About Québec Vrai
Québec Vrai is accredited (no. AC-07-03) for certifying organic products in accordance with ISO / IEC Guide 65:1996 through the Reserved Designations and Added-Value Claims Board (CARTV). This is the only provincial authority that is responsible for the management and protection of reserved designations in Quebec. It is by virtue of the powers conferred by the Act Respecting Reserved Designations and Added-Value Claims (RSQ cA-20.03) and the recognition granted by the United States Department of Agriculture under Regulation 7 CFR § 205.500 (1) that the CARTV allows organic certification for agricultural and food products (goods and services). Québec Vrai is also accredited to verify the Chain of Custody of certified products. The requirements for organic certification are contained in the Quebec Organic Reference Standards and the National Organic Program (NOP) Regulations.
In accordance with existing regulations, only certification bodies accredited by the CARTV may issue licenses authorizing the use of reserved designations on products certified in Quebec, whether they are to be sold on the domestic market or the United States. An accreditation for the European market is now under study. We will be able to offer it to our members soon.
If you export to European or Japanese markets, you can obtain a batch certificate for certain products or double certification from another organization. Federal regulations could allow Québec Vrai greater openness to world markets in the near future. Please contact our offices for further information on this matter.
The Objectives of Québec Vrai
Providing transparent, efficient and rigorous services to our members within a participatory organization at an affordable price. A Quality Manual, which is strictly adhered to by management, has been drawn up to maintain a high standard of integrity in the certification of products and services. This allows consumers to have access to local products meeting stringent standards for the protection and maintenance of a healthy environment and animal welfare without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, chemical additives, and irradiation or genetic manipulation processes.
Organizational Structure of the Québec Vrai Certification Process
A bit of history ...
The organic fad is currently undergoing rapid and global growth. Although organic foods are long known for their natural qualities and nutritional value, they are now becoming more and more appreciated for their quality and flavour. At the beginning, however, organic agriculture was only favoured by farmers and scientists who opposed the use of mineral and artificial fertilizers on crops.
A bit of history on organic certification in North America ...
- 1947, The principles of organic agriculture are introduced in France after the Second World War by physicians and consumers incriminating agricultural chemicals in the development of cancer and mental illness.
- 1972, The MAB (Movement for Organic Agriculture) unites Quebec producers seeking self-sufficiency and the preservation of health and the environment as well as a means to exchange and share their experiences. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) is created in Versailles that same year.
- 1979, The first Quebec farm is certified organic by an American organization.
- 1986, The Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA), an international certification body, opens several regional chapters.
- 1990, The MAPAQ launches a new program for controlled designations, based on designations of origin already well entrenched in Europe, under the seal of « Québec Vrai ». Several goods are marked with this designation, including organic products. This program, however, was not as successful as anticipated.
- 1991, The OCIPB (Organization to control the integrity of organic products) is created through MAPAQ / UPA and uses the "Québec Vrai" certified organic seal. However, in 1992, the MAPAQ notifies the OCIPB and the FABQ (Quebec Organic Agriculture Federation) that the Québec Vrai certification may eventually have to be self-financed. That same year, the European Union provided a legal framework for the organic agriculture designation.
- 1995, The MAPAQ officially terminates OCIPB funding and will no longer finance any future organic certification.
- 1996, The FABQ purchases the Québec Vrai certification trademark for a nominal sum to respond to requests from producers who wish to keep using it. However, the general assembly of the federation will give a mandate to its Board of Directors to dispose of this body to ensure neutrality. The first regulations for reserved designations were adopted that same year (Act A20.02) and became effective in 1997. Since then, many operations throughout Quebec have converted to organic production methods. Farmers wishing to have their organic modes of production certified must observe a minimal conversion period of two years (before seeding) for annual crops and three years for perennial crops.
- February 27, 1997, After many vicissitudes, the Québec Vrai certification body receives its Letters Patent and becomes an official non-profit organization managed by its members through a Board of Directors composed of 5 directors elected at the Annual General Meeting.
- 2002, The United States adopts the National Organic Program to supervise the development of organic agriculture.