En français ici

Quality Assurance Programs for Soil-Destined
Products of Organics Recycling

Our industry’s quality assurance programs for both compost and digestate reflect the combination of regulatory compliance with an understanding of the agronomic attributes of our soil-destined products, assuring that the right product is being used for the right soil application.

Both the Compost Quality Alliance (CQA) and the Digestate Quality Alliance (DQA) involve proponents and facilities who are voluntarily using the program to help their customers understand how to use these soil-destined products most effectively. As well, the information provided also helps users (markets) understand the value of the product from macro- and micro-nutrient content, allowing for the realization of savings and the optimization of inputs.

Now, more than ever, organics recycling is about producing quality soil-destined products to return essential organic matter to our soils.

Soils are in need of regeneration. Their organic matter content is dwindling. It is the organic matter in soils that feeds the organisms of the soil food web , which in turn create good soil structure, boost fertility, and assure the overall best functioning of our soils.

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. As identified in Recruiting Soil to Tackle Climate Change: A Roadmap for Canada, building organic matter delivers greenhouse gas reductions while improving productivity and profitability.

For the organics recycling industry to be able to fully capitalize on this enormous opportunity, it is essential that the soil-destined products of the 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. Moreover, they need to have the right information regarding the best possible use of each specific product as well as its economic value.

This webpage provides additional details of our quality assurance programs for compost and digestate. For more information and to become involved, please contact The Compost Council of Canada.

Our Council would like to extend our thanks to our members, soil researchers and managers, Canadian regulators, fellow organics recycling advocates and organizations as well as several international organizations, including the European Compost Network and the International Solid Waste Association who have provided input and counsel in the development of this industry-led quality assurance initiative.

Key Elements of our Quality Assurance Program for Compost and Digestate

• Standardized product sampling
• Uniform laboratory testing
• Appropriate product attributes and usage guidelines

Benefits of the Program

To Consumers

• ability to select the right product for the right use

To the Compost and Anaerobic Digestion Industry

• supports regulatory compliance
• enhances market development
• builds industry credibility and reputation

How the Program Works:

Comment le programme fonctionne :

• open to all producers
• focused on product versus process
• participants follow prescribed sampling frequency and reporting methods
• annual licensing arrangement to use CQA/DQA logo on packaging and product promotion
• CQA/DQA program managed by the Compost Council of Canada with the support of other organizations and marketed through their initiatives as well as those of the licensees

The Submission Form for Compost and Digestate Test

Download (.PDF)

Download (.EXCEL)

Analytical Reports Provided

An Example of how our Industry members utilize the Analytical Reports

Using Nutrient Values to
Market Compost

Jon Gingerich, Schlegel Poultry Compost

Presented at the Compost Matters In Canada 2021
National Online Workshops
on Tuesday March 23, 2021


The Compost Council of Canada is the national non-profit, member-driven organization dedicated to advocating and advancing organics residuals recycling and compost use. The Council serves as the central resource and network for the compost and organics recycling industry in Canada and, through its members, contributes to the environmental sustainability of the communities in which they operate.