Many people have been working hard to update the Organic Standards for 2018. That has now been done, and here they are.

Canadain Organic Standards 2018

Organic production systems: Permitted substances list

Summary of Modifications to the COS March 2018

Revision Proposal Form

Nicole Boudreau writes as follows:

Please note that Certification Bodies shall allow a period of up to 12 months after the publication date of an amendment to this standard and to CAN/CGSB-32.311 for an applicant to come into compliance with any changes to the requirements.(extract from III. Organic practices, CAN/CGSB-32.310)

According to the a note issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

Under the Organic Products Regulations 2009, all new and returning applicants for certification must meet the most recent versions of the standards at all times. As per section C.5.2 of the COR Operating Manual, a period of up to 12 months can be granted to previously certified operators who must be able to demonstrate conformity to the new requirements by April 12, 2019.

  • Operators certified prior to April 12, 2018 are encouraged to produce organic products according to the revised standards throughout the 12-month implementation period. Except where additional time has been specifically granted within the standards, operators must be fully compliant with the new requirements by April 12, 2019.
  • Organic products produced and certified before April 12, 2018 in compliance with the previous versions of the standards (CAN/CGSB 32.310-2015 and CAN/CGSB 32.311-2015) remain compliant with the Organic Products

Regulations, 2009. These products can continue to be marketed as organic after April 12, 2019.

  • Ingredients certified as organic before April 12, 2019 that are in compliance with the previous version of the standard can continue to be used in manufacturing products certified to the new versions of the standards and will be accepted as compliant with the Organic Products Regulations, 2009.

Revision of the Canadian Organic Standards

Call for petitions

The Canadian Organic Standards (COS) are a national standard that ensures Canadian agricultural production is sustainable; they are the backbone of our growing domestic and export-oriented industry.

They are referenced by the Organic Products Regulations and, as all ‘national’ standards, they have to be reviewed every five years

  • to maintain their ‘national’ status,
  • ensure that they remain valid, applicable,
  • in tune with latest research developments,
  • and comparable to the standards of our trading partners.

The next review of the COS (modified in March 2018) needs to be completed by November 2020.

The OFC invites you to propose modifications to the COS.

Any grower, stakeholder or consumer can suggest modifications as the standard review process is based on transparency and consensus.

Please note that:

  • you need to use the forms that are attached
  • one specific form for modifications to CAN/CGSB/32.310-2015 – General Principles and management standards,
  • and one specific form for CAN/CGSB-32.311-2015 – Permitted Substances Lists.
  • your proposed modification has to be substantiated – your arguments have to be clearly stated.

This call for petitions is not the official launch of the review. In order to prepare the review, we need to know the modifications that the industry is proposing. We will then create the Working Groups that will analyze the proposed modifications and make recommendations to the Committee on organic agriculture, the body that is responsible for the final approval of the proposed recommendations.

If you are interested in joining a Working Group, please send an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   and specify the section of COS that you are familiar with.

Nicole Boudreau



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