Québec Peat Moss Producers Association

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Laws, certifications and policies of the industry

Businesses in Canada wishing to commercially harvest peat are subject to the regulations in effect in their province.

In Quebec, peat producers must:

  • Apply for a certificate of authorization from the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) before beginning work.
  • Fulfill the procedures and meet the requirements to obtain an operating lease from the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF), should the land to be worked be public.


In Quebec, activities related to peat harvesting and work in peatlands are governed by the laws and regulations of the various departments affected.

Several laws concern peat harvesting, particularly in relation to plant inventory before peatlands are put into operation, to water stress monitoring at operational sites, and to the planning of peatland restoration after harvesting.

  • Ecological Reserves Act (R.S.Q., 1997, c. R26.1).
  • National Parks Act (S.C.., 1998, c. N-14).
  • Parks Act (R.S.Q., 1995, c. P-9).
  • Environment Quality Act (R.S.Q., 1997, c. Q-2).
  • Mining Act (R.S.Q.., 1998, c. M-13.1).

Responsible peatland management certification

The Certification for Responsible Peatland Management—an international first—assures the application of good management practices in all aspects of sustainable development.

The peat industry in Quebec and Canada is once again showing itself as a leader in the field. The Certification for Responsible Peatland Management is, in fact, ancillary to the VeriFlora standard, a North American certification system in sustainable development in horticulture (cut flowers and potted plants).

The VeriFlora standard and the Annex on Responsible Peatland Management are under the authority of Scientific Certification Systems, an independent certification agency and one of the most recognized in North America.

Goals in Responsible Peatland Management

  • To favour restoration of carbon accumulating wetland ecosystems.
  • To promote continuing improvement, stimulate innovation, and reduce the environmental footprint in peat moss production.
  • To promote social responsibility in peat moss production.
  • To favour horticultural and other biological uses of peat moss, while promoting cost-effective uses of value-added by-products, which reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • To provide third-party assessments and certification to peat moss producers and handlers.

Industry policies

All members of the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association, including Quebec producers, have adopted a management policy and guidelines to encourage harmonious cohabitation with surrounding communities and to continuously improve its environmental record.