Verified and Regenerative
Organic agriculture: a process and system of growing and processing food which sustains soil and ecosystem health.
“Organic Agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.”International Federation of
Organic Agriculture Movements
The biggest benefit is to the planet.
Organic agriculture is based on sustaining ecosystem health, which means no use of GMOs, synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. It also means that the entire ecosystem, from soil to wildlife, is considered and supported by organic farming methods. Whether it’s designing farms to avoid runoff and soil loss, building buffer zones to shelter beneficial insects and birds, protecting waterways from contamination, or enhancing biodiversity, organic agriculture feeds the world, as well as people.
Look for the organic stamp to know if your food is organic!
The Checkmark or “British Columbia Certified Organic” verifies that your food is grown and certified as organic in BC.
The Canada Organic logo indicates that the food is grown and certified as organic in Canada (including BC).
Left Fields is BC Certified Organic 04-189
Certified organic farmers undergo a verification process every year, to ensure that their practices still meet the organic standard. These standards are set nationally and internationally, with feedback from farmers and processors all over the country. Certified producers follow a strict set of standards that govern everything from what kind of fenceposts are used to the ingredients in livestock feed to seed sources to cleaners and sanitizers. Our water quality is assessed every year, and farmers also have to have a plan in place to improve their soil and biodiversity on their farms.
If you want to reduce exposure to pesticides and GMOs, and reduce the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria, your best bet is to choose organic food. Genetic engineering in our food system is entirely focussed on increasing the amount of herbicides which can be applied to a food crop without killing it (it’s called weed control, or Roundup-Ready crops). Studies have shown that organic food contains significantly lower levels of pesticide and herbicide residue than does non-organic food. It’s not surprising that there is still some residue: our ecosystems are fully contaminated by agrotoxins in a background level.
Animal welfare is important on organic farms. Livestock practices include outdoor access, adequate space, appropriate organic feed, and the opportunity for livestock to socialize and express their true natures. Confinement, feedlots, and the use of sub-clinical levels of antibiotics are all prohibited in organic production. Meat labelled organic must also be processed in a plant which meets the organic standards in animal handling and cleaning.
Salmon-Safe has become one of the nation’s leading ecolabels with more than 95,000 acres of farm and urban lands certified in Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia.
Through peer-reviewed certification and accreditation program, Salmon Safe leads the movement to implement farming practices and developments that protect water quality, maintain watershed health and restore habitat.
Our mission is to transform land management practices so Pacific salmon can thrive in West Coast watersheds.
Left Fields has been Salmon Safe Certified since 2015. We rigorously protect our wetland and impact on the waterways which are downstream of our farm.
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) principles:
Principle of Health: Organic agriculture should sustain and enhance the health of soil, plants, animals, humans and the planet as one and indivisible.
Principle of Ecology: Organic agriculture should be based on living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help sustain them.
Principle of Fairness: Organic agriculture should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
Principle of Care: Organic agriculture should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.
Local to National
North Okanagan Organic Association
NOOA has been certifying organic farmers and processors since 1989. NOOA is a regional certification body in BC, accredited by the Certified Organic Associations of BC under the Canadian Organic Regime.
NOOA certifies using a peer-review process: our farmers and processors are inspected using the same process and inspectors as all federally accredited bodies, then the certification committee reviews the files and makes a determination on whether more information is needed, or anything on the farm needs to change, and a certificate is issued (or not). The difference is mainly that our certification committee is volunteer, made up of other local farmers and processors.
Organic certification requires annual farm inspections, and every operation must meet the federal organic standards developed by farmers, processors and inspectors.
NOOA is a farmer-driven organization, meeting regularly and including community events, farm tours and information sharing.
The Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC) represents organic certifying agencies in British Columbia. We administer the province’s organic accreditation program and support and advocate for a stronger, more resilient organic sector.
The COABC accredits certification bodies in BC – like NOOA, ensuring that the processes are fair, transparent, and follow the rigorous management standards set out in the Canada Organic Regime.
It also represents organic farmers and processors in BC to the federal and provincial government, acting as the voice of organics in BC.
COABC marketing, promotion and educational materials are available to all organic farmers in the province to help improve their businesses, and the annual conference is an invaluable source of information, resources and community-building.
If you want to know where to find organic food, organic farmers or processors, or if you need more information on how to farm organically, check out the COABC website for loads of info.
Canada Organic Regime
Any food, seed, or animal feed that is labelled organic is regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Producers of these products must be able to demonstrate that organic claims are truthful and not misleading, and that all requirements have been met.
All farmers and processors must follow the management and materials standards set out in the Canadian Organic Standards, and imported products must be approved as having equivalent standards in their home country.
The OFC perfoms the actual maintenance of the organic standards in Canada. This includes regular review and updating of the standards, as well as ongoing interpretation of the standards. This includes determining what substances can be used on organic farms (the Permitted Substances List)
The OFC also manages the Organic Science Cluster, which undertakes research into organic agriculture all over Canada.