Everyone has heard of organic products. But what do they really mean? We must first make the distinction between products that are organic and certified organic. In the late1990’s, the Quebec government enacted legislation in this area through the Respecting Reserved Designations Act and created the Conseil des Appellations Réservées et des Termes Valorisants du Québec (CARTV) who is responsible for overseeing this statute. In this act, only products with at least 70% organic ingredients that have been produced or transformed according to the specifications of a CARTV-recognized certifying body can be designated organic. To date, only 6 certifying bodies are recognized in Quebec: Quality Assurance International (QAI), GarantieBio-Ecocert, OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada, International Certification Services, OCIA International and Québec Vrai.
In fact, an organic product is a food that has been cultivated without synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, in conformity with strict specifications that govern cultivation and production methods. This involves annual visits, inspection of the production premises and accounting records for buying and selling to ensure that the enterprise is following the regulations. If not, it will lose its certification. An organic product is a product that is healthy and cultivated or produced in an environmentally-sustainable manner.