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4 Organic plan
4.1 The operator shall prepare an organic plan outlining the details of transition, production, preparation and
4.2 The organic plan shall be updated annually to address changes to the plan or management system, problems
encountered in executing the plan, and measures taken to overcome such problems.
4.3 The organic plan shall include a description of the internal record-keeping system, with documents sufficient
to meet traceability requirements as specified in 4.4.2 and other record-keeping requirements.
4.4 Record keeping and identification
4.4.1 The operator shall maintain records and relevant supporting documentation such as visual aids (for example,
maps, work-flow charts) concerning inputs and details of their use, production, preparation and transport of organic
crops, livestock and products. The operator shall maintain the organic integrity of products and shall fully record
and disclose all activities and transactions in sufficient detail to be easily understood and sufficient to demonstrate
compliance with this standard.
4.4.2 Records shall make it possible to trace
additives and manufacturing aids delivered to the unit, and the composition of processed products;
4.4.3 An identification system shall be implemented to distinguish organic and non-organic crops, livestock (for
example, general appearance, colour, variety and types) and products.
4.4.4 The operator shall design and implement a risk management plan to prevent GE contamination which may
include strategies such as physical barriers, border rows, delayed planting, testing of seeds, isolation distances and
equipment and storage sanitation protocols.
4.4.5 Records shall be maintained for at least five years beyond their creation.
4.4.6 If pest and disease control substances that are not listed in CAN/CGSB-32.311 are used under any
mandatory government program, the operator shall monitor and document their use.
NOTE In the event of emergency pest or disease treatment, Canadian operators are required to notify their certification body
immediately of any change that may affect organic product certification.
5 Crop production
Subclause 8.4 on Transport also applies to crops.
5.1 Land requirements for organic crop production
5.1.1 This standard shall be fully applied on a production unit for at least 12 months before the first harvest of
organic products. Prohibited substances shall not have been used for at least 36 months before the harvest of an
5.1.2 When new production units are added to an existing organic operation, the operator shall provide records
to show that prohibited substances have not been used for at least 36 months (see 5.1.1) and verification shall be
conducted before the first harvest of product from this new production unit.
NOTE The Canadian Organic Products Regulations require operators to document that they have not used prohibited
substances. The Regulations also require that, in the case of an initial application for an organic certification of field crops, the
application shall be filed 15 months before the day on which the product is expected to be marketed. During that period of time,
compliance with this standard will be assessed by the certification body and this assessment must include at least one inspection
of the production unit, during production, in the year before field crops may be eligible for certification and one inspection, during
production, in the year field crops are eligible for certification. These or similar regulatory requirements may eventually be found
in new regulations that would replace the Organic Products Regulations, 2009. Current regulations should be consulted to
ensure accuracy of regulatory requirements.
5.1.3 The enterprise shall aim at a complete transition of its production. During the transition period, the enterprise
can maintain, in addition to the production in transition, a non-organic system of production (split operation) that
shall be entirely separate and identified separately, pending its incorporation into the overall transition process.
5.1.4 The enterprise can be converted one unit at a time, and each converted unit shall respect the requirements
of this standard. The exception to this norm, parallel production, is only allowed in the following cases: perennial
crops (already planted), agricultural research facilities and production of seed, vegetative propagating materials and
5.1.5 The following special conditions shall be observed for parallel production:
production, harvesting, storage, processing, packaging and marketing;
storage, transportation, processing and marketing.
NOTE Parallel production crops, both organic and non-organic, are inspected just prior to harvest and an audit of all parallel
production crops occurs after harvest.
5.1.6 All production units shall have distinct, defined boundaries.
5.1.7 Production methods shall not alternate between organic and non-organic on a production unit.
5.2 Environmental factors
5.2.1 Measures shall be taken to minimize the physical movement of prohibited substances onto organic land
and crops from:
5.2.2 If unintended contact with prohibited substances is possible, distinct buffer zones or other features sufficient
to prevent contamination are required:
used instead of buffer zones;
strategies such as but not limited to physical barriers, border rows, strategic testing or delayed planting shall
be implemented unless generally accepted isolation distances for the at risk crop type are present (see Note
NOTE Generally accepted isolation distances for crops at risk of contamination from commercialized GE crop types include:
soybeans – 10 m (33 ft), corn – 300 m (984 ft), canola, alfalfa (for seed production) and apples– 3 km (1.8 mi.).
5.2.3 Fence posts or wood treated with substances listed in Table 4.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 are permitted.
prohibited unless alternatives such as metal, plastic, concrete, or protective sleeves, are not commercially
5.3 Seeds and planting stock
Organic seed, bulbs, tubers, cuttings, annual seedlings, transplants and other propagules shall be used. The
following exceptions or conditions apply:
CAN/CGSB-32.311 are permitted provided that the organic seed or planting stock variety is:
1) not produced on or available from within the operation; or
2) not commercially available, and a reasonable search involving potential, known organic suppliers has
be managed in accordance with this standard for at least 12 months before the first harvest of organic product.
The land on which non-organic stock is planted is subject to the requirements of 5.1.1.
5.4 Soil fertility and crop nutrient management
5.4.1 The main objective of the soil fertility and crop nutrient management program shall be to establish and
maintain a fertile soil using practices that maintain or increase soil humus levels, that promote an optimum balance
and supply of nutrients, and that stimulate biological activity within the soil.
5.4.2 Where appropriate, the soil fertility and biological activity shall be maintained or increased, through:
32.311, including the following:
1) composted animal and plant matter;
2) non-composted plant matter, specifically legumes, plough-down crops or deep-rooting plants within the
framework of an appropriate multiyear rotation plan; and
3) unprocessed animal manure, including liquid manure and slurry, subject to the requirements of 5.5.1.
5.4.3 Tillage and cultivation practices shall maintain or improve the physical, chemical and biological condition of
soil, and minimize damage to the structure and tilth of soil, and soil erosion.
5.4.4 Plant and livestock materials shall be managed to maintain or improve soil organic matter content, crop
nutrients, and soil fertility, and in a manner that does not contribute to the contamination of crops, soil or water, by
plant nutrients, pathogenic organisms, heavy metals or prohibited substances residue.
5.4.5 The organic matter produced on the operation shall be the basis of the nutrient cycling program. It may be
supplemented with other organic and non-organic nutrient sources. Non-organic sources shall be listed in Table 4.2
of CAN/CGSB-32.311. Manure is also subject to the requirements of 5.5.1.
5.4.6 Burning to dispose of crop residue produced on the operation is prohibited. However, burning may be used
for documented pest, disease or weed problems (see 5.6.1) or to stimulate seed germination.
5.5 Manure management
5.5.1 Manure sources
Animal manure produced on the operation shall be used first. When all available manure is used up, organic
manure from other sources may be used. If organic manure is not commercially available, non-organic manure is
permitted provided that:
NOTE Organic operations should make it a priority to use manure obtained from transitional or extensive livestock operations,
not from landless livestock production units or from livestock operations that use genetically engineered (GE) ingredients and/or
GE derivatives in animal feeds.
5.5.2 Land application of manure
184.108.40.206 The manure application program shall address land area, rate of application, time of application,
incorporation into the soil and retention of nutrient components.
220.127.116.11 Soil amendments including liquid manure, slurries, compost tea, solid manure, raw manure, compost and
other substances listed in Table 4.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311, shall be applied to land in accordance with good nutrient
NOTE In Canada, some additional provincial requirements may also apply.
18.104.22.168 Where manure is applied, the soil shall be sufficiently warm and moist to ensure active bio-oxidation.
22.214.171.124 The seasonal timing, rate and method of application shall ensure that manure does not:
126.96.36.199 The non-composted solid or liquid manure shall be
are intended for human consumption; or
direct contact with the surface of the soil or with soil particles.
188.8.131.52 If livestock is used as part of the cropping or pest control program, a management plan shall be in place
to ensure that livestock is controlled and that manure or manure related contamination does not reach the portion
of the crop intended for harvest.
5.5.3 Manure processing
Processing of animal manure using physical (for example, dehydration), biological or chemical treatment with
substances listed in Table 4.2 of CAN/CGSB-32.311 is permitted. Loss of nutritional elements due to processing
shall be minimized.
5.6 Crop pest, disease and weed management
5.6.1 Pest, disease and weed control practices shall focus on organic management practices that enhance crop
health and reduce losses due to weeds, disease and pests. Management practices include cultural practices (for
example, rotations, establishment of a balanced ecosystem, and use of resistant varieties), mechanical techniques
(for example, sanitation measures, cultivation, traps, mulches and grazing) and physical techniques (for example,
flaming against weeds, heat against diseases).
5.6.2 When organic management practices alone cannot prevent or control crop pests, disease or weeds, a
biological or botanical substance, or other substances listed in Table 4.3 of CAN/CGSB-32.311, may be used.
Conditions for and of the use of substances shall be documented in the organic plan (see clause 4).
5.6.3 If application equipment, such as sprayers, is used to apply prohibited substances, it shall be thoroughly
cleaned prior to use in an organic crop.
The irrigation of organic crops is permitted provided that the operator documents precautions taken to prevent
contamination of land and products with substances not included in CAN/CGSB-32.311.
5.8 Crop product preparation
Wherever organic product preparation takes place, 8.1 and 8.2 apply.
5.9 Facility pest management
Subclause 8.3 applies to pest management practices in and around crop facilities.