Certification for food and fibre

There are several certification schemes that apply to food and fibre products. They include certifications that apply to:

  • social issues
  • organic products
  • sustainable stewardship

Social certification

Social certification tells buyers that the producers have received a fair price for their products and that other social and environmental standards have been met. Fair Trade is the most famous of these certifications.

Organic products

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 [link] and certified by an accredited certification body.
The Canada Organic regulations and logo came into use on 1 July 2009 in response to requests by the organic sector and consumers to develop a regulated system for organic agricultural products. The regulations define specific requirements that organic products have to meet in order to be labelled as organic or to bear the Canada Organic logo. The use of the logo is voluntary, so it will not appear on all certified organic products.

Sustainable stewardship

Stewardship certification assures buyers that they are purchasing products from sustainably managed resources. Products carrying a stewardship label are individually certified to come from stocks that are well managed and meet the social, economic and environmental requirements of the standard. Every company involved in the production, manufacture, trading and labelling of a product must be certified for a product to carry the stewardship label.

For example, the Marine Stewardship Council standard for sustainable fishing is the standard that a fishery must meet to become certified, which tells buyers and consumers that their seafood comes from a well managed and sustainable source. Fisheries that receive this certification demonstrate that they are using good management practices to safeguard jobs, secure fish stocks for the future and to protect the marine environment.

Other food and fibre certifications