Bizz shop owners will know on 21 June they will be fined grazing the $ 71,000 for “break the chain of integrity” of some organic products. This is the largest fine requested by the Conseil des appellations and value claims (CARTV).
This is also the first time that the Act respecting reserved designations and added-value, adopted in 2006, is the subject of a lawsuit. Only one other company has been charged in Quebec. But the leader has preferred to plead guilty rather than challenge the infringement in court.
The trial between the grocers and the CARTV ended Wednesday at the Chicoutimi courthouse. Counsel for the company, Mr. Sylvain Morissette, presented a “non-suit motion” to the court, because in his opinion, no offense was committed. Bizz is accused, remember, of selling certified organic products, but in bulk. The product no longer had the seal of the certifier. While the vegetable or fruit is indeed organic, it is an offense, because the customer can not see the exact source.
Justice Michel Boissonneault took the case under advisement and issue a decision on June 21 But if the judgment is against Bizz, owners plan to continue to fight.
“If convicted, it will not stop there”
“If convicted, it does not stop there. Concerned as we are, honest as it is, we can not stop there. Organic, for us it is a lifestyle more than a name. We were organic before the law. So we will fight to the end. And we will not be alone. People in the bio will rise, “warns Emily Boivin.
Moreover, ten people of the biological environment and customers attended the second day of hearings on Wednesday.
“It has become a social cause. It involves a lot of stakeholders in the organic sector. We thank also the community. Several suppliers and customers support our cause. Bizz also buys many in the region, it’s part of our priorities too. Bizz is a major player in the region. We see that the producers want it, “says Denis Gilbert.
The two owners and other stakeholders have also created a new entity to defend the smaller companies, or biological Valuation Committee (AC BIO). The committee’s mission is to defend the interests of industry players and support emerging companies in their certification process.
CARTV was represented by Caroline Charron and Mr. Mathieu Turcotte. The Regional Director CARTV president, Anne-Marie Granger Godbout, was called to testify on Tuesday. The latter recalled the role of his organization and the importance of crack in this area.
“If there are no decontrol on value added products, it is as if we agreed to put a screen on a fault. We are not talking of red apples against green apples. We talk about value-added products, sometimes more expensive for the customer “, she expresses in a telephone interview with the Daily.
His organization has decided to crack down more in this area. Only two cases went to court in 2006, but it will not be the last, suggests the CEO, recalling that Quebec is one of the first jurisdictions in North America to control these appellations.