Atlantic Certified Organic was developed as a membership co-operative to meet a need identified by the organic sector of Atlantic Canada to have a regionally based accredited organic certification program. ACO was launched in March 2008 and commenced the accreditation process with CAEQ, a division of CARTV as its Conformity Verification Agency (CVA ). In August 2008 ACO assumed the certification services of the regions two certification bodies, the Nova Scotia Organic Growers Association (NSOGA) and the Maritime Organic Growers (MCOG).
Commencing in the 2009 certification year, ACO shall begin to offer accredited organic certification services to the organic sector of Atlantic Canada and thus provides a certification option of an accredited certification body that has its roots in Atlantic Canada and supports the local economy.
ACO has been accredited to the full scope of organic products covered by the OPR and over the next year it is the intention of ACO to expand its accreditation to include NOP.