CanadaGAP makes its debut
March 16, 2009 By Canadian Horticultural Council
CanadaGAP makes its debut
The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), a national industry association representing fresh fruit and vegetable growers, has unveiled a new name for its On-Farm Food Safety Program.
The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), a national industry association representing fresh fruit and vegetable growers, has unveiled a new name for its On-Farm Food Safety Program. The program will be known as CanadaGAP – On-Farm Food Safety for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables. The program consists of national food safety standards and a certification system for the safe production, storage and packing of fresh fruit and vegetables.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Eight on-farm food safety manuals specific to different fruit and vegetable crops have been developed by the horticultural industry and are reviewed for technical soundness by Canadian government officials. The manuals are designed for producers and packers implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and contain comprehensive guidance based on a rigorous hazard analysis using HACCP principles.
The certification component of the program, launched in September 2008, is open to suppliers who need to demonstrate to their customers that they are following the On-Farm Food Safety Manuals. Program participants are required to pass a third party audit specifically based on the manuals, with audit and certification services provided by an internationally-accredited certification body, QMI-SAI Global.
To date, over 250 producers have enrolled in the program.
“We are encouraged by the number of producers participating in the Certification program so far,” said National Program Manager Heather Gale.
In 2009, the Canadian On-Farm Food Safety standards for fruit and vegetables will be benchmarked to internationally recognized Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) requirements and GlobalGAP standards. The objective is to establish equivalence in the global marketplace while rebranding the program as “CanadaGAP”. Once benchmarked, CanadaGAP will have equivalent status to other internationally recognized food safety programs around the world.
“This is an exciting development for the On-Farm Food Safety Program,” said Paul LeBlanc, chair of the Food Safety Management Committee at the Canadian Horticultural Council. “CanadaGAP-certified producers and packers will be positioned to meet customer requirements for compliance with GFSI or GlobalGAP standards.”
GlobalGAP is an international body based in Germany that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products around the globe. GlobalGAP certification is carried out by more than 100 independent and accredited certification bodies in more than 80 countries. It is open to all producers worldwide. GFSI is co-ordinated by CIES – The Food Business Forum based in Belgium. It maintains a benchmarking process to promote standardization among food safety programs.