Below is a letter ACORN recently sent in to a local newspaper (the Moncton Times & Transcript) in response to an article which identified a non-certified farmer as organic. Are you seeing more “organic” claims by uncertified farms? What do you do or say to these farmers? We feel it’s important to both educate consumers and other growers about what organic certification really means, and make it clear when the word is being misused!
November 12, 2012
Our organization (the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network or
ACORN) works with many organic farmers across New Brunswick. We were
surprised to read the article of November 9 including photos and
commentary from a local “organic” farm. While this farm (La Ferme
Springbrook) claims to be certified organic, we can find no proof of
their organic certification. If pasture-raised chickens are not
organic, then they are most likely fed some conventional feed which
includes genetically modified (GM) corn and soybean. Organic
production does not allow the use of any GM crop, and it prohibits the
use of synthetic pesticides. It also includes detailed requirements
for living conditions that allow chickens to live like
chickens–foraging, scratching, time outdoors.
Farmers who raise certified organic chickens keep substantial records,
are audited, and pay an annual fee. Certified organic farmers do this
because it guarantees to their consumers that their products are grown
or raised meeting a standard that is regulated by law in Canada as per
the Organic Products Regulations. This standard has been developed
through collaboration and hard work, and farmers are justifiably
bothered to see false organic claims from other farms.
How do you know if your farmer is actually certified organic? Ask to
see their organic certificate, or check for the organic logo and the
name of a certifier. The ACORN website contains a search engine that
can help you find local organic chicken and organic certifiers in all
Atlantic provinces. We too want to see more meat produced in New
Brunswick, but we want it to be local AND organic.
Executive Director, ACORN