Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has introduced Bill 11, the Food and Agricultural Products Classification Act in the House today so British Columbians can shop with confidence.
If passed, the legislation will enable the Province to fulfil a mandate letter commitment and create certainty with the labelling of organics in British Columbia.
The regulatory changes would allow the B.C. government to build on a commitment that requires all food and beverage products marketed as “organic” in B.C. to be certified under either a provincial or national certification program by 2018, and consider the certification of products made with B.C. ingredients in the future.
By helping B.C. consumers make more informed choices, these new measures will contribute to the BC Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan goal of increasing overall sector revenues to $15 billion per year by 2020.
If passed, the Food and Agricultural Products Classification Act will replace the Food Products Standards Act, Agri-food Choice and Quality Act, and the Agricultural Produce Grading Act.
B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick –
“This legislation provides us with an opportunity. We want to build on the momentum of our record $12.3 billion in B.C. agrifood and seafood sector revenues.
“By consolidating three statutes into one, this new act will also contribute to the B.C. government’s red tape reduction goals.”
Certified Organic Associations of BC co-president Carmen Wakeling –
“The Certified Organic Associations of BC extends a heartfelt thank you to the Ministry of Agriculture for supporting the B.C. Organic sector with the new Food and Agricultural Products Classification Act. We appreciate the enormous effort involved in evaluating and reformatting the act to provide clarity for consumers and producers within the organic marketplace. We look forward to further working with the ministry to continue growing the B.C. Certified Organic Sector.”
B.C. government September 2015 announcement on organic certification: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015AGRI0061-001557