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Organic aquaculture: Frequently asked questions


These frequently asked questions (FAQ) address only the process that the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) uses to revise the organic agriculture standards. For information on generic CGSB process questions, see Standards Development. Other departments and agencies of the Government of Canada are responsible for addressing issues that are outside of the CGSB's mandate. Where the CGSB cannot provide an answer, it does indicate where further assistance may be obtained.

Why is it important to have a Canadian standard on organic aquaculture?

It is expected that this standard will help industry overcome present and future trade barriers for organic aquaculture products and will help create niche markets for small- and medium-sized companies. It is also expected that governments will benefit from a consistent national standard and will be better able to defend trade agreements with Canada's trading partners. Finally, a national standard would facilitate Canada's management of organic aquaculture product imports from other jurisdictions.

Consumers' demand for certified organic products is growing for a wide variety of reasons. With the addition of organic aquaculture products there will be a better opportunity to satisfy the expectations of consumers. With a national standard the consumers will be able to verify that the products they are buying meet a consistent national standard whether they are produced in Canada or imported.

Who initiated the development of the National Standard for Organic Aquaculture?

In 2008, the Canadian Organic Aquatic Producers Association (COAP) approached the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for financial assistance to develop a national organic standard. DFO also agreed to provide financial support for an experienced consultant to facilitate the industry-led working group for the development of a working draft standard.

How did the Canadian General Standards Board become involved in the development of the standard?

In 2008, the COAP approached the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for financial assistance to develop a national organic standard. In September 2009, CGSB entered into an agreement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to develop a National Standard of Canada for Organic Aquaculture.

Who developed the first working draft of the standard?

An industry-led working group developed the first draft of the standard, to be used as a basis for discussion by the CGSB Standards Committee on Organic Aquaculture. The working group selected its members, based on their technical expertise and experience in developing the COAP organic standards in 2005 or their participation in the development of Canada's organic agriculture standard. Members represented industry, provincial and federal government regulators, retail, consumer organization, organic agriculture producers, and organic associations.

Were the requirements of other countries considered?

CGSB process involves the consideration of Foreign and International Standards in the development of National Standards of Canada. Members of the working group took into consideration the requirements for organic aquaculture from the United States and the European Union when developing the working draft.

Who is on the Standards Committee on Organic Aquaculture?

Membership on a CGSB standards committee is open to individuals and representatives or organizations who are technically qualified or otherwise knowledgeable in the subject area of the committee. The voting membership is available in the standard.

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