, that is either organic or raised on land included in the organic system plan that is managed in accordance with clause 5 (Crop Production) of this standard; and
- only organic feed during the final three months of the 12-month transition period
6.3.2 Transition of land intended for feed crops or pasture shall comply with 5.1.
6.3.3 When an animal production unit, such as an entire herd or flock, is in transition to organic production, the pasture and feed produced during the final 12 months of the land transition period may be considered organic when consumed by livestock on the same production unit. This feed and forage shall not be considered organic outside the production unit.
6.4 Livestock feed
6.4.1 The operator shall provide an organic feed ration that is balanced to meet the nutritional requirements of the livestock.
6.4.2 Livestock feed shall consist of substances that are necessary and essential for animal health, well-being and vitality, and that meet the physiological and behavioural needs of the species in question.
6.4.3 Specific livestock rations shall take the following into account:
- for young mammals, the need for natural milk, including colostrum, within the first day of life
- in dairy operations, calves, lambs and kids may be taken from their mothers at the age of 24 hours, provided that they receive colostrum. If contagious diseases are present in the herd, removal can occur sooner provided that calves, lambs and kids receive colostrum
- when removal of beef calves, lambs and kids from their mother is necessary to prevent the spread of a contagious disease, the use of non-organic milk or non-organic milk replacer is permitted as part of a veterinary-approved plan of disease eradication if organic alternatives are commercially unavailable. The veterinary-approved plan of eradication shall include a timeline and preventative measures such as testing milk, blood or manure, or pasteurizing milk. In order of preference, the following can be used (provided it is free of medication): organic milk (including pasteurized), organic milk replacer, non-organic milk, or non-organic milk replacer
- calves shall be given fresh, whole, organic milk or reconstituted organic milk provided that it is free of medication until the age of three months
- calves can be fed milk from an organic cow that received treatment with antibiotics if a withholding period of twice the label requirement or 14 days, whichever is longer, is applied
- lambs and kids shall be given fresh, whole, organic milk or reconstituted organic milk until the age of two months or a weight of 18 kg (39.7 lb)
- if they are not nursing, young animals shall be fed to meet their nutritional requirements and to achieve optimal growth and health by using artificial teats to satisfy their motivation to suck
- dairy calves shall have access to solid food at all times
Refer to the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle for recommendations on colostrum feeding and the quantity of milk to be fed to dairy calvesFootnote 4.
- for ruminants, at least 60% of dry matter in daily rations shall consist of: hay; fodder that is fresh or dried; or ensiled forage, for example, fermented grass, legumes, and corn plants. An increased grain ration is permitted to ensure that nutritional requirements are met during uncommonly cold periods or when forage quality is compromised due to extraordinary weather events
- if ensiled forage is fed to ruminants, at least 15% of the total dry matter in daily rations shall consist of long-fibre forage, that is, greater than 10 cm (4 in.) stem length. When ensiled corn is fed, unless there is analysis to the contrary, it shall be considered 40% grain / 60% forage. The proportion of grain in ensiled corn shall be included in the percentage of grains in the ration (see 6.4.3 i)
- in the finishing phase, poultry shall be given grain
- poultry and pigs shall be given vegetable matter other than grain
- poultry shall be fed daily. A "skip-a-day" feeding regime for breeding birds is prohibited
- rabbits shall be given forage, such as grass and hay, and have access to material that keeps teeth healthy, such as gnawing blocks, root vegetables and tree branches. Substances in gnawing blocks shall be listed in Table 5.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
6.4.4 The following feed, feed additives and supplements are prohibited:
- feed and feed additives, including amino acids and feed supplements, that contain substances not listed in Table 5.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- feed medications or veterinary drugs, including hormones and prophylactic antibiotics, to promote growth
- approved feed supplements or additives used in amounts greater than those required for adequate nutrition and health maintenance for the species at its specific stage of life
- feeds that are chemically extracted or defatted with prohibited substances
- feed that contains mammalian or avian slaughter by-products
- feed that contains preservatives unless they are listed in Table 5.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- silage preservation products unless they are listed in Table 5.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- appetite enhancers or flavour enhancers, unless they are listed in Table 5.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- feed formulas that contain manure or other animal waste; and
- feed that contains colouring agents unless they are listed in Table 5.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
6.4.5 Livestock of all ages shall have access to clean, fresh water on demand. Livestock water sources shall be tested according to livestock drinking water quality guidelines and procedures outlined in the relevant Code of Practice (see 2.4) and quality assurance programs mandated by industry associations.
6.4.6 Force feeding of ducks and geese is prohibited.
6.4.7 By exception, non-organic feed is permitted under the following circumstances:
- If organic feed is unobtainable as the result of a catastrophic event with a direct impact on the production unit (for example, fire, flood, or extraordinary weather conditions), non-organic feed may be used for a maximum of ten consecutive days (or up to 30% non-organic feed for up to 30 consecutive days), to ensure a balanced livestock ration. Non-organic feed from land in transition to organic production and free of prohibited substances shall be used in preference to non-organic feed
- Breeding herds may be given non-organic forage in the event of a regional forage shortage documented by the operator and confirmed by a regional authority, when possible, provided that the animals are segregated, are visually distinguishable (for example, have ear tags and age verification records) and record keeping is maintained. For breeding herds, forage from land in transition to organic production and free of prohibited substances shall be used in preference to non-organic forage. Use of genetically engineered forage crops is prohibited at all times. In all other respects, breeding herds whose offspring is intended for organic products shall be under organic management at all times. The breeding herd shall be re-transitioned when an organic forage supply becomes available. Subclause 6.2.3 applies to any offspring. The organic status of other livestock on the operation is not affected
- In the event of a forage shortage documented by the operator and confirmed by a regional authority, when possible, and if the quantities of feeds allowed in 6.4.7 b are insufficient, non-organic forage may comprise up to 25% of the forage ration for the entire ruminant herd with the following in order of priority preference:
- non-organic forage from land in transition
- non-organic forage grown without the use of prohibited substances
- non-organic forage grown without the use of prohibited substances for at least 60 days prior to harvest
- non-organic forage provided it is not a genetically engineered crop
- The operator shall design a contingency plan to address future forage shortages which may include strategies such as growing more climate-adapted varieties; improving grazing practices; stockpiling a supply of forage; identifying alternative supply chains; varying herd size; and improving the resilience on-farm forage production
For the exception in 6.4.7 a, the certification body should be notified as soon as possible after non-organic feed or forage is used. For the exceptions in 6.4.7 b and 6.4.7 c, the certification body should be notified before non-organic feed or forage is used.
6.5 Transport and handling
6.5.1 Livestock shall be managed responsibly, with care and consideration. Stress, injury and suffering shall be minimized in all livestock handling practices, including transport and slaughter.
6.5.2 Stocking density within transport vehicles shall conform to recommendations in the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals: Transportation (see 2.4). The use of electrical stimulation or allopathic tranquilizers is prohibited.
6.5.3 While in transit and before slaughter, animals shall have shelter against inclement weather, such as wind, rain and excessive heat or cold.
6.5.4 If possible, animals shall be transported directly from the operation to their final destination.
6.5.5 The duration of transportation shall be as short as possible. If animals are in transit for more than 5 hours, recommendations regarding maximum transit times, minimum feed and water requirements, and rest times, as provided in the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals: Transportation, shall apply.
6.5.6 Fitness for transport shall be assessed before loading. Sick or unfit animals shall not be transported, for example, those that are injured, lame, emaciated, in late gestation or heavily lactating.
6.5.7 If livestock is unfit for transport and euthanasia is necessary, it shall be performed by competent personnel with appropriate equipment. The method used shall be quick and cause the least possible pain and distress.
In Canada, see also the Health of Animals Regulations under the Health of Animals Act (Canadian Food Inspection Agency). For guidance, refer to the transportation requirements in the Code of Practice for each animal type (see 2.4).
6.6 Livestock health care
6.6.1 The operator shall establish and maintain preventative livestock health care practices, including:
- the choice of appropriate breeds or strains of livestock, as specified in 6.2.1
- a feed ration sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of the livestock, including vitamins, minerals, protein, fatty acids, energy sources, and fibre
- housing, pasture conditions, space allowance and sanitation practices that minimize crowding and the occurrence and spread of disease and parasites
- conditions appropriate to the species that allow for exercise, freedom of movement, and minimal stress
- prompt treatment for animals with detectable disease, lesions, lameness, injury or other physical ailments
- vaccines, in accordance with this standard and Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311, if it has been documented that the targeted diseases are communicable to livestock on the production unit and/or operation and cannot be combated by other means
6.6.2 The operator shall not administer:
- veterinary drugs, in the absence of illness, other than vaccines. Anaesthetics and analgesics are permitted, subject to the requirements for physical alterations in 6.6.4
- synthetic substances to stimulate or retard growth or production, including hormones for growth promotion
- synthetic parasiticides, except by way of an exception provided in 6.6.11
- antibiotics to meat animals or to birds for meat or egg production
- chemical allopathic veterinary drugs for preventative treatments, for example, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, hormones and steroids
6.6.3 Hormonal treatment shall only be used for therapeutic reasons and under veterinary supervision. The meat from treated animals shall not be organic unless the treatment is listed in Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311.
6.6.4 Physical alterations are prohibited, unless they are essential for animal health, welfare or hygiene, for identification or for safety reasons.
- The following physical alterations are permitted; restrictions in 6.6.4 c apply:
- castration of piglets, lambs, kids and calves
- tail docking of lambs
- branding and ear tagging; and
- If they are the only remaining option, the following physical alterations are permitted; restrictions in 6.6.4 c apply:
- minimal beak trimming or treatment to remove sharp hooks;
- trimming of needle teeth in piglets
- tail docking of pigs and cattle; and
- Restrictions on physical alterations:
- Physical alterations shall be carried out in a manner that minimizes pain, stress and suffering
- Regardless of age or method, consideration shall be given to the use of anaesthetics, sedatives and non-steroid anti-inflammatory analgesics, such as lidocaine, xylazine, and ketoprofen
- For castration, tail docking, dehorning, debudding/disbudding or branding, operators shall consult the applicable Code of Practice (see 2.4) and follow the requirements for age restrictions and methods and the use of pain control medications
- Beak trimming of birds, tail docking of pigs and trimming of needle teeth in piglets are permitted when they are necessary to control problem behaviour that has a negative impact on the welfare of other livestock. Operators shall document the other measures taken to control or eliminate problem behaviour
- Tail docking of cattle is permitted only when necessary for veterinary treatment of injured animals
- Castration of piglets shall take place in the first two weeks of life. Castration of cull boars is prohibited; and
- Spaying of female beef cattle is prohibited
6.6.5 Biological, cultural, and physical treatments and practices outlined in Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 are permitted, if preventative practices and vaccines are inadequate to prevent sickness or injury and treatment is required.
6.6.6 Medical treatment shall not be withheld from sick or injured livestock to preserve their organic status. If methods acceptable to organic production fail, all appropriate medications shall be used to restore livestock to health.
6.6.7 If the presence of injured or diseased livestock presents a health risk to individual animals or birds, they shall be separated from the herd or flock, and/or euthanized, if necessary (see 6.6.13).
6.6.8 Shipping diseased livestock to slaughter is prohibited, if the end product is intended for human consumption.
6.6.9 Products from sick animals or those undergoing treatment with restricted substances shall not be organic or fed to organic livestock.
6.6.10 The use of veterinary medicinal substances shall comply with the following:
- if no alternative treatments or management practices exist, veterinary biologics, including vaccines, parasiticides or the therapeutic use of medications may be administered, provided that such medications are permitted by this standard and Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 or are required by law
- phytotherapeutic medicines, that is, botanical compounds such as atropine, butorphanol and other medicines from herbaceous plants, excluding antibiotics; and homeopathic or similar products, shall be used in preference to chemical, allopathic veterinary drugs or antibiotics, provided that they are effective for the species and the condition for which the treatment is intended
- if the products permitted by 6.6.10 a and 6.6.10 b are ineffective in combating illness or injury, prescribed veterinary drugs not listed in this standard or in Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 may be administered to breeding stock, layers or dairy animals with written authorization by a veterinarian. Some restrictions apply (see 6.6.2, 6.6.11 d and 6.6.12). With the exception of parasiticides administered according to 6.6.11, meat from animals treated with veterinary pharmaceutical drugs not listed in Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 shall not be organic
- if a veterinary drug is administered and it does not have specific withdrawal requirements, a withholding period of twice the label requirement or 14 days, whichever is longer, shall be observed before livestock products from treated animals may be considered organic
- animals that require the use of antibiotics or other substances restricted in 1.5 e) for the same disease for three consecutive years shall be removed from the herd within nine months following the last course of treatment
- in emergencies, antibiotic treatment of dairy animals is permitted under the following conditions:
- the operator shall have written instructions from a veterinarian indicating the product and the treatment method to be used
- treatment shall result in a milk withdrawal period of at least 30 days after the last day of a course of treatment, or a withholding period that is twice the label requirement, whichever is longer
- antibiotic use shall be documented in herd health records
- if dairy animals receive more than two treatments of veterinary drugs annually, whether of antibiotics, parasiticides, or one of each, they shall lose their organic status and go through a 12-month transition period
6.6.11 Organic livestock operations shall have a comprehensive plan to minimize parasite problems. The plan shall include preventative measures, such as genetic selection, pasture management, fecal monitoring and assessments of tissue at slaughter, and emergency measures in the event of a parasite outbreak. Hygienic cleaning and disinfection methods for barns, such as power washing, steam washing, floor burning and lime washing, shall be included in the plan as well as down time (i.e., when the barn is vacant). By way of an exception, if preventative measures fail due to, for example, climatic conditions or other uncontrollable factors, the operator may use parasiticides that are not listed in Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311, provided that:
- observation of the animal, fecal test results, or assessment of tissue as appropriate for the species indicate that livestock is infected with parasites
- the operator provides a written action plan, with a timeline, describing how they will amend their parasite control plan to avoid similar emergencies
- the operator has written instructions from a veterinarian indicating the product and method to be used, including provisions to avoid developing parasite resistance such as rotation of parasiticides
- withdrawal times are twice the label requirement or 14 days, whichever is longer
If these conditions are met, the following restrictions apply:
- the exception cannot be granted for a group of animals or an entire production unit for more than two years in a row for the same problem
- a dam from any species may receive only one treatment of parasiticides during gestation
- meat animals from any species less than 12 months old shall receive at most one parasiticide treatment. Meat animals 12 months of age or older that receive more than two parasiticide treatments in their lifespan shall lose their organic status
- dairy animals that receive more than two treatments in a 12-month period, whether of parasiticides, antibiotics or one of each, shall lose their organic status and go through a 12-month transition period
- dairy cull animals that receive more than two treatments with parasiticides over their lifespan shall never be considered organic for meat
- dairy cull animals that receive antibiotics shall never be considered organic for meat
- swine breeding stock animals that present with a high parasite load may receive up to three parasiticide treatments in a year as part of a parasite reduction plan. This exception cannot be applied systematically (refer to 6.6.11 b) and 6.6.11e))
- laying hens that receive more than two parasiticide treatments in a 12-month period shall lose their organic status. Treatment of the flock, rather than individual hens, is permitted
6.6.12 Poultry or breeding livestock treated with a parasiticide or veterinary drug not listed in Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 shall be considered non-organic meat animals. Exceptions pertaining to parasiticide use may apply (see 6.6.11)
6.6.13 Injured, diseased or sick animals shall be given individual treatment designed to minimize pain and suffering, which may include euthanasia.
6.6.14 Forced moulting of poultry is prohibited.
6.7 Livestock living conditions
6.7.1 The operator shall establish and maintain animal living conditions that accommodate the health and natural behaviour of animals, including:
- access to the outdoors, shade, shelter, rotational pasture, exercise areas, fresh air and daylight, suitable for the species and stage of production taking into consideration the climate and the environment
- access to fresh water (see 6.4.5) and high-quality feed that meets the needs of the animal
- sufficient space and freedom to stretch out while lying down, stand up, stretch limbs and turn freely, and to express normal patterns of behaviour
- space allowances in proportion to local conditions, feed production capacity of the operation, livestock health, nutrient balance of livestock and soils, and environmental impact
- production techniques that foster the long-term health of livestock, especially when high levels of production or growth rates are required of animals
- good air quality. Humidity, dust particles and ammonia levels shall not impair the well-being of animals. Ammonia levels shall not exceed 25 ppm. If levels exceed 25 ppm, remedial action shall be taken
- appropriate resting and bedded areas that meet the needs of the animal. Indoor areas shall be large enough, solidly built, comfortable, clean and dry. Resting areas shall be covered with a thick layer of dry bedding that absorbs excrement. If organic bedding is commercially unavailable, bedding material from non-genetically engineered sources that is free of prohibited substances for at least 60 days prior to harvest may be used; non-agricultural absorbent bedding sources (for example: minerals, cellulose, sawdust, and wood shavings) can be used for livestock bedding as long as they meet the requirements in 1.4 and 1.5, and do not contain, or have not been treated with, prohibited substances
- housing with non-slip floors. Solid flooring is preferable. Where non-slip slatted floors exist, the floor shall not be entirely of slatted or grid construction. The floor design shall ensure that the feet of the smallest animal cannot get caught in a void. Areas between voids shall be at least as wide as the feet of the animals
- animals that give birth indoors shall be provided with sufficient space and a clean, dry, well-bedded space with stable footing. Birthing facilities shall allow for separation from other animals and all the mother’s needs shall be accommodated, including milking and nursing, until the mother is recovered from the birthing process. Animals shall not be tied or tethered when giving birth
- construction and management of outdoor exercise areas and pasture to encourage appropriate use by livestock to prevent animal discomfort, and to avoid soil degradation, long-term damage to vegetation and the contamination of water
6.7.2 Access to the outdoors and freedom of movement may be restricted for the following reasons, provided that confinement is temporary:
- inclement weather
- conditions in which livestock health or safety is jeopardized, given the stage of production; and
- conditions in which soil, water or plant quality would be compromised
The operator shall document the reasons for, and duration of, confinement. Measures taken to reduce the need to restrict outdoor access in the future shall also be documented when circumstances are within the operator's control.
6.7.3 The continuous tethering of livestock is prohibited, with an exemption for dairy cattle under conditions specified in 6.12.1.
6.7.4 Housing, pens, runs, equipment and utensils shall be cleaned and disinfected to prevent cross infection and build-up of disease-carrying organisms. Appropriate cleaners and disinfectants listed in Tables 5.3, 7.3 and 7.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 shall be used. If these substances are not effective, other cleaners and disinfectants are permitted on the recommendation of a veterinarian and with confirmation of a disease issue. In the event of a reportable disease, any effective disinfectant may be used to clean housing, pens and runs. Such uses shall be documented. For equipment that comes into contact with food products, the requirements in 8.2 apply, and substances listed in Tables 7.3 and 7.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311are permitted.
6.7.5 All livestock in a production unit shall be managed organically. Individual, non-organic animals may be present in the production unit if they are clearly identified and managed organically. Non-organic livestock production units may be present on an operation if they are clearly identified and kept separate from organic livestock production units.
6.7.6 Organic animals may graze with non-organic animals on common land, that is, crown range or community pasture, provided that:
- documentation confirms that the land has not been treated with prohibited substances for at least 36 months
- documentation confirms that health care and feed products available to organic livestock while on common land are in accordance with this standard
- identification permits a clear distinction between organically and non-organically raised animals
6.7.7 For new installations or replacement purposes, wood for livestock barns and shelters treated with prohibited substances is allowed if livestock or feed does not come in contact with the wood. For existing barns and shelters, operators shall take measures to prevent contact, such as applying a barrier or establishing a buffer zone. If major renovation of barns on existing operations is required in order to comply, operators are granted an extension until December 2023. For fence posts, see 5.2.3.
6.8 Manure management
6.8.1 Manure management practices used to maintain areas in which livestock is housed, penned or pastured shall be implemented in a manner that minimizes soil and water degradation.
6.8.2 Manure storage and handling facilities, including composting facilities, shall be designed, constructed and operated to prevent contamination of ground and surface water. See also 5.5.2.
6.9 Livestock product preparation
Wherever organic livestock product preparation takes place (for example, facilities used for milking), 8.1 and 8.2 apply.
6.10 Pest management in livestock facilities
Clause 8.3 applies to pest management practices in and around livestock facilities.
6.11 Additional requirements for cattle, sheep and goats
6.11.1 Herbivores shall have access to pasture during the grazing season. At other times, including the finishing phase, they shall have access to the open air or an outdoor exercise area, weather permitting. Exceptions to the pasture requirement can be made for:
- breeding males; or
- young animals, when it can be documented that their health and welfare are jeopardized
6.11.2 Minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for cattle are shown in Table 1: Dairy and Table 2: Beef below.
|Cattle||Indoor space||Outdoor runs and pens|
|Free stall||Ratio of cows to stalls shall not exceed 1:1||No minimum area required|
|Bedded pack barn||11 m2 (118 ft2)/head (of bedded area)||No minimum area required|
Individual maternity penstable 1 note 2
Note: 1 maternity pen per 35 cows is recommended.
|15 m2 (161 ft2)/head (of bedded area)||Not applicable|
|Group maternity pens||11 m2 (118 ft2)/head (of bedded area)||Not applicable|
|Calves and young cattle||2.5 m2 (27 ft2)/head for young calves; increasing to 5 m2 (54 ft2)/head for growing steers and heifers (12 months old)||5 m2 (54 ft2)/head to 9 m2 (97 ft2)/head, depending on the size of animals|
|Tie stalls (see 6.12.1)||Stall size appropriate for size of cow||6.5 m2 (70 ft2)/head in spring and fall when not in pasture|
Table 1 Notes
|Cattle||Indoor space (when provided)||Outdoor runs and pens|
|Adult beef cows||5.6 m2 (60 ft2)/head for 500 kg (1,102 lb) cows increasing to 7.25 m2 (78 ft2)/head for 900 kg (1,984 lb) cows (of bedded area)||9 m2 (97 ft2)/head|
|Cattle finishing phase||Indoor confinement is prohibited in grazing season
Space requirements as per Calves and young cattle
|23 m2 (247,5 ft2)/animal for 363 kg (800 lb) finishers and increase to 46.5 m2 (500 ft2)/animal for 545 kg (1,200 lb) finishers|
|Calves and young cattle||2.5 m2 (27 ft2)/head for young calves; increasing to 5 m2 (54 ft2)/head for growing steers and heifers (12 months old) (of bedded area)||5 m2 (54 ft2) /head to 9 m2 (97 ft2)/head, depending on the size of animals|
|Maternity penstable 2 note 1||13.4 m2 (144 ft2)/head (of bedded area)||Not applicable|
Table 2 Notes
6.11.3 Sheep and goat housing
Minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for sheep and goats are shown in Table 3.
|Sheep and goats||Indoor space||Outdoor runs and pens|
|Ewes/does and nursing lamb/kid||2 m2 (21.5 ft2)/head plus 0.35 m2 (3.8 ft2)/head for each lamb/kid||3 m2 (32.3 ft2)/head plus 0.5 m2 (5.4 ft2)/head for each lamb/kid|
|Bottle-fed, weaned, and feeder lambs/kids||0.5 m2 (5.4 ft2)/head increasing to 1.5 m2 (16 ft2)/head by one year of age||0.75 m2 (8.1 ft2)/head increasing to 2.25 m2 (24 ft2)/head by one year of age|
|Rams/bucks over one year of age||3 m2 (32.3 ft2)/head||4.5 m2 (48.5 ft2)/head|
If construction of new infrastructure is required in order to comply with 6.11.3, operators are granted an exemption that permits the use of existing infrastructure until the end of December 2025, provided that a plan for the new construction or renovation is in place by December 2023.
6.12 Additional requirements for dairy cattle housing
6.12.1 Tie stalls in existing dairy barns may be used for lactating dairy cows, and for a period of one month for the training of heifers raised in loose housing. Tie stalls are prohibited in new construction and major renovations. All use of tie stalls will be phased out of organic dairy production by December 2030. By December 2020, if tie stalls are used, dairy cows shall have an exercise period at least twice a week, preferably every day.
6.12.2 In a free-stall system, the ratio of cows to stalls shall not exceed 1:1.
6.12.3 Electric trainers are prohibited. The tails of cows in stalls may be tied to prevent the tail from lying in the gutter, provided that the tying allows for natural behaviour, free movement of the tail and quick release when necessary.
6.12.4 If milking parlours are in use:
- operators shall minimize animal waiting time between the time they are moved to the holding area and the time they return to the barn or pasture
- portable milking units shall be available for sick or weak animals that are unable to make it to the milking parlour
- electric crowd gates are prohibited; and
- non-slip flooring shall be used in the holding area, parlour and alleys
6.12.5 Calves may be housed in individual pens and hutches, up to three months of age, provided that the following conditions are met:
- they are not tethered and have enough room to turn around, lie down, stretch out when lying down, get up, rest and groom themselves
- individual pens are designed and located so that each calf can see, smell and hear other calves
- individual housing has an area of at least 2.5 m2 (27 ft2) and a minimum width of 1.5 m (4.9 ft); and
- outdoor hutches shall have access to an enclosed yard or run
6.12.6 Calves shall be group-housed after weaning.
6.12.7 Dairy replacement calves over nine months of age shall have access to pasture, as appropriate for the season.
6.13 Additional requirements for poultry
6.13.1 The operator shall establish and maintain poultry living conditions that accommodate the health and natural behaviour of poultry as follows:
- The keeping of poultry in row, battery, enriched or colony cages, is prohibited
- Poultry shall be reared in open-range conditions and have free access to pasture, open-air runs, and other exercise areas, subject to weather and ground conditions. Outdoor areas shall:
- be free of prohibited substances for 36 months prior to their use
- be covered with vegetation, seeded if necessary, and periodically left empty to allow vegetation to regrow and to prevent disease build-up. To facilitate rodent control, a vegetation-free perimeter around poultry houses is permitted
- have effective overhead cover (for shade and protection from avian predators) distributed throughout the range area of barn-raised birds to encourage continual use by the birds. The cover may be natural (such as trees, shrubs and crops) or artificial (such as shade cloth, camouflage netting, screens or trailers). Roof overhangs over pasture may account for up to 50% of the required overhead cover if they are functional (i.e., they provide shade and protection from avian predators). By December 2023, operators shall submit a plan to ensure that this overhead cover shall represent at least 10% of the minimum required range area (as outlined in Table 5 of 6.13.13) by December 2025; and
- show signs of use as appropriate for the season
- In an emergency, when outdoor access results in an imminent threat to the health and welfare of poultry, access may be restricted. Outdoor access shall resume when the imminent threat ends. Producers shall document periods of confinement; and
- Operators shall have an organic plan that describes outdoor access and how they will protect birds from disease and predators
6.13.2 General requirements for layers
- Layers may be confined during onset of lay, that is, until peak production is reached. The laying flock shall have outdoor access for at least one-third of its laying life
- Rearing facilities that closely match the conditions that exist in the layer barn are recommended. Pullets, however, may be kept indoors until they are fully immunized
- Layer flocks shall be limited to 10,000 birds. More than one flock may be in the same building if the flocks are separated and have separate runs
6.13.3 Enriched verandahs for barn-raised layers
- Enriched verandahs shall be used when barn-raised layers do not have access to outdoor runs because of weather or disease constraints
- An enriched verandah is a covered, uninsulated, unheated extension to a poultry barn. Birds shall have access to the enriched verandah year-round during daylight hours, at least from spring through fall. The enriched verandah shall:
- have an outdoor climate but offer protection from inclement weather (e.g., wind, rain), rodents, predators and disease threats
- represent at least ⅓ of the footprint of the indoor barn area
- have natural lighting which may be supplemented with artificial lighting
- have a sand floor, a dirt floor or a solid floor covered with bedding, such as straw or wood shavings, for comfort and warmth and to encourage foraging, scratching and dust-bathing behaviours
- offer enrichments (examples include perches, trays of greens, hay bales, pecking objects) to encourage natural behaviours; and
- not count towards indoor or outdoor space allowance
- enriched verandahs shall be provided in new construction for barn-raised layers. They shall be added to existing infrastructure when the operator cannot demonstrate that at least 25% of layers utilize the outdoor range when there are no weather or disease constraints
- All existing enriched verandahs shall be accepted as they are as of December 2020; they are exempt from 6.13.3 b 2 and 6.13.3 b 6
- If the operator can demonstrate that the addition of an enriched verandah of the size specified in 6.13.3 b is not possible for an existing barn due to lack of space or because of design limitations of the existing barn:
- a smaller enriched verandah shall be allowed provided it is as close in size as possible to the requirement of ⅓ of the footprint of the indoor barn area; or
- the enriched verandah shall be constructed in the uncovered outdoor area and, as an exception, may count as part of the outdoor space allowance; or
- operators are granted an exemption that permits the use of existing infrastructure until December 2030, provided that a plan for the new construction or renovation is in place by December 2025
6.13.4 Layers shall have access to an adequate number of nests, as recommended by best management practices.
6.13.5 Perches shall meet the following criteria:
- In the first weeks of life, layer chicks shall have continuous access to perch space
- During the pullet rearing phase, adequate perch space shall be appropriate for the final production system and accessible at all times and at varying heights
- Laying hens shall have a minimum of 15 cm (5.9 in.) perch space per hen, accessible at all times and at varying heights
- Perches for laying hens shall be purpose-designed, such as alighting (landing) rails in aviaries, which allow birds to wrap their toes around the rail. Feed and water trough edges, slatted floors and ladder rungs are not considered purpose-designed perching objects, but may be used to provide additional perch space beyond what is required in 6.13.5 a, 6.13.5b and 6.13.5c
- Perches shall be a minimum diameter or width of 1.9 cm (0.75 in.)
- Other poultry are exempt from 6.13.5 a, 6.13.5b, 6.13.5c, 6.13.5d and 6.13.5e
Producers are advised to review the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pullets and Laying Hens (see 2.4) to ensure they meet additional perch requirements for both pullets and adult layers contained therein.
6.13.6 General requirements for meat chickens and turkeys
- Meat chickens that will be raised outdoors in shelters without indoor access shall have access to pasture on a daily basis by four weeks of age, unless weather conditions endanger the health or safety of the birds. Turkeys shall have outdoor access by eight weeks of age
- Barn-raised meat chickens shall have outdoor access on a daily basis by at least 25 days of age when there are no weather constraints. Operators shall take measures to increase use of the pastures and outside exercise areas and have a goal of a minimum of 15% of birds on range when there are no weather constraints. Operators shall document the use of the range and continue to strive to increase the number of birds on the range in future years. This will be reviewed by December 2025
Potential measures for increasing the usage of pasture, outdoor range and outside exercise areas:
- use slower-growing foraging (hardy) breeds (characterized by a growth rate of no more than 45 g/day)
- use a ration that has been nutritionally adjusted for slower growth (i.e., lower in protein)
- implement an older slaughter age (e.g., 60 days) provided the health of the birds can be maintained
- allow outdoor access before the minimum age specified
- provide mobile units for summer production
- provide effective overhead cover on pasture
- provide pasture enrichment (e.g., feed, water, perches, etc.)
- improve pasture access (e.g., pophole changes, etc.); and
- provide enriched verandahs (see descriptions in 6.13.3 b)
6.13.7 Poultry barns shall have sufficient exits (popholes) to ensure that all birds have ready access to the outdoors.
6.13.8 Exits shall:
- allow passage of more than one bird at a time, and be evenly distributed along the line of access to the outdoor range
- shall correspond to the requirements shown in Table 4 for the number and size of exits
|Poultry||Combined width of popholes||Minimum width of each pophole||Minimum height||Minimum number|
|Layers||2 m (6.6 ft)/1000 hens||50 cm (20 in.)||35 cm (14 in.)||2|
|Broilers||1 m (3.3 ft)/1000 birds OR all birds within 15 m (49 ft) of an exit||50 cm (20 in.)||35 cm (14 in.)||2|
|Turkeys||2 m (6.6 ft)/1000 birds||150 cm (59 in.)||75 cm (30 in.)||2|
6.13.9 When existing organic poultry barns do not meet the requirements of 6.13.8 b) (Table 4), either the distance from an exit from anywhere in the barn shall be no more than 15 m (49 ft), or the operator shall provide evidence that birds utilize outdoor range. Evidence shall demonstrate that 25-50% of birds are on range when there are no age or weather constraints.
6.13.10 Bedding material shall be provided as litter material and kept dry. Houses with slatted floors shall have a minimum of 30% solid, bedded floor area to encourage dust bathing, scratching and foraging behaviours.
6.13.11 Poultry shall have access to at least the number of waterers and feeders required by the relevant Code of Practice (see 2.4).
6.13.12 Poultry housed indoors shall be provided with natural light either with evenly distributed windows or light-permeable fabric. The total window area shall be no less than 1% of the total ground-floor area, unless it can be demonstrated that natural light levels are sufficient to read a document, such as a newspaper, anywhere in the barn. If daylength is artificially prolonged, the total duration of light shall not exceed 16 hours, and shall be terminated by gradual reduction of light intensity followed by 8 hours of continuous darkness. The following exceptions are permitted and shall be documented:
- periods of increased lighting are permitted due to the stage of production, for example, the arrival of chicks and turkey poults
- decreased lighting intensity is permitted due to animal welfare concerns, for example, outbreaks of cannibalism
6.13.13 The maximum indoor and outdoor densities are shown in Table 5.
|Layers||6 birds/m2 (10.76 ft2)||4 birds/m2 (10.76 ft2)|
|Pullets 0-8 weekstable 5 note b||24 birds/m2 (10.76 ft2)||16 birds/m2 (10.76 ft2)|
|Pullets 9-18 weekstable 5 note b||15 birds/m2 (10.76 ft2)||10 birds/m2 (10.76 ft2)|
|Broilers||21 kg/m2 (4.3 lb/ft2)||21 kg/m2 (4.3 lb/ft2)|
|Turkeys/large birds||26 kg/m2 (5.3 lb/ft2)||17 kg/m2 (3.5 lb/ft2)|
Table 5 Notes
6.13.14 Multi-level aviary systems for layers shall have no more than three levels or tiers above ground level. Total floor space, for calculation of solid-floor area and bird density requirements, shall include all usable floor levels (see 6.13.10 and 6.13.13). If enriched verandahs are used to provide required scratching areas, they shall be accessible year-round.
6.13.15 For pasture-based operations with mobile units, stocking density shall be no more than 2000 layers/ha (800 layers/ac.), 2500 broilers/ha (1000 broilers/ac.) or 1300 large birds (turkeys/geese)/ha (540 large birds/ac.), based on the total amount of land used for rotational poultry pasture. When birds are in moveable field shelters, the shelters shall be moved daily, whenever possible, and at least once every four days, taking into consideration the impact on the birds and on the land. Density within the moveable shelters shall correspond to the indoor density described in 6.13.13.
6.13.16 Buildings shall be emptied, cleaned and disinfected, between flocks, and runs shall be left empty to allow the vegetation to grow back.
6.13.17 Ducks and geese shall have access to a water area created for their use, whenever weather conditions permit. Facility design shall address the need to prevent commingling of wild waterfowl and domestic poultry.
6.14 Additional requirements for rabbits
6.14.1 If required for comfort and security, rabbits may be temporarily confined, for example, overnight, in cages or hutches. Continuous confinement is prohibited.
6.14.2 The use of mobile pasture pens is permitted, provided that pens do not restrict natural behaviour and they are moved at least once every three days.
6.14.3 Rabbits shall have space to run, hop and dig, and to sit upright on their back legs with ears erect. The minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements are shown in Table 6.
|Rabbits||Indoor space||Outdoor—runs and concrete exercise areas||Outdoor—pasture||Mobile pens|
|From weaning to slaughter||0.3 m2 (3.23 ft2)/head||2 m2 (22 ft2)/head||5 m2 (54 ft2)/head||0.4 m2 (4.3 ft2)/head|
|Pregnant does||0.5 m2 (5.4 ft2)/head||2 m2 (22 ft2)/head||5 m2 (54 ft2)/head||0.5 m2 (5.4 ft2)/head|
|Does and litters||0.7 m2 (7.5 ft2)||2 m2 (22 ft2)||Not applicable||0.4 m2 (4.3 ft2)/head in shelter
2.4 m2 (26 ft2) for grazing area
|Bucks||0.3 m2 (3.23 ft2)/head||2 m2 (22 ft2)/head||5 m2 (54 ft2)/head||0.4 m2 (4.3 ft2)/head|
6.14.4 Rabbits shall not be subjected to continuous lighting or kept in permanent darkness. During the day, rabbits shall be able to clearly see each other and their surroundings.
6.14.5 Does about to give birth shall be given secluded individual burrows or nest boxes for kindling (birthing).
6.14.6 The doe and litter shall have free access to outdoor range and foraging areas once the kits reach 21 days of age.
6.14.7 Weaning before the kits are 30 days of age is prohibited. However, if the welfare of the doe or kits is compromised, earlier weaning is permitted.
6.15 Additional requirements for pigs and farm-raised wild boar
6.15.1 The number of animals on a production unit shall reflect the size of the available land-base, which comprises land owned, leased and available for spreading their manure, and based on a balance between animal units, feed production and manure management. Farrow to finish operators shall not exceed 2.5 sows/ha (1 sow/ac.).
6.15.2 Pigs shall have access to outdoor exercise areas with the exception of sows with nursing piglets. Outdoor access can be temporarily restricted as stated in 6.7.2.
- Outdoor areas may include woodlands, other natural environments, soil or concrete exercise areas. Access to pasture is recommended but not mandatory. If pasture areas are degraded and cannot be used by the pigs, other outdoor exercise areas shall be provided in order to meet the requirements for outdoor access and rooting
- An outdoor exercise area may be covered as long as at least three sides of the structure are open
- When outdoors in open areas (e.g., pasture), pigs shall have access to shaded/sheltered areas suitable for the whole herd so they may take cover during inclement weather
- Pigs shall not be confined exclusively to concrete yards without access to an indoor or outdoor bedded area
- Guidelines around management of outdoor areas (6.7.1), preventing occurrence and spread of parasites (6.6.1 c, 6.6.11) and permitting rooting for pigs (6.15.7) shall apply
Pasture management practices implemented to avoid degradation and prevent parasite build-up may include:
- rotation of pastures with annual crops
- having a paddock rotation plan depending on the season
- leaving a paddock empty for 5 years before repopulating with growing pigs
- keeping sows in a paddock for a maximum of 2 years before providing the paddock with a rest period
6.15.3 Sows and gilts shall be kept in groups, with the following exceptions:
- individual pens are permitted for the protection of females during estrus, or for other health reasons, for a period of up to five days
- sows may be individually housed in a pen (7.5 m2 (81 ft2) per sow with litter) for up to five days prior to farrowing and during the suckling period
- if needed for piglet protection during the suckling period, sow restraint is permitted for a maximum of three days. Sows may be restrained for a shorter period to protect the operator during piglet processing or pen cleaning
- the use of farrowing crates as a means of restraint is prohibited
6.15.4 Piglets shall not be weaned before four weeks of age. However, if the welfare of the sow and piglets is compromised, earlier weaning is permitted.
6.15.5 Piglets shall not be kept on flat decks or in cages.
6.15.6 Boars may be housed in individual enclosures provided there is visual and tactile contact with other pigs.
6.15.7 Indoor and outdoor exercise areas shall permit rooting.
6.15.8 The use of nose rings is prohibited.
6.15.9 The minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements are shown in Table 7.
|Pigs and boars||Indoor space||Outdoor runs and pens|
|Sow and piglets (up to 40 days old).||7.5 m2 (81 ft2) for each sow and litter||Not required|
| 0.6 m2 (6.5 ft2)/head
0.8 m2 (8.6 ft2)/head
1.1 m2 (12 ft2)/head
1.3 m2 (14 ft2)/head
| 0.4 m2 (4.3 ft2)/head
0.6 m2 (6.5 ft2)/head
0.8 m2 (8.6 ft2)/head
1.0 m2 (10.76 ft2)/head
|Sows in group pens||3 m2 (32.3 ft2)/head||3 m2 (32.3 ft2)/head|
|Boars in individual pens||9 m2 (97 ft2)/head||9 m2 (97 ft2)/head|
Table 7 Notes
7 Specific production requirements
7.1.1 Bees may be introduced to an operation and managed for production benefits, such as pollination of organic crops. If managed as a livestock species for the production of organic products (for example, honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax and bee venom), bees shall be managed in accordance with this standard.
7.1.2 The operator shall prepare a detailed organic plan (see 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3) that describes the source of bees; production methods; bee diet; control of pests, including diseases, mites and insects; breeding; and other related issues of colony management. Where applicable, the organic plan shall also describe crop management practices.
7.1.3 Records that document all apiary management activities, including removal of supers and extraction of honey (see 4.4), shall be maintained.
7.1.4 The treatment and management of bee colonies shall be informed by the principles of organic production (see Introduction, clause 0.2).
7.1.5 Organic plants and undomesticated, non-agricultural vegetation shall be the primary source of nectar, honeydew and pollen. Crops treated with prohibited substances and genetically engineered crops shall be avoided.
7.1.6 Bee health shall be based on appropriate measures, such as selection of stock with disease-resistant traits, availability of suitable forage, and good apiary management practices.
7.1.7 When bees are placed in wild areas, impact on the indigenous insect population shall be considered
126.96.36.199 Colonies and hives (including brood and honey super frames) shall be under continuous organic management for at least 12 months before products may be considered organic.
188.8.131.52 Colonies and hives shall not be rotated between organic and non-organic management systems. Bees treated with antibiotics are subject to the requirements of 184.108.40.206.
7.1.9 Introduced bees
If commercially available, introduced bees, that is, replacement bees for established colonies, shall be organic. Replacement colonies shall be produced within the operation or come from another established organic apiary.
7.1.10 Location of hives
Where sources or zones of prohibited substances are present, that is, genetically engineered (GE) crops or environmental contamination, apiaries shall be protected with a buffer zone of 3 km (1.875 mi.). The following exceptions apply:
- fertilizers (including those that are not listed in Table 4.2 Column 2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311) are permitted in the buffer zone, with the exception of sewage sludge; and
- buffer zones may be reduced if natural features that would restrict the likelihood of bee travel (such as forests, hills or waterways) and abundant compliant forage are present
7.1.11 Forage and feeding
220.127.116.11 The primary food source for adult colonies shall be nectar and pollen collected from sources conforming to this standard and food sources stored by the bees in the hive (honey, pollen, etc.).
- In the event of a regional or seasonal shortage of forage and for winter feeding of colonies, the following is allowed in order of preference:
- organic honey from within the operation
- organic sugar (e.g., inverted, syrup, fondant)
- non-organic transitional honey
- non-organic, non-genetically engineered (non-GE) sugar (compliant with 1.4 and 1.5)
- In the case of the use of non-organic, non-GE refined sugar, the operator shall:
- maintain and document appropriate practices to prevent the mixing of organic and non-organic feeds in honey supers; and
- develop a plan to reduce, and potentially eliminate, the use of non-organic refined sugar from the bee production system by December 2025
- Feeding shall only occur between the last honey harvest and 15 days before the start of the next nectar or honeydew flow-period
Article 18.104.22.168 will be reviewed by 2025.
22.214.171.124 Feed shall not be provided less than 30 days before the harvest of honey.
7.1.12 Colony management
126.96.36.199 Hives shall be clearly and individually identified, and shall be monitored regularly, that is, at one- to two-week intervals, depending upon the colony, weather conditions and time of year.
188.8.131.52 Wing clipping of queen bees is prohibited.
184.108.40.206 Bees shall be removed from hives with bee escape boards, shaking, brushing and forced-air blowers.
220.127.116.11 Plant-based materials that have not been treated with prohibited substances (see 1.5) may be used in bee smokers.
18.104.22.168 Annual destruction of bee colonies, following nectar flows, is prohibited.
7.1.13 Hive construction
22.214.171.124 Hives shall be constructed of and maintained with natural materials, such as wood and metal. Pressure-treated lumber or particleboard, wood preservatives and lumber treated with prohibited substances are not permitted.
126.96.36.199 Exterior surfaces of the hive may be painted with non-lead-based paints.
188.8.131.52 If dipped in organic beeswax, plastic foundation is permitted.
7.1.14 Health care
184.108.40.206 Preventative health care practices shall be established and maintained, including the selection of bee stocks resistant to prevalent pests including mites and diseases; the selection of hive locations considering site-specific conditions; the availability of sufficient pollen and honey; the renewal of beeswax; the regular cleaning and disinfection of equipment; and the destruction of contaminated hives and materials when appropriate for pest management.
220.127.116.11 The operator shall promote strong, healthy colonies. Management practices may include: merging weaker, albeit healthy, colonies; renewing queens, if necessary; maintaining adequate hive density; inspecting colonies systematically; and relocating diseased colonies to isolated areas.
7.1.15 Managing pests including insects and diseases
18.104.22.168 The operator shall be a knowledgeable beekeeper who is familiar with the life cycle and behaviour of bees and related disease-causing organisms, parasitic mites and other pests. In the presence of such pests, every effort shall be made to restore the health of a colony.
22.214.171.124 Every effort shall be made to select and breed queen bees for resistance to diseases and parasites.
126.96.36.199 Comb foundation shall be obtained from beeswax within the operation or, if commercially available, from other organic sources.
188.8.131.52 Pests (including diseases) shall be controlled with management methods or modified equipment.
184.108.40.206 Botanical compounds may be introduced into the hive provided that such remedies are listed in Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311, and are not used within 30 days of nectar flow or when honey supers are on the hive.
220.127.116.11 Therapeutic applications of substances to control pests (including parasites and diseases) listed in Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 are permitted.
18.104.22.168 Allopathic drugs (for example, antibiotics) are prohibited. However, where the imminent health of the colony is threatened, oxytetracycline is permitted (See Antibiotics, oxytetracycline in Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311. Before treatment, hives and colonies shall be removed from the foraging area and taken out of organic production to prevent the spread of antibiotics within the apiary. Treated hives (containers present during treatment) along with the bees present during treatment (excluding queens) shall be placed in isolation and undergo a 12-month transition period. Wax present in the hives during treatment shall not be marketed as organic.
22.214.171.124 Destroying the male brood is only permitted to contain infestation with varroa mites.
7.1.16 Extraction, processing and storage
126.96.36.199 Extraction of honey from a comb with live brood is prohibited.
188.8.131.52 The quality and organic integrity of honey and other products of apiculture (see 7.1.1) shall be preserved and protected as specified in 8.1.
184.108.40.206 Surfaces in direct contact with honey shall be constructed of food-grade materials or coated with beeswax.
220.127.116.11 Heating of honey for extraction shall not exceed 35 °C (95 °F) and the decrystallization temperature shall not exceed 47 °C (116.6 °F). If organic honey is heated above those temperatures, then it can only be used as an ingredient in a multi-ingredient product.
18.104.22.168 Gravitational settling shall be used to remove debris from extracted honey. Sieves are permitted for removal of residual debris.
22.214.171.124 Honey shall be packaged in airtight containers.
126.96.36.199 Facility cleaning, sanitation and pest management are subject to the requirements in 8.2 and 8.3.
7.2 Maple products
7.2.1 The standards for maple production also apply to syrup production in other tree types, such as birch.
7.2.2 Organic maple products shall be from production units managed in accordance with this standard.
7.2.3 This standard applies to all stages of production and preparation—the maintenance and development of the sugar bush, collecting and storing sap, converting sap to syrup, making products out of syrup, washing and sterilizing equipment, and storing finished products.
7.2.4 The production of maple syrup shall be characterized by good management practices of the sugar bush and its ecosystem. Development and maintenance shall focus, over the long term, on preservation of the sugar bush ecosystem and improvement of tree vigour.
7.2.5 Tapping practices shall minimize risk to the health and longevity of the trees.
7.2.6 Equipment and techniques used to collect and store sap shall lead to a prepared product of the highest possible quality. Equipment shall be in good condition, shall be composed of materials suitable for use in the manufacture of food products, and shall be used according to the manufacturer's instructions.
7.2.7 During conversion of sap to syrup, the sap can take on the odour of anything it comes into contact with. Therefore, care shall be taken to avoid denaturing the product during preparation. The use of technology, such as magnetization, that is likely to alter the intrinsic qualities of the product is prohibited.
This standard shall be fully applied on a production unit for at least 12 months before the harvest of sap may be considered organic. Prohibited substances shall not have been used for at least 36 months preceding the first harvest. Parallel production is prohibited.
Part 13 Organic Products of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations requires that the application for the organic certification of maple products be filed at least 15 months before the day on which the food is expected to be sold.
During that period of time, compliance with this standard will be assessed by the certification body and this assessment must include at least one inspection of the production unit, during production, in the year before maple products may be eligible for certification and one inspection, during production, in the year maple products are eligible for certification.
7.2.9 Sugar bush development and maintenance
188.8.131.52 Plant diversity
The operator shall encourage species diversity in the sugar bush, in particular, companion species to the sugar maple. Companion species should represent a minimum of 15% of the volume of wood within the sugar bush. If companion species represent less than 15%, their growth shall be encouraged. Systematic clearing of undergrowth and brush is prohibited, even if growth is abundant. However, vegetation may be removed to clear paths and to facilitate movement.
When it is necessary or when required by the forest administrator, thinning of the sugar bush shall be performed according to current good management practices, both public and private, and shall be evenly distributed throughout the sugar bush.
184.108.40.206 Tree protection
If livestock (for example, beef or dairy cattle, pigs or domestic deer) could harm sugar trees, livestock access to the bush shall be prohibited in order to preserve plant diversity and the growth of young trees. Pipeline networks shall be installed in a manner that shall not injure nor harm the growth of trees.
Fertility recommendations and applications shall be based on observed, diagnosed and documented deficiencies. Soil amendments permitted for maple production include wood ash, agricultural lime and fertilizers listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311.
220.127.116.11 Pest control
Knowledge and understanding of pests (in the sugar bush and preparation facility), their habits, and solutions that maintain the bush ecosystem, are the preferred basis for pest control. Within the sugar bush, substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 are permitted for control of pests including diseases and insects. Within preparation facilities, mechanical and sticky traps are permitted for rodents and other destructive pests, as are natural repellents listed in Table 8.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311. If an infestation occurs, vertebrate pests may be hunted. It is prohibited to use poisons of any kind to control vertebrate pests.
18.104.22.168 Tree diameter and number of taps
Table 8 indicates the maximum number of taps a healthy maple can support, based on its chest height diameter (CHD); CHD is the diameter measured at a height of 1.3 m (4.3 ft) above the soil surface. A tree shall not have more than three tap holes.
|Diameter measured at a height of 1.3 m (4.3 ft) above the soil surface||Maximum number of taps|
|Less than 20 cm (8 in.)||0|
|20 to 40 cm (8 to 16 in.)||1|
|40 to 60 cm (16 to 23.6 in.)||2|
|60 cm (23.6 in.) or greater||3|
22.214.171.124 Depth and diameter of tap holes
Depth of tap holes shall be no more than 5 cm (1.9 in.) from the surface of the bark for trees with a diameter smaller than 25 cm (9.8 in.), or 6 cm (2.4 in.) from the surface of the bark for trees with a diameter equal or higher than 25 cm (9.8 in.). Diameters shall not be greater than 7.93 mm (5/16 in.). If a tree is diseased, infested with other pests, decaying, or if tap holes are not healing properly, stricter standards shall be implemented:
- The number of taps per tree shall be reduced to 2 where 126.96.36.199 allows 3, and 1 where 2 are allowed
- When the chest height diameter is less than 25 cm (≈9 7/8 in.), tapping is prohibited
If the trees are compromised by injury, insects, diseases or decay, Table 7 of 188.8.131.52 may be used in accordance with the standard, however, spouts with a smaller diameter shall be used or operators shall abstain from tapping.
184.108.40.206 Disinfection of tap holes and tapping equipment
Food-grade ethyl alcohol may be sprinkled onto spouts and drill bits during tapping, but sprinkling in tap holes is prohibited. It is prohibited to use any other germicide, such as denatured alcohol (a mixture of ethanol and ethyl acetate) or isopropyl alcohol, in tap holes and on tapping equipment.
220.127.116.11 Renewing the tap and removal of spouts
Maple trees shall only be tapped once a year. The practice of retapping a previously tapped tree during the same season or double tapping is prohibited. To allow trees to heal, spouts shall be removed no later than 60 days after the final, seasonal sap flow. Maple trees shall only be tapped during the sugar bush operation period (maple syrup season). Fall syrup production is prohibited.
7.2.11 Collection and storage of maple syrup
Spouts shall be made of food-grade materials.
18.104.22.168 Vacuum collection system
All parts of the collection system that may come in contact with sap shall be made of materials suitable for use in the manufacture of food products. Pumps shall be well-maintained and used oil shall be collected and disposed of so as to not contaminate the environment.
It is recommended to recycle all materials of the components of the collection system.
All equipment that may come into contact with sap or its concentrate and filtrates, such as storage tanks, connections and transfer systems, shall be made of materials suitable for use in the manufacture of food products. This also applies to any surface coatings, such as paints and soldered joints. The use of air injection systems with a forced air blower in sap before, during or after its conversion to syrup is prohibited.
22.214.171.124 Collecting with buckets
Pails or buckets may be made of aluminum or plastic. Galvanized steel is prohibited. Buckets shall be covered with a lid. The standards that apply to storage tanks also apply to reservoirs used to transport collected sap.
7.2.12 Conversion of sap to syrup
126.96.36.199 Sap filtration
Sap shall be filtered before processing. The filtration shall not compromise the sap's inherent qualities.
188.8.131.52 Sap sterilization
Sterilization of sap with ultraviolet radiation or by adding a sterilizer prior to conversion is prohibited.
184.108.40.206 Osmosis extraction and membranes
Sap may be concentrated via reverse osmosis. Only reverse osmosis and nano-filtration (ultra-osmosis) membranes are allowed. In the off-season, osmosis membranes shall be stored in filtrate, or potable water, in a hermetically sealed container and kept in a frost-free location. Sodium metabisulfite (SMBS) or potassium metabisulfite (PMBS) may be added to the filtrate or potable water to prevent mould growth. If SMBS or PMBS is used, the membrane shall be rinsed before the next use with a volume of water equal to the hourly capacity of the membrane (for example, 2271 L (600 gal) of water for a 2271 L/h (600 gal./h) membrane). Off-site storage of the membrane (for example, by the membrane supplier) shall be documented. Food-grade lubricants are allowed as a lubricant for equipment used in maple production.
Evaporator pans shall be made of stainless steel. They shall be tungsten-inert gas (TIG) welded or soldered with tin-silver solder. Pans made of galvanized steel, copper, aluminum or tin-plated steel are prohibited. Air and environmental quality shall be controlled in the evaporator room. Air injection systems with a forced air blower are prohibited in evaporator pans.
Only plant-based organic anti-foaming products that have not been chemically altered are permitted. Examples include Pennsylvania maple wood (Acer pennsylvanicum, also known as striped maple or moosewood) and organic vegetable oils, except those with allergenic potential.
220.127.116.11 Syrup filtration and other treatments
Organic maple syrup shall not be refined by artificial means, bleached or lightened in colour. Any manipulation on maple syrup carried out in order to mask defects in flavour, mainly that of the bud, is prohibited. Simple filtration via the following methods is permitted: through cloth or paper, a filter press or calcined diatomaceous earth; or use of silica powder or clay dust with a filter press to remove suspended solids. The use of air injection systems with a forced air blower in maple syrup is prohibited.
7.2.13 Cleaning of equipment for use in syrup production
18.104.22.168 Maple sap collection systems, tubing and tanks
Cleaning shall take place before or after each production season. Permitted sanitation substances include:
|Season||Equipment||Permitted santiation substances|
|In-season||For all equipment except tubing||
|Off-season||For all equipment including tubing||
Cleaning shall be followed by rinsing with drinking water, filtrate or sap before the next season
|For tubing only||
Cleaning shall be followed by rinsing with drinking water, filtrate or sap before the next season
Other substances, including those based on phosphoric acid, are prohibited.
22.214.171.124 Osmosis extraction and membranes
Reverse osmosis units and membranes shall first be cleaned using filtrate, according to the time and temperature recommended by the manufacturer.
- Cleaning during the production season:
- If after rinsing with warm filtrate (in an open or closed circuit), a Pure Water Permeability (PWP) test indicates that controlled efficiency is less than 85% of the controlled efficiency recorded at the beginning of the season, a caustic soda-based soap (NaOH) recommended by the manufacturer for membrane cleaning is permitted
- If PWP test results stay below 75% of the efficiency recorded at the beginning of the season after the use of a NaOH-based soap, citric acid is permitted
- Cleaning or a cleaning sequence with substances permitted in 126.96.36.199 a 1 and 188.8.131.52 a 2 shall be followed by a rinse with clean filtrate or potable water. The rinse volume shall be greater than or equal to 40 times the dead (residual) volume of the unit (total volume of the unit and its components after it is drained)
- Daily efficiency readings and calculations shall be recorded. Membrane flush water shall be disposed of in a manner that does not harm the environment
- Cleaning after the production season: Off-season treatment of membranes with citric acid is permitted. Following the citric acid treatment, the use of acetic acid, peracetic acid, and hydrogen peroxide is permitted
At any time, evaporators may be cleaned with potable water or filtrate adding, if necessary, acetic acid or products based on acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide or peracetic acid. Fermented sap may also be used at the end of the season. Double rinsing is mandatory if acetic acid, or if products based on acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide or peracetic acid, are used. The second rinsing shall be done with hot water, hot filtrate or hot sap.
184.108.40.206 Prohibited substances
Substances other than those specified in 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 are prohibited, including those with phosphoric acid content.
7.2.14 Food additives and processing aids
Transformation of syrup into maple products (for example, maple butter, sugar and taffy) shall comply with this standard. Boiling with microwaves is prohibited. No other substances shall be added to syrup or maple products during production or preparation, whether to improve the taste, texture or appearance. Cones may be used if they constitute less than 5% of the weight of the final product.
7.2.15 Transport, storage and conservation
Maple syrup not intended for immediate consumption shall be stored in food-grade containers that do not alter the chemical composition or quality of the syrup. Permitted containers include barrels made of stainless steel, fibreglass, food-grade plastic or metal with an interior food-grade coating. Reusing single-use barrels is prohibited. Barrels shall carry a unique identification number that is used in all related records. The barrel fill-date shall be recorded.
7.3 Mushroom production
All relevant subclauses in this standard apply to mushroom production where this subclause has no specific requirements, including 5.1.3, 5.1.4, 5.1.6, and 5.1.7. For outdoor production, 5.2.2 also applies.
7.3.1 Production sites and structures
For organic mushrooms or mushroom products, the operator shall manage production units in a manner that ensures substrates and mushrooms do not come into contact with prohibited substances. Substrates shall be produced in accordance with this standard and applicable entries in Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 such as Composting feedstocks and Compost produced on the production unit:
- For indoor facilities, organic mushrooms shall not come into contact with prohibited substances that would compromise the integrity of the crop
- For mushrooms grown in soil, prohibited substances shall not have been used for at least 36 months before the harvest of an organic crop
- For new installations or replacement purposes, lumber treated with prohibited substances shall not be used in structures, containers or other surfaces that come into contact with the growth substrate or mushrooms
7.3.2 Substrates and growth media
126.96.36.199 Wood substrates
Logs, sawdust or other wood-based materials used as substrates shall come from wood, trees or logs that have not been treated with prohibited substances.
Subclause 5.5.1 applies to manure used in growth substrates (including any non-organic agricultural substances in the manure). Manure shall be composted according to the requirements for soil amendments outlined in Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311.
188.8.131.52 Other agricultural substances
If they are not composted, agricultural substances such as straw, hay or grains used as growth substrate shall be from organic sources. If organic sources are not commercially available, non-organic sources may be used, provided that they are composted according to the requirements for soil amendments outlined in Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311.
Organic spawn (seed) shall be used. Spawn grown or treated with substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 may be used if organic spawn is not:
- available from within the production unit
- commercially available
7.3.4 Crop pest control and sanitation
Preventative pest control measures shall include the following:
- removal of infected materials. Infected mushroom strains shall be burned, moved at least 50 m (164 ft) from a production site (if, for example, the diseased logs are kept for research), or disposed of as recommended by good management practices
- sanitation with substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- using cultivation sites that are free of debris from understory, diseased trees and trees infected by other pests
- cleaning and maintenance of equipment with sanitizers and disinfectants listed in Table 4.2 (Column 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311
7.3.5 Mushroom product preparation
Wherever organic product preparation takes place, Subclause 8.1 and 8.2 apply.
7.3.6 Facility pest management
Subclause 8.3 applies to pest management practices in and around mushroom facilities.
7.4 Sprouts, shoots and microgreens production
Subclause 7.4 applies to crops that are harvested within 30 days of imbibition, either to be consumed with roots attached (e.g., sprouts and nanoshoots) or to be cut from the roots for consumption (e.g., shoots, living greens and microgreens). Subclause 7.4 does not apply to whole head products (e.g., heads of lettuce, mini cabbage).
Sprouts, shoots, and microgreens may be produced in water or in a growing media whether they are grown in a growth chamber or vessel, greenhouse or other structures used to grow crops
7.4.1 Organic seed shall be used.
Note: A water monitoring program should be in place to ensure water is potable.
7.4.2 Artificial lighting is permitted to supplement or replace natural light.
7.4.3 Inert containers made of stainless steel and food-grade plastic are permitted in both water and growing media production systems.
7.4.4 Containers made of untreated plant-based materials (for example: burlap, coconut coir, fibre) are prohibited in water production systems, but are permitted in growing media production systems.
7.4.5 Fertilizers in all stages of growing and harvesting are prohibited in water production systems.
7.4.6 When growing sprouts, shoots or microgreens in a growing media, substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 are permitted as the growing media and for crop nutrition. The physical structure of the growing media shall include both a mineral fraction (sand, silt or clay, excluding perlite and vermiculite) and a biological fraction.
7.4.7 Substances used for cleaning or sanitation of seed shall be limited to substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 2) or Table 7.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311.
7.4.8 When growing sprouts, shoots or microgreens the operator shall:
- use reusable and recyclable containers and flats whenever possible
- reuse or recycle growing media whenever possible
- only use substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 if crop production aids are required
- use appropriate equipment cleaners, disinfectants and sanitizers listed in Tables 7.3 and 7.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
7.4.9 Sprouts, shoots and microgreens product preparation
Wherever harvested organic product preparation takes place, 8.1 and 8.2 apply.
7.4.10 Facility pest management
Clause 8.3 applies to pest management practices in and around facilities.
7.5 Crops Grown in Structures or Containers (previously known as Greenhouse crops)
Clause 7.5 applies to:
- all organic crops grown in containers (indoors or outdoors). Containers include production systems that limit root contact with native soil, such as crops grown in pots, troughs and plastic-lined beds, etc.
- in-ground crops that are grown using supplemental lighting, heating or CO2 enrichment within a structure, such as a greenhouse, tunnel (high or low), hoophouse, etc.
This clause does not apply to:
- Sprouts, Shoots or Microgreens (Clause 7.4)
- in-ground crops grown in a structure, such as a cold frame, caterpillar tunnel, etc., without supplemental lighting, heating or CO2 enrichment
- crops grown under row cover, insect netting or bird netting (covered in Clause 5)
All relevant subclauses in this standard apply to crops grown in structures or containers where this subclause has no specific requirements, including 5.1.3, 5.1.4, 5.1.5, 5.1.6, and 5.1.7.
7.5.1 In a permanent, in-ground soil system, prohibited substances shall not have been used for at least 36 months before the harvest of an organic crop.
7.5.2 Hydroponic and aeroponic productions are prohibited.
184.108.40.206 The soil used in a container system shall:
- not contain prohibited substances (CAN/CGSB-32.310: 1.5)
- be composed of substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- contain a mineral fraction (sand, silt or clay, excluding perlite and vermiculite) and biological fraction, which contribute to the physical soil structure
- be composed of at least 10% by volume of compost (exception: seedling/starter mixes may contain less than 10% compost if needed to ensure adequate germination/rooting); and
- contain at least 2% by dry weight or volume (whichever unit of measure is appropriate) of minerals (sand, silt or clay, excluding perlite and vermiculite) at the start of a production cycle
220.127.116.11 The starting and maintained volume of soil in containers shall be proportional to the overall plant size, growth rate, targeted yield, and length of crop cycle.
- For crops grown in structures covered by Clause 7.5, the photosynthetic area comprises the floor area devoted to crop production including the aisles and spaces between plants but not including non-production areas, such as centre or header aisles, service ways, and storage areas, etc.
- For outdoor crops grown in containers, the photosynthetic area comprises the ground area devoted to crop production including the walkways, aisles and spaces between plants, but not including non-production areas, such as field access ways, turn-around areas, hedgerows and storage areas, etc.
- The length of a crop cycle will vary across the country, particularly in unheated structures, and should be taken into consideration when determining the volume of soil required. For perennial crops, the length of the active crop cycle starts at the beginning of seasonal growth and ends at the end of harvest during the same season
For container crops that are difficult to top-dress, for example strawberries, sufficient nutrition should be provided in the soil, prior to the start of the crop, to provide available nutrition continuously for the duration of the crop cycle. When this is not possible, liquid amendments listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 may be used.
18.104.22.168 The minimum amount of soil required for crops not covered by 22.214.171.124 is 2.5 L (0.66 gal)of soil per m2 of photosynthetic area per week of crop production time. The maximum amount of soil required in any case is 60 L/m2 of photosynthetic area. Crop production time is counted from the start of plant propagation (for example seeding, sticking of unrooted vegetative cuttings, divisions, etc.) until final harvest.
126.96.36.199 The following conditions apply to containerized, semi-indeterminate and indeterminate staked crops (for example, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant):
- additional compost applications shall be included in the fertility program
- the maintained soil volume shall be at least 60 L/m2 (1.2 gal./ft2), based on the photosynthetic area. Interplanting short-lived crops among other crops (e.g., basil among tomatoes) or having multiple crop cycles within a year (i.e., cucumber) do not reduce this 60 L/m2 requirement
- production units existing prior to November 2016 that have been continuously managed organically by the same operator, have not had major renovations, have not changed production area and do not comply with 188.8.131.52 b are allowed to continue producing staked crops using a soil volume smaller than 60 L/m2 (1.2 gal./ft2)
Part 13 Organic Products of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations requires that the application for the organic certification of crops grown in greenhouses with a permanent in-ground soil system be filed at least 15 months before the day on which the food is expected to be sold. During that period of time, compliance with this standard will be assessed by the certification body and this assessment must include at least one inspection of the production unit, during production, in the year before crops may be eligible for certification and one inspection, during production, in the year crops are eligible for certification. This requirement does not apply to greenhouses built on land that is part of an existing organic operation. In the case of an initial application for organic certification of crops grown in containers, the application for certification must be filed within 12 months before the day on which the product is expected to be marketed.
7.5.3 Supplemental heat and carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment are permitted. Supplemental nutrition with substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 is permitted.
7.5.4 Sunlight shall be the primary source of light for photosynthesis in all crops covered by Clause 7.5. Supplemental lighting may be used. As an exception, annual seedling transplants started in winter or spring that will be planted in the operation may be started by the operation under 100% artificial lights, from seeding to first transplanting. The expression "first transplanting" means moving a seedling to another growing medium (in a box, pot, container or in the ground).
7.5.5 For crops harvested within 30 days of imbibition, organic seed shall be used.
7.5.6 Plants and soil, including potting soil, shall not come in contact with prohibited substances, including wood treated with prohibited substances.
7.5.7 For crop production, the operator shall:
- use reusable and recyclable pots and flats whenever possible
- use substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1 or 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311 as required
- use appropriate equipment cleaners, disinfectants and sanitizers listed in Tables 7.3 and 7.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
7.5.8 The following procedures, processes or substances are permitted to:
- clean and disinfect crop structures, equipment which may contact the soil or crop, and plant containers, pots and flats:
- substances listed in Tables 7.3 or 7.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311; and
- steam-heat sterilization
- stimulate growth or development:
- substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 1 or 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311; and
- control of daily temperature and light levels
- prevent and control pests including diseases, insects and other organisms:
- substances listed in Table 4.2 (Column 2) of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- temperature manipulation, for example freezing, heating, steaming
- pest exclusion from greenhouses with air filters, screens or other physical devices; and
- biological control methods
7.5.9 Soil regeneration and recycling procedures shall be practiced. The following alternatives to crop rotation are permitted: grafting of plants onto disease-resistant rootstock; freezing the soil in winter; regeneration by incorporating biodegradable plant mulch (for example, straw or hay); and partial or complete replacement of greenhouse soil or container soil. Used soil shall be re-used either in the greenhouse, or on another crop, unless the disposal of used soil is mandatory due to a regulatory directive to avoid spreading pests (including insects or disease).
7.5.10 Greenhouse crop product preparation
Wherever organic product preparation takes place, Clauses 8.1 and 8.2 apply.
7.5.11 Facility pest management
Clause 8.3 applies to pest management practices in and around crop facilities.
7.6 Wild crops
7.6.1 An organic wild plant product shall be harvested from a clearly defined area or production unit. The operator shall provide documentation proving that prohibited substances have not been used for at least 36 months before the harvest of an organic crop.
7.6.2 The operator shall prepare an organic plan (see 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3) that includes:
- a detailed description of production areas and harvest methods
- management practices that preserve wild species and avoid disturbance of the environment; and
- a record keeping system that meets the requirements of 4.4
7.6.3 Wild products shall be considered organic on the condition that they are harvested in relatively undisturbed or stable natural settings. A wild plant shall be harvested or picked in a manner that promotes growth and production, and does not damage the environment.
7.6.4 The production zone for wild crops shall be isolated from contact with prohibited substances by a clearly defined buffer (see 5.2.2). Harvest sites shall be located more than one kilometre (0.62 mi.) from potential sources of environmental contamination, such as golf courses, dumps, sanitary landfill sites and industrial complexes.
7.6.5 Wild crop product preparation
Wherever organic product preparation takes place, 8.1 and 8.2 apply.
7.6.6 Facility pest management
Clause 8.3 applies to pest management practices in and around crop facilities.
7.7 Organic insects
All the relevant elements of clauses 1-6 in this standard shall apply.
8 Maintaining organic integrity during cleaning, preparation and transportation
Clause 8 applies to all operations that handle (including packaging and labelling), store or transport organic products for production or processing. During these activities, a central objective is to maintain the inherent organic qualities of the product through strict adherence to the procedures and principles of this standard. Operators are responsible for maintaining organic integrity at all points of the market supply chain, from production through the point of sale to the final consumer
8.1 Maintaining integrity
8.1.1 Preparation materials, such as counters, containers and conveyors, in contact with food shall be clean and of food-grade quality.
8.1.2 Incidental additives shall not compromise organic integrity:
- hand sanitizer substances, if used in direct contact with organic products, shall be listed in Table 7.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- culinary steam, that is, steam used in direct contact with organic products or packaging, shall only contain:
- substances listed in Tables 6.3, 6.4 or -6.5 of CAN/CGSB-32.311; and/or
- food-grade cleaners, disinfectants and sanitizers authorized for organic product contact in Table 7.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- food-contact lubricants shall be listed in Tables 6.3, 6.4 or -6.5 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- use of cleaners, disinfectants and sanitizers shall comply with the requirements in 8.2 of this standard
8.1.3 Mechanical, physical or biological processes (such as fermentation and smoking) are permitted.
8.1.4 To prevent commingling, organic products shall be segregated or otherwise protected from non-organic products at all times, for example, during processing, storage, at bulk and unbound stages.
8.1.5 If a production unit prepares both organic and non-organic products:
- organic and non-organic products shall not be mixed at any stage of preparation
- every measure shall be taken to ensure that the organic and non-organic identity of finished product is maintained
- operators shall document removal events used to prevent cross-contamination of organic and non-organic production runs
- preparation of organic products shall be carried out continuously until the run is complete
- organic runs shall be separated by place or time from similar preparation of non-organic products
- organic runs shall be planned in advance to prevent commingling; and
- additional measures are required to prevent accidental commingling of bulk at-risk organic seed or grain with non-organic grain which may contain trace GE contamination:
- Storage bins containing organic crops shall be visibly identified as organic using well-maintained, weather-resistant signage
- When at-risk organic crops are being moved between bulk storage bins (for example, grain drying, lot mixing), temporary signage shall be attached to the wagon or truck to visibly identify the load in transit as organic
- When organic crops are held in bulk bins for drying or roasting, temporary signage shall be attached to the bin to visibly identify the contents as organic
8.1.6 Organic product packaging shall:
- maintain organic product quality and integrity; and
- be minimal in a manner that is consistent with 8.1.6 a. Packaging materials that minimize harm to the environment throughout their life cycle are preferred; and
- comply with prohibitions in 1.4 b and e
8.2 Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing
8.2.1 Food-grade cleaners, disinfectants and sanitizers listed in Table 7.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 may be used as annotated:
- on organic product contact surfaces, which include equipment, storage and transport units
- in direct contact with organic products
8.2.2 Cleaners, disinfectants and sanitizers listed in Table 7.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 may be used on organic product contact surfaces, provided that documentation demonstrates:
- they are used as annotated; and
- removal event(s) have eliminated the substance(s) from organic product contact surfaces prior to organic production
8.2.3 If substances in Tables 7.3 and 7.4 are ineffective, other cleaners, disinfectants or sanitizers may be used on organic product contact surfaces, provided that documentation demonstrates the following conditions:
- the efficacy of the alternative substance(s)
- removal event(s) have eliminated the alternative substance(s) from organic product contact surfaces prior to organic production
- that effluent discharge was neutralized to minimize the negative impact on the environment
8.2.4 Specific cleaning, sanitation and disinfection requirements in clause 7 of this standard supersede those specified in 8.2.
8.3 Facility pest management and post-harvest management
8.3.1 Good production and manufacturing practices shall be adopted to prevent pests. Pest management practices shall involve the following, in descending order:
- the removal of pest habitat and food
- the prevention of access and environmental management (for example, light, temperature and atmosphere), to prevent pest intrusion and reproduction
- mechanical and physical methods, such as traps
- lures and repellents, as listed in Table 8.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
8.3.2 If the practices enumerated in 8.3.1 are ineffective, the operator may use pest control substances listed in Table 8.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311. The operator shall record the target pests, substances used, start and end dates, and the location(s) of pest control devices.
8.3.3 If the practices specified in 8.3.2 are ineffective, substances not listed in Table 8.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 may be used whenever organic product preparation takes place, including off-site storage facilities, provided that there is no risk to organic product status or integrity. Operators shall ensure that organic products or the packaging materials are not present when these substances are used indoors. Operators shall clearly document:
- why permitted substances were not suitable or ineffective for pest management
- how contact of organic products with unlisted substances was avoided
- all activities involved in the use, storage and disposal of unlisted substances
8.3.4 If pest and disease control substances that are not listed in Table 8.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 are used under any mandatory government program, operators shall monitor and document their use.
In the event of emergency pest outbreak, Canadian operators are required to notify their certification body immediately of any change that may affect organic product certification.
8.3.5 Substances in Table 8.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 may be used for post-harvest storage.
8.4.1 Every measure shall be taken to ensure that the integrity of organic inputs, ingredients and products is not compromised in transit. Physical segregation or other protection methods shall be used to avoid commingling or substitution with non-organic inputs, ingredients and products.
8.4.2 The following information shall accompany the organic product:
- the name and address of the person or organization responsible for the production, preparation or distribution of the product
- the name of the product
- the organic status of the product; and
- information that ensures traceability, for example, the lot number
8.4.3 Organic products shall not be exposed to pesticides or pest control substances that are not listed in Table 8.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 during any stage of transit or at border crossings.
Owners are responsible for the organic integrity of the organic product while it is in transit. This includes the use of common carriers and custom hauling. Transport companies share responsibility for organic integrity while loading, transporting, or off-loading certified organic products.
9 Organic product composition
Clause 9 applies to all operations involved in organic product preparation, including retailers.
9.1 Product composition
9.1.1 Organic product formulations shall consist primarily of organic whole or processed agricultural ingredients, organic whole or processed aquaculture ingredients, and organic processing aids. Other permitted ingredients and processing aids, as described in Clause 9.2, shall be kept to a minimum.
9.1.2 The evaluation of product composition shall exclude non-agricultural sub-parts of ingredients listed in Tables 6.3 and 6.4 in CAN/CGSB-32.311 that have a technical or functional effect on the ingredient but not on the final organic product, and are not declared on the final organic product label. These ingredient sub-parts may be present in the final organic product but only in insignificant amounts. This includes non-agricultural sub-parts of ingredients, such as anticaking agents, carriers and fillers, preservatives, stabilizers, pH adjusters or buffers. The calculation of organic percentages shall account for all constituent ingredients or ingredient sub-parts, distinguishing between organic and non-organic components of each ingredient contained in the product.
9.1.3 The percentage of all organic ingredients in an organic product shall be calculated as follows:
- Solid products (except livestock feed: see 9.1.3 d)—Divide the net mass, excluding water and salt, of all organic ingredients in the formulation or finished product, whichever is more relevant, by the net mass, excluding water and salt, of all ingredients
- Liquid products—If the product and its ingredients are liquid, divide the fluid volume of all organic ingredients, excluding water and salt, by the fluid volume of all ingredients, excluding water and salt. If the principal display panel, specification sheet or certificate of analysis uses phrases like “reconstituted from concentrates” to describe the final product, single-strength concentrations of the ingredients or the finished product shall be used to calculate organic percentages. Any user of an ingredient, to which water or salt has been added by a prior processor, and is declared as water or salt on the ingredient declaration of the finished product is required to exclude this added water or salt when calculating organic percentages
- Solid products and liquid products—Divide the combined net mass of solid organic ingredients and the net mass of liquid organic ingredients, excluding water and salt, by the total mass, excluding water and salt, of all ingredients in the finished product. Any user of an ingredient, to which water or salt has been added by a prior processor, and is declared as water or salt on the ingredient declaration of the finished product is required to exclude this added water or salt when calculating organic percentages
- Livestock feed shall contain 100% organic agricultural ingredients and necessary feed additives or supplements listed in Table 5.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311. Divide the total net mass, excluding water, salt and calcium compounds, of combined organic ingredients in the formulation or the finished product, whichever is more relevant, by the total mass, excluding water, and salt and calcium compounds, of all ingredients
9.1.4 The percentage of all organic ingredients in an organic product shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number.
9.2 Categorization of organic products
Based on the percentage of their organic ingredients, organic products fall into two categories:
9.2.1 95% organic content (or more)
Such products shall not contain an ingredient in both organic and non-organic form.
Such products may contain up to 5% of the following:
- “ingredients classified as food additives” and “ingredients not classified as food additives” as listed in Tables 6.3 and 6.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311, respectively, subject to requirements specified in substance listing annotations and restrictions specified in 6.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311. Listed ingredients of agricultural origin shall meet the requirements in 1.4 a, 1.4 c, 1.4 d and 6.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- non-organic agricultural processing aids that meet the requirements in 1.4 a, 1.4 b, 1.4 c, and 1.4 d, and any annotations listed in Table 6.5 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- non-agricultural processing aids as listed in Table 6.5 of CAN/CGSB-32.311, subject to the requirements specified in substance listing annotations
- non-organic agricultural ingredients that meet the requirements in 1.4 a, 1.4 c and 1.4 d. These ingredients are also subject to organic commercial availability requirements
9.2.2 70-95% organic content
Such products shall not contain an ingredient in both its organic and non‐organic form.
Such products may contain up to 30% of the following:
- non-organic agricultural ingredient subject to the requirements in 1.4 a, 1.4 c, and 1.4 d
- “ingredients classified as food additives”, and “ingredients not classified as food additives,” as listed in Tables 6.3 and 6.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311, respectively, subject to the requirements specified in substance listing annotations and restrictions specified in 6.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311. Listed ingredients of agricultural origin shall meet the requirements in 1.4 a, 1.4 c, 1.4 d and 6.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- non-organic agricultural processing aids that meet the requirements in 1.4 a, 1.4 b, 1.4 c, and 1.4 d, and any annotations listed in Table 6.5 of CAN/CGSB-32.311
- non-agricultural processing aids listed in Table 6.5 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 subject to the requirements specified in substance listing annotations
See Annex A for a summary of clause 9.
10 Procedures, criteria and conditions to amend CAN/CGSB-32.311 Organic production systems: Permitted substances lists
Clause 10 applies to all proposed amendments to the permitted substances lists (PSL). Only generic substances are listed in the PSL. Brand name substances, which may be a combination of generic substances, are not eligible for inclusion on the PSL. This clause does not apply to packaging materials, equipment surfaces, or other similar substances or materials.
10.1 Substance review procedures
10.1.1 Criteria provided in this clause shall be the determinants for amending CAN/CGSB-32.311.
10.1.2 The substance review process shall be open, transparent and fully participatory according to the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) procedures.
10.1.3 Consideration shall be given to the consequences a proposed amendment may have on equivalency and harmonization of this standard with standards and regulations of other jurisdictions.
10.2 Permitted substances criteria
10.2.1 Substances included in the PSL shall:
- comply with the general principles of organic production specified in section 0.2 of the Introduction of this standard, and
- comply with 1.4 and 1.5 of this standard
10.2.2 Substance reviews shall:
- consider the necessity, origin and mode of production, and the social and ecological impact of the production and application of the substance
- include a detailed description of the substance and a substantive rationale along with documentation in support of the proposed amendment; and
- include an evaluation of all available alternatives, including substances and acceptable practices outlined in this standard, and in other production systems
10.2.3 If applicable, the substance annotation shall include:
- restrictions concerning its origin and mode of production
- restrictions concerning its composition and usage; and
- a commercial availability clause which allows for the use of an alternative substance when the preferred form of the substance as outlined in the following tables is not available in sufficient quality or quantity, at the time of publication
10.3 Specific substance review criteria
The criteria used for guiding the review of a substance are described in Tables 10, 11, 12 and 13.
|Crop production||Soil amendments and crop nutrition (Table 4.2 Column 1 of CAN/CGSB-32.311)||Crop production aids and materials (Table 4.2 Column 2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311)|
|A. Necessity||Shall be necessary to improve or maintain soil fertility, to fulfil specific requirements of crops, or for specific soil conditioning and rotational purposes that cannot be satisfied by the requirements and practices of this standard.||Shall be necessary to manage plant diseases, insects, weeds and other pests. Used when no other adequate biological, physical or plant breeding alternatives or effective management practices are available.|
|B. Origin and mode of production||
Substance reviews shall consider:
|Livestock production||Livestock feed (Table 5.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311)||Livestock health care (Table 5.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311)|
||Shall be necessary to prevent or treat livestock health problems when other treatments permitted by this standard are not available.|
|B. Origin and mode of production||Shall be organic or derived from mineral or biological matter.||Shall be organic or derived from mineral or biological matter.|
Substance reviews shall consider:
|Processing||Food ingredients and processing aids (Tables 6.3-6.5 of CAN/CGSB-32.311)|
|B. Origin and mode of production||
Substance reviews shall consider the impact of use and potential misuse on:
|Cleaning & Sanitation||Cleaning and sanitation substances (Tables 7.3 and 7.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311)||Facility management substances (Tables 8.2 and 8.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311)|
|A. Necessity||Substances used for cleaning and sanitizing organic products and organic product contact surfaces shall be necessary and appropriate for the intended use.||Substances used for pest control or to cause a post-harvest physiological effect shall be necessary and appropriate for the intended use.|
|B. Origin and mode of production||
Substance reviews shall consider:
Annex A (informative) Categorization of organic products
|95%table A note a
|70<95%table A note b
|<70%table A note c|
|May not contain an ingredient in both its organic and non-organic form.||Applicable||Applicable||Not applicable|
|May contain up to 5% non-organic ingredients if the organic form is not commercially available.||Applicable||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|May contain up to 30% non-organic ingredients.||Not applicable||Applicable||Not applicable|
|May contain less than 70% organic ingredients.||Not applicable||Not applicable||Applicable|
|Non-organic ingredients both “classified as food additives” and “not classified as food additives” shall be listed in Tables 6.3 and 6.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311, meet the specified annotations and comply with 6.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311.||Applicable||Applicable||Not applicable|
|Whether listed or not in Tables 6.3 and 6.4 of CAN/CGSB-32.311, agricultural, non-organic ingredients shall meet 1.4 a), c) and d), and 6.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311.||Applicable||Applicable||Not applicable|
|Non-listed agricultural, non-organic ingredients are subject to commercial availability requirements.||Applicable||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Non-organic processing aids of agricultural origin are permitted, subject to the requirements of 1.4 a), b), c), and d); and any annotations listed in Table 6.5 of CAN/CGSB-32.311.||Applicable||Applicable||Not applicable|
|Non-agricultural processing aids are permitted if they are listed in Table 6.5 (processing aids) of CAN/CGSB-32.311.||Applicable||Applicable||Not applicable|
Table A.1 Notes
See definitions for ‘carbohydrate,’ ‘derivative,’ ‘fermentation’ in Clause 3 Definitions.
Annex B (informative) Permitted substances decision tree
Diagram of 12 steps to determine if a genetically engineered substance is permitted or prohibits
Permitted Substances Decision Tree
This is a flow diagram of 11 possible questions in the determination if a substance is permitted nor not permitted as an organic ingredient.
Start with a substance
- Step 1. Excluding any substates used in the production of a substance is the substance derived (e.g. manufactured or produced) from biological or mineral sources? Or both?
- If Yes go to step 2
- If No go to step 4
- Step 2. Does the production of the substance use:
- 1) physical processes (e.g. precipitation, extraction, mechanical or thermal)
- 2) enzymatic or microbial processes (e.g. composting, fermentation or digestion); or
- 3) chemical processes (e.g. extraction) that did not alter the substance’s chemical structure?
- If Yes go to step 3
- If No go to step 4
- Step 3. Is the substance made from a chemical reaction of two or more derivatives that were derived from biological or mineral sources (e.g. triethyl citrate made from permitted citric acid and ethyl alcohol)?
- If Yes go to step 4
- If No go to step 5
- Step 4. Is the substance listed in the applicable PSL Table?
- If Yes go to 10
- If No: Decision—The substance is prohibited
- Step 5. Excluding any substrates used in the production of a substance, if biological sources are used, are they GE?
- If yes go to Step 6
- If no go to Step 7
- If not applicable—no biological sources used, go to Step 10.
- Step 6. Is there a specific GE derogation for this substance (e.g. vaccines, I-lysine)?
- If yes: Decision—The substance is permitted
- If No: Decision—The substance is prohibited
- Step 7. Is the substance produced (wholly or in part) by fermentation?
- If Yes go to Step 8
- If No go to Step 10
- Step 8. Are the carbohydrates in the fermentation growth media/substrate GE?
- If Yes go to Step 9
- If No go to Step 10
- Step 9. Is a non-GE substrate based alternative commercially available? (PSL, 4.1.3, 5.1.2 & 6.2.1)
- If Yes: Decision—The substance is prohibited
- If No go to step 10
- Step 10. Does the substance meet the applicable PSL origin restrictions (e.g. derived from the specified sources) and usage restrictions listed in the appropriate table?
- If Yes go to Step 11
- If No: Decision—The substance is prohibited
- Step 11. If a substance contains substrates or growth media are they listed in the appropriate table?
- If yes: Decision—The substance is permitted
- If No: Decision—The substance is prohibited
Annex C (informative) Notes on Organic Principles
Section 0.2 of the Introduction indicates the General Principles of Organic Production. These are from IFOAM Organics International.
Historical organic principles
The principles listed below were the original principles published in 2006. Though they have been updated in the introduction of this standard, they have been retained in this annex to provide context for existing organic plans.
Organic production is based on principles that support healthy practices. These principles aim to increase the quality and the durability of the environment through specific management and production methods. They also focus on ensuring the humane treatment of animals.
The general principles of organic production include the following:
- Protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health
- Maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil
- Maintain biological diversity within the system
- Recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the operation
- Provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioural needs of livestock
- Prepare organic products, emphasizing careful processing, and handling methods in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the products at all stages of production
- Rely on renewable resources in locally organized agriculture systems
During the most recent revision of the Canadian Organic Standards, there has been considerable interest to enhance the requirements of fairness. This will be discussed again in 2025.
IFOAM Organics International describes fairness as:
“Organic Agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
Fairness is characterized by equity, respect, justice and stewardship of the shared world, both among people and in their relations to other living beings.
This principle emphasizes that those involved in Organic Agriculture should conduct human relationships in a manner that ensures fairness at all levels and to all parties—farmers, workers, processors, distributors, traders and consumers. Organic Agriculture should provide everyone involved with a good quality of life, and contribute to food sovereignty and reduction of poverty. It aims to produce a sufficient supply of good quality food and other products.
This principle insists that animals should be provided with the conditions and opportunities of life that accord with their physiology, natural behaviour and well-being.
Natural and environmental resources that are used for production and consumption should be managed in a way that is socially and ecologically just and should be held in trust for future generations. Fairness requires systems of production, distribution and trade that are open and equitable and account for real environmental and social costs”Footnote 5.
-  Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Organic Products Equivalence Arrangements. Available from Organic equivalency arrangements with other countries.
-  Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Organic Products Regulations, 2009 (SOR/2009-176). Available from CFIA at Canadian Food Inspection Agency or from Justice Laws Web site at Justice Laws Website.
-  Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC), British Columbia Certified Organic Production Operation Policies and Management Standards, December 2009. Available from Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia.
-  Codex Alimentarius Commission, CAC/GL 20-1995—Principles for Food Import and Export Certification and Inspection. Available from Codex Alimentarius Commission.
-  Codex Alimentarius Commission, CAC/GL 32-1999—Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labelling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods. Available from Codex Alimentarius Commission.
-  Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants (CARTV), Québec Organic Designation Specification Manual, January 2015. Available from Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants.
-  Health Canada (HC), Pest Control Products Act (2002, c. 28). Available from Department of Justice.
-  IFOAM Organics International, IFOAM Norms for Organic Production and Processing, August 2014. Available from IFOAM Norms for Organic Production and Processing (PDF, 1.12MB).
-  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals, Section 3: Environmental fate and behaviour OECDilibrary.
-  Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) Pesticides and Pest Management.
-  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, National Organic Program. Available from Agricultural Marketing Service, National Organic Program.
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