All our coffees bear the Canada Organic logo.
Above shows how our packages display the Canada Organic logo with reference to our certifier, Ecocert Canada. It is not legal to display the Canada Organic logo on a package without referencing the accredited certification body.
You can be confident about the legitimacy of products sold in Canada if the product label
- shows the Canada Organic logo along with the certifying body; OR
- it shows the organic logo of one of the CFIA accredited bodies (such as Procert or Ecocert)
From the CFIA FAQ: "[Understanding] these regulations enable consumer protection against deceptive and misleading labelling practices and claims regarding organic products." The CFIA vigorously defends the use of its logo and the certifying bodies are always willing to provide credentials for any product bearing their name as a certifier.
By the way, if you ever see a product with a Canada Organic logo without the certifier, you should report it to the CFIA. Such violations are rare, and sometimes inadvertent, but the integrity of the system relies on all of us participating and being vigilant.
All our coffees are certified organic: we offer no conventional coffee. Many coffee marketers include some organic coffees in their line, while deliberately making no comment about the conventional ones, in hopes that the organic ones will "greenwash" their line. Others claim that their coffee is organic while not submitting to the costly and rigorous verification process of certification. Sadly, in Ontario, due to a lack of commitment to the Canadian Organic standard from our provincial legislators, this is not prohibited and leads to much confusion and abuse.
All of our offerings bear the organic Canada Organic Logo. And bearing the Canada Organic logo is a big deal!
Organic certification is a rigorous process. Obviously starting with certified organic beens is a prerequisite. Beyond that, we are required to keep accurate, retrievable records of all purchases, all roasts, all packaging, all spoilage and all sales of organic coffee. Our practices must comply with the Organic Products Regulations, 2009 as governed by the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA). We are required to comply with Canada's Organic Labeling Laws, our trade documents are subject to strict regulation, and we are subject to inspection and regulation by an accredited Organic Certifier who is responsible to ensure our compliance.
Our certifier, Ecocert Canada is one of about 20 organizations in Canada accredited by the CFIA to bestow the Canada Organic seal on compliant organic products. At our cost, Ecocert Canada conducts an annual audit in which they review our internal documentation, trade documents, practices and procedures, labels, and inventory and more, all to ensure our compliance with the Canada Organic Standard. In our annual audits, we must prove compliance with record keeping rules and standards. We must demonstrate compliance with record keeping requirements. Auditors conduct spot exercises to demonstrate completeness and accuracy of all of our records. They reconcile inputs, outputs and check that all inputs arrived with compliant packaging and with rigorous documentary credentials.
All of our sales must be likewise documented and packaged. All of our labels must be approved by Ecocert who ensure they meet labeling rules, that the package claims are correct, and that internal and trade documents are all in alignment.
The system works because all participants in the chain are subject to this scrutiny. I trust that the inputs into my process comply with the organic standard because they too were rigorously verified by independent, 3rd party accredited bodies.
We at Birds and Beans are proud to support the chain of organic certification. We strongly believe in third party certification. Certifications are a way for us to participate in a voluntary chain of trust while harnessing third party verification.