Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

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General

Do input suppliers pay to influence search results?
No. Input suppliers do not have the option to pay extra to "promote" their products in search results. Search results ranking is determined only by product's relevance to search terms.
How are products ranked?
When a user of the site does a keyword search, search results are displayed based on their relevance to the user's search query. The search results at the top of the list are the ones believed by the search algorithm to be the most likely match for the user's purpose based on the query entered by the user.
Input suppliers do not and cannot pay to influence the ranking of their products.
Note some search results may be organized into "Gold" and "Silver" lists, with "Gold" results appearing first (note: both sections of the list are clearly labeled as "Gold" and "Silver"). The Gold/Silver distinction is used to highlight products which have a formal approval contract with a Canadian CB.
How does this service compare to other lists?
The organic inputs directory aims to provide an informational resource. Instead of just listing products and manufacturers, we allow organic producers and gardeners to begin by identifying a production challenge and then we provide a list of potential solutions that are compatible with organic standards.
How is the list kept up-to-date?
When a manufacturer or supplier lists a product in the directory, they must submit a current approval contract from one of a list of recognized Canadian Certifying bodies. The OrganicInputs.ca administrator records the expiry information and receives automatic notification 2 months prior to expiry date and reminds the manufacturer or supplier that they must submit a new contract. If no contract is received, then the listing is removed from the directory until the new approval is submitted.
How is this different from Google or other search engines?
Conducting a google search to find solutions that are compatible with organic production can be a tricky process. Your search results will often require a fair bit of reading through each result before you can determine whether a potential solution is compatible with Canadian organic standards. Beyond checking compatibility with organic standards, you will also need to determine availability and whether the product is produced and sold in the quantities or formats you need.
With the organic inputs directory, we address all these concerns in one easy search interface.
Who uses the site?
Organic and natural producers - OrganicInputs.ca is Canada's national resource for locating "approvable" organic inputs. Organic producers turn here when they have a production requirement (soil fertility, pest management, livestock health, facility cleaners, and more). We provide an easy tool to quickly locate products that are compatible with the requirements of the Canadian organic standard.
Natural growing enthusiasts, gardeners, and landscapers - the products found in the directory have been found compliant with the national organic standard. People who care about minimizing their impact on the earth and the health of the people around them, can trust the list provided by OrganicInputs.ca.
Organic inspectors and certifiers - organic inspectors must review documentation for all organic inputs used by the organic operations they certify. We make available organic approval contracts and other technical documentation. This easy access saves a lot of time for inspectors. It also saves time for input suppliers that no longer have to track down copies of input approval agreements and fax or email these on demand.
Why was the site created?
Prior to OrganincInputs.ca, there were a few online lists of approved inputs available to producers, but they were not searchable, and were therefore limited in their usability. If a producer knew of an input that they wanted to use, they would then check the lists to ensure that it was approved for use according to the organic standard. There was a general public demand for a directory would allow people to find a product they needed without knowing the name of the name of the product beforehand. that was online and searchable by keyword, product name, or ingredient. The Organic Federation of Canada began looking into options for this a few years ago.
In 2011, Peppersoft Inc. got involved to create an enhanced solution to this problem. The Organic Inputs Directory has received a lot of endorsement within the organic sector. The lists that have previously existed for free online are supporting the Organic Inputs Directory and are removing their lists from the internet.

Input Suppliers

Project funding

Is the organic inputs directory government funded?
The directory project is not supported, either directly or indirectly, by government grants. It is a service provided by the Organic Federation of Canada in response to a nationwide need for a central listing of "allowable" input products.
The service was developed and maintained through an investment by Peppersoft Inc. and is now supported exclusively through modest annual membership fees charged to suppliers of input products.
Why were previous lists free of charge?
Smaller regional lists have been developed in the past. Input products have been generally been listed in these compilations for free. However, these list services were supported by government grants. As a source of funding, this was not sufficient to keep the lists up-to-date, modern, and useful. The free list services have since been discontinued and their respective owners now endorse OrganicInputs.ca as the most practical means of providing an accurate, useful and comprehensive list.
Are listed inputs automatically allowed in organic production?
No. Unfortunately it is not possible to say for certain which inputs will be permitted on any particular organic production operation. The decision of whether to allow any production input rests solely with your organic certification body (CB) and, in some cases, with their appeals process. The decision to allow an input is often straightforward, but in some cases may depend on circumstances such as your usage and availability of alternatives.
The organic inputs directory, OrganicInputs.ca, is your best resource for finding input products that are highly likely to be accepted by your certification body.
Does the organic inputs directory or the OFC endorse or recommend any listed product?
No. The directory is provided as a guide. The listed products are not endorsed in any way. Their suitability for organic production or for any production purpose is not endorsed by the directory or by OFC. Please refer to our full Disclaimer page (by following the link at the bottom of this page) for more information and for our full limitation of legal liability.
Is OrganicInputs.ca affiliated with the Canadian government?
No. OrganicInputs.ca is a service of the Organic Federation of Canada, which works closely with national government to develop and maintain the regulatory integrity of organic standards in Canada.
What inputs are allowed in the list?
The standards for listing are set by the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC). To be listed, an input must meet at least one of the following criteria:
  1. Have a current, valid, input approval contract with an accredited Canadian certifying body.
  2. Have a current, valid, certificate of approval from OMRI (U.S. or Canadian)
  3. Be listed on the ACORN or CETAB/MIB list (this qualification expires end of year 2014)
  4. Present at least three signed, confidential, testimonials from certified organic producers who have been granted approval to use the product