Discovery Organics | Memberships and Standards
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Memberships and Standards

We believe in organic agriculture, and we think a world with more organically grown food is better for us, for the soil and for the planet. So, as well as offering an ever-changing selection of seasonally awesome organic fruit and vegetables, we commit our time to the good fight.

Annie Moss, founder and owner of Discovery Organics, represents The Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) at the BC Agri-Foods Trade Advisory Council.

Randy Hooper, Discovery’s Managing Director and our buyer who travels to meet farmers from Mexico to Chile, farmed organically for 18 years both on Salt Spring Island and in the Fraser Valley. He gains great pleasure from meeting new farmers and passing on any knowledge he thinks might be helpful. Some day, he hopes to return to farming.

Stefan Misse, one of our purchasers, was an organic farmer himself along with past Discovery staff Melissa McCready, Tera Vickers and Mike Robson.

Discovery’s warehouse is a PACS Certified Organic facility, which means we only handle Certified Organic produce.

Organic Certification

Visit our ‘Organic’ page to know more about our organic farming.

The Canada Organic Regime is the Government of Canada’s response to requests by the organic sector and consumers to develop a regulated system for organic agricultural products. The Organic Products Regulations define specific requirements for organic products to be labelled as organic or that bear the Canada Organic logo. The regulations came into effect on June 30, 2009. All organic products bearing the Canada Organic logo or represented as organic in interprovincial and international trade must comply with the Organic Products Regulations.

An organic product is an agricultural product that has been certified as organic. A product can be certified if it is produced using the methods outlined by the Canadian Organic Standards, regulated but the Canadian Food Inspections Agency (CFIA)

Products that make an organic claim must be certified by a Certification Body that has been accredited, based upon the recommendation of a CFIA-designated Conformity Verification Body. The Certification Body must certify the product to the Canadian Organic Standards. The CFIA is working with Conformity Verification Bodies to accredit Certification Bodies under the Canada Organic Regime.

Source: Governement of Canada

Fair Trade Certification

Visit our Fair Trade page to know more about our Fair Trade certifications and commitment.

Click to read: Organic Worldwide

IFOAM stands for International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.

IFOAM

IFOAM Accreditation facilitates equivalency of organic certification bodies worldwide by confirming whether they meet IFOAM’s international norms.

IFOAM Accreditation is primarily a means of ensuring fair and orderly trade of organic products. It is in this sense a service for the trade and producers as well as for certifiers.

The Family of Standards they established contains all standards officially endorsed as organic by the Organic Movement, based on their equivalence with the Common Objectives and Requirements of Organic Standards. Both private standards and government regulations are admissible.

IFOAMequivalence

More on IFOAM Organics International here

Click to read: Third-party certification - 101

A third-party certification is an independent organization that reviews the manufacturing process of a product and has independently determined that the final product complies with specific standards for safety, quality or performance. This review typically includes comprehensive formulation/material reviews, testing and facility inspections. Most certified products bear the certifier’s mark on their packaging to help consumers and other buyers make educated purchasing decisions.

A third-party certifier audits the supply chains of specific products from point of origin to point of sale against organic or fair trade criteria. Depending on the certifier they may only certify a specific product or an entire organization and its products.

The idea of a third party certifying companies and products can give consumers a feeling of reassurance in what they purchase. a third party certifier is generally more in the role of motivator or advisor, showing companies what they need to change about their practices in order to be certified. Essentially, third party certification can act as a “filter” for innovation, providing guidelines that new products must follow before being put into use.

Context

In the past, certification of the safety and quality of products has typically come from government organizations. Certification was not part of many product markets.

The landmark of certification was a consequence of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. After that, any comprehensive legislature began to be seriously enforced. One of the earliest forms of third party certification was the kosher label.

Certification of products is a very important part of innovation and production in general to ensure that products and services are both safe and ethical.

Government organizations worldwide have varying standards when it comes to certification, and this has led to both governments and companies desiring a more centralized certification body.

Also increasing is the amount of quality attributes. Food products can be organic, free range, cage free, hormone free, grown without pesticides, along with many others.

As a result, governments no longer have the capacity to certify the broad range of industries and certifications by themselves and international certification bodies therefore took over

In the 90s, along with increasingly globalized markets, certifications began appearing in product markets, leading to an impressive label jungle that we face today.

eco-labels-graphic

Image credit: lessconversationmoreaction.com

Another cause for the rise in importance of third party certifiers is the desire of many companies to continue to compete against rival companies by acquiring a competitive advantage.

Nowadays, certification can sometimes be associated with selling features rather than genuine commitment, unfortunately.

organic-cert