MONCTON – New Brunswick is taking steps to make sure all products labelled as organic live up to their name.
The provincial government has created new regulations it will enforce to ensure such products meet national standards.
Susan Linkletter, a certified organic farmer in Salisbury, said organic growers have been pushing the province for stricter regulations for years.
“You can’t just put a claim on your label anymore that you are organic and have it mean nothing,” she said.
Linkletter said until now, any grower selling food within the province could label it organic as they saw fit.
“People could just say their product is organic without going through the certification process.”
Under the new regulations, producers in New Brunswick — there are more than 50 organic farms in the province — must obtain certification through an inspector accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Linkletter said stricter regulations will preserve the integrity of the organic label and allow consumers to know exactly where their food is coming from.
“You can actually trace my products back to the day and where they were picked.”
Natural food nutritionist Becky McCallum said consumers can now be confident that the higher-priced, premium organic products they buy are the real deal.
“I think that most of the farmers that are out there are honest about their products,” she said. “But there are those who are just going to try to get the market value. You know it is more expensive to grow organically and the price is reflective of that.”
Consumers who want to verify their purchases can check for either the Canada Organic logo or ask a farmer to see a copy of the product’s organic certificate.