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Compost Council of Canada to include compost and digestate in quality assurance program

Hands pat down soil in a garden
Known as the Compost Quality Alliance (CQA) and Digestate Quality Alliance (DQA), the program builds on the near two decades of lab-testing and market development experience.

The Compost Council of Canada will expand the quality assurance program to include both compost and now digestate. A proactive, voluntary program of members of the organics recycling industry across Canada, the quality assurance program incorporates testing for both regulatory compliance and the identification of the agronomic attributes to assure market and soil success. The analytical reports also enable the producer and end-user to better understand the economic value of the compost and digestate, based on the macro- and micro-nutrients contained therein.

Known as the Compost Quality Alliance (CQA) and Digestate Quality Alliance (DQA), the program builds on the near two decades of lab-testing and market development experience, spearheaded by members and supporters of the Compost Council of Canada, including A&L Canada Laboratories, regulators, and end-users.

"Providing a quality assurance program that includes both digestate and compost is a natural combination for our industry," declared Larry Conrad, Chair, National Board of Directors, Compost Council of Canada. "Our industry uses different recycling technologies but our common focus is to return quality organic matter back to our soils. The CQA/DQA program helps us with regulatory compliance, provides product confidence with our end-users, increasing the value of our end products and hence the financial strength of our industry."

Now, organics recycling is about producing soil-destined products to return essential organic matter to the soil. Soils are in need of regeneration; their organic matter is dwindling. It is the organic matter that feeds the organisms within the soil food web, which is primarily responsible for the structure, fertility, and overall functioning of our soils. As identified in Recruiting Soil to Tackle Climate Change: A Roadmap for Canada, building the soil's organic matter delivers greenhouse gas reductions while improving productivity and profitability.

"The organics recycling industry is uniquely positioned to make a major contribution to environmental sustainability in general, and climate-change mitigation and adaptation in particular," said Susan Antler, Executive Director, The Compost Council of Canada. "It is essential that the soil-destined products of our industry – compost and digestate – be consistently of high quality. It is also important that the users of these products – farmers, landscapers, gardeners and many other soil managers – can be assured of that quality. We look forward to working with and involving all advocates of organics recycling and fellow organizations to make this program work well for our collective industry."

The CQA/DQA program is open to all organics recycling processors involved in producing compost and/or digestate.

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