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BCARA
British Columbia Association for Regenerative Agriculture

Mailing Address

BCARA
PO Box 95004, Kingsgate RPO
Vancouver, BC  V5T 2T8

Contact Info

Administrator: Gwen Huber
Phone: (604) 441-8215
Email: info(a)bcara.ca
Website: www.bcara.ca

Accreditation

Canadian Organic Regime (COR)

BC Certified Organic Program (BCCOP)

Scope: Crops, Livestock, Processing, Packaging, Labelling

Date of Certificate

May 11, 2020 – May 11, 2021

Certification Body Information

BCARA is accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as a certification body that certifies organic products under the Canada Organic Regime. Products certified under the Canada Organic Regime can be sold inter-provincially and internationally to countries that have equivalency agreements with Canada. The Organic Products Regulations require mandatory certification to the current National Organic Standard for agricultural products represented as organic in international and inter-provincial trade, or that bear the federal organic agricultural product legend (or federal logo).

BCARA is also accredited by COABC under British Columbia Certified Organic Program is a voluntary agri-food quality program sanctioned by the Government of British Columbia through the Organic Agricultural Products Certification Regulation under the Agri-Food Choice and Quality Act

We certify Crop Production, Livestock, Processing, Packaging and Labelling to the Canadian National Standards, CAN/CGSB 32-310, CAN/CGSB 32-311.

Our Certification Committee has both producers and non-producer members.

The British Columbia Association for Regenerative Agriculture (BCARA) concentrates on providing certification for the Fraser Valley, the Lower Mainland and the Sunshine Coast regions, though other regions within BC are serviced. We do not certify operations located outside the province of British Columbia.

 

BCARA Meetings

In addition to handling the business of the Association, ideas and information on what works and what doesn't in organic farming and processing are shared at meetings. Usually there is a speaker or a video on a pertinent topic. At every meeting some members bring something fresh from their harvest or the kitchen or cellar to raffle off. It is a lively time - informative, fun and a fantastic way to network with others and gather valuable information.

Meetings are on the third Thursday of the month in the months November, January, February, March, April each year and take place at Kwantlen Polytechnic University on the Langley By-pass in Langley at 7:30 pm. Generally meetings are suspended from May to September during the growing season. In the fall meetings start again.

Place & time of meetings are subject to change – please check with the administrator.

Email BCARA.Admin(a)gmail.com or call 250-205-0279 for the latest updates on meetings.

 

BCARA certifies to the Canadian Organic Standards.

You can find the Standards & Permitted Substances List at this link:

http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ongc-cgsb/programme-program/normes-standards/internet/bio-org/permises-permitted-eng.html



The Steps in Certification

  1. Obtain a copy of the Canadian Organic Standards. You can get the Canadian National Organic Standards by clicking the following link:-Look under Organic Production Systems at this link: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ongc-cgsb/programme-program/norms-standards/internet/bio-org/index-eng.html

There are two parts to the standards CAN/CGSB 32-310 General Principles and Management Standards & CAN/CGSB 32-311 Permitted Substances Lists. You will need to refer to both. It is possible to download or print the standards from that website. If you wish, BCARA can email you a copies, but it is a large document (about 1.1 mb). Or will can send you printed copies for a fee to cover printing and mailing.

  1. Request an application package from BCARA. By email: BCARA.Admin(a)gmail.com or by phone at: 250-205-0279   A short form and some information will be sent to you . The request form can be sent in by email or mail. BCARA will email or mail the application form as you indicate.
  1. Complete application forms. These are detailed forms that ask about the history of your land and your plans for how you are going to operate. All producers fill out application forms each year that include information about materials they have used the previous year and are planning to use in the next year.
  1. Send fees along with completed application forms to BCARA. Fees are required in each year of certification. These fees cover membership in BCARA, updates of the Standards, an administration fee and a fee that goes towards the costs of inspection. The Certification Committee (made up of both producer & non-producer with expertise) will review your application for completeness and to see if it seems to comply with the standards. If it does an verification officer to your inspect your operation.
  1. Your operation will be inspected at least once each year. The inspector will call to make an appointment for the inspection. This inspection includes a full inspection of records, buildings, fields (or plants). The inspector writes up a report and submits it to BCARA, The Certification Committee reviews the report and decides if your operation follows the Standards and if there are any things that you need to do differently to comply completely to the Standards – these are called “conditions for certification.” A letter with the Certification Committee’s decisions and copy of the inspection report will be sent to the applicant. There are sometimes second inspections – either by random, or to follow-up on concerns of the Certification Committee. The second inspection may happen without prior notification. Again a report is written, reviewed and sent to you.
  1. A certificate stating the status that the Certifications Committee has set for your farm will be sent to you. If you are a land based operation (a farm) the highest status that can be obtained in the first year of certification is Third Year Transitional – if your land qualifies for that status.

Certification Categories

The BCARA program is based on a three-year transition for land that has had no substances that are not allowed under the Canadian National Standards (such as chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or herbicides, treated wood) used in or on the fields or crops. The certification categories reflect this.

First Year Transitional - is given to farm that has followed Standards for the current year and has had inspections.

Second Year Transitional - farms which have been farmed in accordance with the Standards for two years and have had required inspections in the current year.

Third Year Transitional - Have completed their third year of being farmed under BCARA Standards and have had all required inspections.

Certified Organic – Farms with land that has not had unpermitted substances for at least 36 months AND have been in a certification program for at least a 15 months AND have successfully completed all required inspections in the current year.

Under the BCARA program, land that has not had non-allowed substances applied to it for a number of years may be able to prove part or all of the transition period by providing documentation (in the form of records, a signed land use history, third party affidavits, etc.).

Deadlines

Crop Production: In order for timely inspections and certification BCARA suggests new applicants for crop certification get their applications to BCARA no later than May 30, however BCARA will accept new applications at any time – but all producers have to renew their certification and pay fees in March of each year.

Operations with year round production such as processing, mushrooms and livestock may apply any time, but should apply early because the process of certification can take up to six months.

Participating in BCARA can be rewarding, informative, and necessary. There are many opportunities for participation. Come to general meetings, tell us about something that interests you, suggest (or better yet arrange for) speakers. You can request to be part of the Certification Committee. Have a great idea about marketing materials that members would benefit from? Bring it up. Interested in the worldwide organic movement - put your name forward to be BCARA's representative to COABC. Run to become a member of the Board.

For more information send in the order form or email or call us. You may get voice mail, but please leave a message and someone will get back to you within a few days.

 

Board of Directors 2020
   
President Rod Reid
Vice President Travis Forstbauer
Treasurer Dave Graham
Secretary Riyad Reid
   
COABC Rep Corine Singfield
Alternative Rep unfilled
   
Certification Committee Members Emma Bryce
  Katherine Hastie
  Maggie Jones
  Mel Sylvestre
Click here for
last modified 2020-07-25 16:51:28

Membership Listing, Found 15 entries

Transitional Assessed to the BC Organic Standards and in transition to full organic status. For more information click here.
Pending Application for assessment to the BC Organic Standards submitted - certification review decision pending. For more information click here.

Enterprise Contact City Status Class
Collin Regehr Farms dba Berry Brook Farm Collin Regehr Abbotsford Certified COR Farm/Preparer/Packer/Processor
Friesen Farm Ann Friesen,
Albert Friesen
Aldergrove Certified Farm
Glen Valley Farm dba Close to Home Organics, Earth Apple Organic Farm Chris Bodnar,
Shirlene Cote
Abbotsford Certified Farm/Poultry
Glorious Organics Co-op David Catzel,
Dave McCandless,
Susan Davidson
Aldergrove Certified Distributor/Farm/Poultry
Hazel Creek Farms Ltd (prev Reid Farm) Jordan Reid,
Connor Reid
Chilliwack Certified COR Farm/Poultry
Henry Reed Produce Martin Kiewitz,
Tracey Kiewitz
Gibsons Certified Farm
In Season Farms Ltd. Rod Reid Abbotsford Certified COR Farm/Poultry/Processor
KPU - Tswawassen Farm School Sarah Clements Delta Certified Farm
Matsqui Blue Farms Jennifer Cichanovich Abbotsford Certified BCCOP Farm
Miellie Meadows Miel Bernstein,
Claus Burner
Agassiz Certified Farm
Olera Farm Sharmin Gamiet Abbotsford Certified COR Farm/Packer
Sleeping Mountain Organic Farms Curtis VanDorp Abbotsford Certified COR Farm/Poultry
Sproule and Sons Jacqui Sproule,
Neil Sproule
Oyama Certified COR Farm
Warkentin Organic Farm / TRU Biologicals Ron Warkentin,
Bette Warkentin
Abbotsford Certified COR Farm/Processor
Yarrow EcoVillage Community Farm Meg Jordan Yarrow Certified Farm


Read BCOG Spring 2020