The Compost Quality Alliance (CQA)
a voluntary program established by the
the License Agreement
Compost Council of Canada and the compost producers utilizing standardized
testing methodologies and uniform operating protocols to improve customer
in compost selection and utilization.
Download a brochure
Elements of the Program
- Standardized product
- Uniform laboratory
- Appropriate product
attributes and usage guidelines
of the Program
the Compost Industry
- ability to select the
right compost for the right use
- supports regulatory
- enhances compost market
- builds industry credibility
the CQA Program Works:
- open to all compost
- focused on product
- participants follow
prescribed sampling frequency and reporting methods
- annual licensing arrangement
to use CQA logo on packaging and product promotion
- CQA program managed
by the Compost Council of Canada and marketed by both the CCC as well as
- compost facility
signs up to be part of Compost Quality Alliance
of product testing based on annual production volume (Table 1)
- product samples submitted to CQA-accredited laboratory
- product testing involves regulatory requirements as well
as agronomic parameters
- lab results reported back to compost producer and the Compost
Council of Canada
- product attributes to be communicated on an ongoing basis
to product users in a prescribed manner (Table 2)
- if the compost product sample fails to meet analytical
requirements, producer has the right to rework and resubmit for further
testing. Inability to achieve satisfactory analytical results would lead
- annual license timeframe: September 1st - August
- annual licensee fee: $700 for CCC members; $1,000 for non-members
(each licensee is also responsible for the costs of lab testing)
the CQA laboratory accreditation program:
CQA-laboratories across Canada and the United States are involved
in the CAP (Compost Analysis Proficiency) program, a laboratory quality
assurance program to calibrate procedures and evaluate inter-lab method performance.
The Test Methods for Examination of Composting and Compost (TMECC) forms
the basis of
the analytical test methods. CAP is administered by Dr. Robert Miller of Colorado
CQA Compost Producers include:
ADI International (PEI) Inc.
All Treat Farms
City of Brandon
City of Calgary
Cape Breton Regional Municipality
City of Edmonton
Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Management
Foothills Regional Waste Management
Greater Moncton Wastewater Commission
Net Zero Waste Abbotsford
Schlegel Poultry Compost
Both provincial/territorial and federal governments have established guidelines for the testing and sale of compost products. Criteria include maturity/stability, trace elements, pathogen as well as moisture content and depending on ingredients, N-P-K. Sampling standards as well as reporting requirements are also included in the regulatory framework under which compost facilities must operate.
The Compost Council of Canada and our members have been actively involved in the development as well as the ongoing reviews of these guidelines. During these reviews and as part of the ongoing nurturing of the advancements of organics recycling across Canada, it became apparent that while these guidelines meet the requirements from the perspective of government regulators, there was an important need to go above and beyond these guidelines to also reflect agronomic parameters that would help ensure that the right compost was used for the right purpose.
Hence the Compost Quality Alliance (CQA) was developed – to not only reflect government regulations but to go above and beyond to also test for the agronomic properties of compost and direct its usage appropriately.
CQA is a voluntary initiative, open to all compost producers across Canada. Upfront operational audits as well as testing procedures are required of all CQA-members along with an ongoing sampling regime and product attribute focus and market sale.
Look and shop for the CQA seal.
Feed the Soil … COMPOST!
For more information about CQA, please call the Council @ 1-877-571-GROW(4769)
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.