‘Organic’ certification can be costly, but worth it

Joel Aitken, Ecocert Canada (photo by Kirk Scott)

Food producers have plenty of hoops to go through if they want to call their product “organic.”

Joel Aitken is with the company Ecocert Canada.  It’s one of the largest third-party companies in Canada that certifies a farmer or a company if they want to use the word “organic” and get the logo on the product.

He said they closely inspect a producer before they’re certified and closely monitor them on an ongoing basis.

“We inspect every farm every year during the production season while the crops are in the ground growing. We look at every field, we look at every animal in their production system. Also, the farms are required to keep records of everything that they do. We review and audit all of that to make sure that what they say they’re doing is what they’re actually doing,” said Aitken.

He said the certification process can be costly for the producer, but it’s worth it.

“If you look at the cost of the certification process in comparison to the added value to the end product it’s actually very insignificant,” he said.

Aitken explained the process at Grey Bruce Farmers’ Week in Elmwood.