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Feedback Sought On Stricter Organic Labelling Rules

Organic growers have a chance to speak up if they’re experiencing problems with new organic labelling laws.

New regulations went into effect in June 2009 aimed at ensuring all products labelled “organic” or displaying the “Canada Organic” logo are certified and comply with clearly defined organic practices. But the clock is ticking down on the so-called “soft enforcement” period, which ends June 2011, and that’s why the Organic Federation of Canada is seeking growers’ input on how the new regulation may be affecting them.

The OFC has sent out a survey to growers and other stakeholders to identify any issues that may have arisen during this “soft approach” period, said OFC president and Ontario organic farmer Ted Zettel.

“What we’re doing now is gathering data to document what, in fact, has presented challenges and are realized as real problems for the industry, or not,” said Zettel.

The OFC raised a number of concerns when the regulation was first rolled out, but these were essentially theoretical arguments, Zettel said.

The group is asking organic growers to take an online survey prior to Nov. 12, but will welcome feedback at any time, said Zettel.

“This will be an ongoing process which the OFC will conduct probably indefinitely,” he said.

He said survey results will be communicated to the Canadian Organic Office.

The link to the survey is: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8VRCGJ7.

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About the author

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Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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