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What is an organic product?

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2019-10-08
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Organic fruits and vegetables stem from traditional agriculture and must meet specific criteria to be labelled “organic”. Indeed, not all foods qualify for this designation. Here's an overview of the main things you need to know about understanding what it means to be certified "organic".

What is an organic product?
An organic product complies with very rigorous and specific regulations. When we speak about organic food, we are talking about a particular method of growing agri-food products. Some characteristics are common to organic crops. First, no pesticides or chemical herbicides should be used. Instead, crops are protected through natural weed control. Second, the use of synthetic fertilizers and sewage sludge is prohibited. However, natural fertilizers or composted organic materials can be used to enrich the soil. Crop rotation is an additional measure to preserve soil quality. Finally, the seeds used must not be non-GMO; only original seeds are allowed.

What kind of labelling should the food have?
In Quebec, the only provincial authority that can grant the organic certification is the Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants (CARTV), with the term "organic" being one of these reserved designations. InQuebec, six organizations are accredited as organic label certifiers, including Ecocert Canada, Québec Vrai, Pro-Cert, Quality Assurance International (QAI Inc.), Letis S.A. and TransCanadaOrganic Certification Services (TCO Cert).To ensure that the food you eat is truly organic, one of these logos must appear. Otherwise, a product cannot bear the “organic” or “biodynamic” label or the “bio” diminutive in French.

Does the product need to be 100% organic?
Three categories of organic products exist. In the first, products with 95% or more organic content can achieve full organic certification. However, if a product isn’t 100% organic, it's possible to indicate which ingredients aren’t organic in the ingredients list. The second category includes products that are 70 to95% organic. These products can also be certified organic, but they must be labelled "contains XX% certified organic ingredients". Ingredients that are not certified organic must also be listed as such in the ingredients list. The third category includes products with less than 70% organic content.These foods can’t be labelled organic or have an organic certification logo on their labels. However, such products can identify organic ingredients in their ingredient list.

At Artisans des Saveurs, we carry fruits and vegetables that are grown as naturally as possible to offer a wide range of products that are safe for your health as well as for the environment.