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The Trouble with Organic Inputs

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2019 AGM Breakout Session

Published in: Food
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The Trouble with Organic Inputs

  1. 1. The Trouble with Inputs Jennifer Scott, CSI Kate Loghrin, Bio-Ag Terry Good, TEK-MAC Simon Jacques, Ecocert Moderator: Amy Hamblin Smith, OCO
  2. 2. ● Soil Amendments & fertilizers ● Pest control ● Feed ● Livestock healthcare products ● Processing materials ● Preparation Materials ● Cleaners, disinfectants ● Facility storage Inputs:
  3. 3. ● Canada Organic Regime (COR) Permitted Substances List ● Conformity verification bodies (CVBs) ● Certification bodies (CBs) ● Inputs approved as part of Organic Systems Plans (private list) ● Inputs approved for suppliers (public list) Canada
  4. 4. ● Inconsistent approvals ● Redundancy of reviews ● Lack of info for transitioners ● Burden on operators and CBs ● Competition, confidentiality and liability The Trouble with Inputs
  5. 5. ● Other Jurisdictions ● Liability concerns ● Privacy concerns ● Options for Input Approval Our Agenda:
  6. 6. ● National Organic Program (NOP) who acts as CVB ● Material Review Organizations (MROs): ○ Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), ○ OMRI ○ California’s Organic Input Materials Program (OIM) USA
  7. 7. ● Provides 40% of the organic food sold in the US ● Governed by State Organic Program & NOP ● Organic Input Material (OIM) Program ○ Public registry of organic fertilizers ○ ISO 17065 accredited ○ Accepted by CBs across the US ○ Result of a liquid fertilizer scandal California
  8. 8. ● BioSuisse ● FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture) the sole verifier ○ Non-profit with government and private funding ○ Reduces issues re: dispute resolution, privacy and shared methodology Switzerland
  9. 9. ● CFIA: Liability rests with CBs ● Good faith + diligence = not liable ● COR and ISO ensure CBs & CVBs have: ● legal agreements ● provisions to cover liability ● OMRI also has provisions Liability
  10. 10. COR and ISO permit: ● Sharing info to “verify validity of information on an operator.” (COR) ● Sharing of info when required by law (ISO) ● Contracts to govern info sharing between actors (ISO) OMRI-CB contract permits sharing for: ● Legal proceedings ● Audits ● Compliance Disputes ● Requests from Regulatory Bodies Privacy
  11. 11. Solutions Review LONG TERM: 1) Status Quo: Let the market figure it out 2) Create one central database of inputs ● voluntary sharing by CBs ● CFIA mandated sharing ● CFIA requires suppliers to get reviewed ● CB’s public lists linked to one another ● Inputs as part of an organic integrity database 3) Single Service Provider SHORT TERM: 1) Create a shared Methodology 2) Create a stronger dispute resolution process
  12. 12. ● Inconsistent/missing CVB oversight? ● Lack of clarity, depth in regulations USA: ● “Recalibration Training” ● ACA developing best practices ● Strong culture of collaboration Shared Methodology
  13. 13. ● CVBs ● Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC) USA: ● NOSB Subcommittee on Materials/GMO ● NOP 3012: Lays out process for dispute resolution Dispute Resolution
  14. 14. Next Steps: ● Further interviews ● Focus Groups + Surveys ○ Suppliers ○ Producers E-mail amy@organiccouncil.ca to share your thoughts!
  15. 15. The Trouble with Inputs Thank You! Questions?

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