Setting the Standards
Three sets of international Organic standards have been set and agreed upon by the United Sates Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the US, by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Canada, and by the European Commission on Organic Farming in the EU.
These institutions operate independently from one another, but work closely to set Organic standards. Each body recognizes the others’ standards, and accepts the others’ certification stamp as certified Organic.
In Canada, the new ‘Canada Organic’ label was the result of a 2008 agreement which turned Organic into a legally binding standard. Products labelled with the Canada Organic stamp means standards set by the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency have been met. In Canada you will also see the USDA stamp, and the QAI (Quality Assurance International) stamp from Europe, as both are recognized internationally for their certification.
Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA)
The CFIA is dedicated to safeguarding food, animals and plants, in turn enhancing the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment and economy. It is a science-based regulatory agency and works to control food-related industries to maintain healthy living conditions for both humans and animals in Canada. The CFIA makes sure that the industries follow the law in order to keep livestock and breeding conditions healthy. They are responsible for maintaining the Consolidated Statutes and Regulations for the Government of Canada.
The Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Founded in 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln, the USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. It works to expand markets for agricultural products and support international economic development, by developing alternative markets. The USDA consists of 16 agencies with a range of focuses.
Strategic Plan: http://www.ocfo.usda.gov/usdasp/sp2010/sp2010.pdf