COABC’s approach to food production is based on care for the earth. We recognize that as human beings, we are one creature among many that are all inter-related and interdependent. We are part of an organic movement that embraces a wide diversity of activities and enterprises related to the organic production of food and encompass all sizes of operations. While one of the tools we use is a regulatory framework to permit exports, our priority is the establishment and maintenance of local food systems. We accept the principles of organic farming and processing identified by the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) and engage in research of appropriate techniques to enable us to put them all into practice.
The British Columbia Organic sector strives to ensure high quality products in sufficient quantity produced under safe working conditions. Organic farmers work to nurture living, healthy soil, biological diversity, ecological harmony using sustainable practices and renewable resources including healthy animals and natural livestock socialization. The sector as a whole supports integrated, diversified farms which receive adequate farmer returns.
The Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC) is an umbrella association representing organic certifying agencies in the province. COABC is empowered by the British Columbia Organic Agricultural Products Regulation under the British Columbia Food Choice and Disclosure Act to implement an organic certification accreditation province-wide. COABC was incorporated under the Society’s Act in March, 1993.
The certification accreditation program is an industry and government partnership program which is industry – driven and industry – regulated, with government providing oversight authority. The main objectives of the program are to provide consumer confidence in the organic product certification, to assist producers to increase market share, and to support regional development of organic food production, processing and marketing.
- To promote organic agriculture and to provide education on organic agriculture and organic foods;
- To represent members in matters relating to the Agri-Food Choice and Quality Act of British Columbia;
- To develop and administer an organic certification accreditation program for members;
- To grant permission for the use of the phrase “British Columbia Certified Organic” and program symbol on agricultural product labels certified by members;
- To ensure there is a pool of qualified verification officers;
- To facilitate research and marketing activities on behalf of member organizations;
- To provide information to the public on behalf of the members;
- To develop and maintain an approved list of materials and standards for use in organic Agricultural products certified by members; and
- To be responsible for incidental matters related to the above-referenced activities.
For more information, please visit COABC online.