Paddy was one of the first organic farmers in the Cariboo Region of British Columbia in the 1980s, raising sheep and garden vegetables. For nearly two decades, Paddy led the Canadian organic community, first in British Columbia and then nationally, to work for clear organic standards and a system of verification that supports continuous improvement within the organic industry and preserves consumer confidence.
Paddy was one of the founding directors of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC), which, together with the BC government, developed the first legislation-based organic accreditation/ certification program in Canada. Known for his resourcefulness in bringing diverse communities together, Paddy managed the historic pan-Canadian effort to develop an organic regulation for Canada. His peers and other stakeholders attribute the achievement of Canada’s Organic Products Regulations, now coming to fruition, to his exceptional leadership and perseverance.
Although Paddy has served as a catalyst to mobilize various stakeholders and build consensus toward a large vision, he is also a detail person who has been responsible for writing systems for certification, accreditation criteria and other tools to ensure integrity.
Doherty wrote the Interpretive Guide for the Canada Organic Standard, was the first chair of the government-advisory Organic Value Chain Roundtable, and is a member of the Canadian General Standards Board Technical Committee on Organic Agriculture. Doherty also helped to found the Organic Federation of Canada. He has held key posts with the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM), Accreditation Criteria Committee, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Committee on conformity assessment.
Paddy is continuing to build upon his international work in his new work at ISEAL – The International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance. As the Credibility Tools Manager Paddy will be bring his experience from the organic guarantee systems into the larger community of international environmental, sustainable and social justice programs. Paddy leaves a lasting and positive footprint in all the communities in which he has been involved.
Paddy Doherty was unable to join OTA for the event, but he did record his acceptance speech.