The Canadian government introduced the final version of the country's Organic Products Regulations, set to go into effect June 30.

Canada unveils final organic regulations, new logo

The same day the regulations appeared in the Canada Gazette, the official newspaper of the Canadian government, the new Biologique Canada Organic seal was released. This is the first time Canada has had an official organic certification program.

Because of a recent equivalency agreement between the U.S. and Canada, signed June 17, Canadian organic products sold in the U.S. will be considered certified organic, and vice versa.

"This is a very important trade agreement, and it's the first bilateral equivalency agreement," said Christine Bushway, executive director of the Organic Trade Association.

In order for products to be produced in one country and sold in the other, they must display both organic seals. The U.S. has asked for no extra measures to be taken from Canadian produce exporters, but Canada’s regulations have a few conditions.

Agricultural products produced with the use of sodium nitrate may not be sold or marketed as organic in Canada, and neither can products produced by hydroponic or aeroponic production methods, said the agreement letter from Karen McIntyre, executive director of the agrifood, meat, seafood safety directorate in the Canada Food Inspection Agency’s Canada Organic Office to Barbara Robinson, acting director for the National Organic Program.

“There’s a two-year stream of commerce policy,” said Matthew Holmes, managing director of the Organic Trade Association in Canada. “The U.S. had one as well when the National Organic Program started up. So National Organic Program products will be able to flow in, regardless, for two years.”

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is working closely with the organic industry to help with the implementation of the new regulations, according to a news release.