CONTACT:

Mailing address:
FVOPA
PO Box 19052,
Delta, BC. V4L 2P8
Canada


Office Phone:    778-434-3070
Internet Fax:     1-866-230-0322

Email   admin@fvopa.ca

Request for Application Form

FVOPA

organically certified mushroomsThe FVOPA Certification Program

The Fraser Valley Organic Producers Association (FVOPA) was established in March, 2001 as an Incorporated Society in the Province of British Columbia. FVOPA is a self-sustaining organic certifier.

FVOPA‘s certification program is compliant with the Canadian Organic Standards (CAN/CGSB 32-310/32-311-2015, amended March 2018), and in accordance with the BC Certified Organic Program (BCCOP) administered by the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC) and in compliance with the ISO 17065 program.  This organic certification program is accepted by the United States, European Union, Japan, Switzerland and Costa Rica.

FVOPA provides certification services in all provinces and territories of Canada. FVOPA operators may ship products out of BC to any province in Canada, and to the USA, Europe and Asia, thus having access to the global marketplace. FVOPA certifies all types of organic production: farm crops (including land in transition to organic), all livestock (including dairy & poultry), greenhouses, mushroom farms, single and multi-ingredient processing facilities, packers, custom processors, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and restaurateurs.

FVOPA certification includes organic product labelling. Operators are authorised to label  products as “Organic” and may display the Canada Organic logo. Under the terms of the Canada/US Equivalency Arrangement, FVOPA certified operators may also label their organic products with the USDA seal. Both logos are permitted on organic product labels in either country providing the organic content of the product is 95% or more and there is adherance to the logo usage guidelines, respectively. Operations certified by the FVOPA program may also label organic product with the BCCOP Official Mark (BCCOP Logo and Phrase).

FVOPA contracts Verification Officers (Inspectors) who are trained and fully qualified Inspector members of the International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA). This is the body, recognized by the COABC, as being responsible for training and upgrading of Verification Officers under the Canada Organic Regime.

Under ISO 17065, the FVOPA program implements and has in place safeguards to ensure there is no possibility of influence, impartiality or conflict of interest in the certification process.  The Certification Committee who make the final decision on certification must be clearly removed (disinterested) from the operation in question. The person conducting the inspection (Verification Officer) cannot be involved in the certification decision nor have any interest in the enterprise they are inspecting.  All persons involved in the certification process are required to annually sign and abide by a Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest agreement.

As a leading advocate for sustainable agriculture, FVOPA is actively involved in providing support to its membership through regular Board meetings, dissemination of information, and through membership of other associations such as the Canadian Health Food Association (CFHA) and the Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA).

FVOPA accepts applications throughout the year from all types of operators seeking organic certification or compliance with the Canadian Organic Standards.

Please contact our Administrator with your initial enquiry admin@fvopa.ca

or click here to download a Request for Application package.

The BC Certified Organic Program

As an accredited member of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC), FVOPA subscribes to and administers the BC Certified Organic Program (BCCOP). The BCCOP has adopted the Canadian Organic Standard (CAN/CGSB 32-310 and CAN/CGSB 32-311-2015, amended March 2018) as the Provincial Standards. The BCCOP is a system of accreditation (of certification bodies) and certification (of enterprises) provided under law in British Columbia. The COABC is the administrator of the provincial Organic Regulations and follows the Food and Agricultural Products Classification Act. Accreditation under BCCOP entitles FVOPA to provide certification services under the Canada Organic Regime.

The Canada Organic Regime

The COABC is recognised by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as an official accreditation body under the Canada Organic Regime. The Canada Organic Regime is administered by the CFIA under the authority of the federal Organic Products Regulation 2009 (this regulation is enacted under the Canadian Agricultural Products Act). The Canada Organic Regime is a mandatory program covering organic claims on products that are traded over provincial or international boundaries. FVOPA administers compliance to CAN/CGSB 32-310/32-311-2015, amended 2018) as well as compliance with the US/Canada Equivalence Arrangement.

Organic Certification

Organic certification exists to provide consumers with assurance that claims made by sellers of organic products have substance. Certification is a system of application, including on site evaluation by independent third party verification officers, and assessment by a third party certification committee.

Under the Canada Organic Regime, the Organic Production Regulations refers to the certification of products, not to production units (farms, or portions of farms, or processing or handling facilities). The status of certified organic thus refers to the product produced, not the enterprise.  Certified Organic verifies that products were produced under conditions required by the Canada Organic Standards, and provides verification of individual products.

The word “product” is used in its widest sense and includes processes and services; the word “standard” is used to include other normative documents such as specifications or technical regulations.

FVOPA Internal Organic Program

FVOPA offers an Internal Standard (FVOPA Internal Organic Standard - Ver 3, April 18, 2018) to be used by Operators wishing to product products that are currently excluded from the scope of the Canada Organic Regime (COR) CAN/CGSB 32-310 and 32-311-2015 amended March 2018, and the BCCOP program. For example marijuana production and aquaculture production). In order to be certified as organic, the production of such products must follow an internal document. Besides product that is grown, harvested and simply processed, this Internal Standard may also cover multi-ingredient products such as food made with products that are not covered by COR.

This Internal Standard adheres to ISO 17065 certification principles as they are followed by FVOPA's organic certification program. The Internal Standard follows all principles for organic production as described above.

Please email FVOPA to receive a copy of the Internal Standard.