Red Hat completes CHC OFFS certification

March 16, 2009
redhat2407The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), a national industry association representing fresh fruit and vegetable growers, is pleased to announce the first certification issued to a member who successfully completed the CHC On-Farm Food Safety (OFFS) Certification Program.
The Certification was received by Red Hat Co-operative Ltd., a packinghouse and collective of greenhouse growers based in Southern Alberta. 

“It’s great to have this (food safety certification),” said Red Hat General Manager Lyle Aleman. “It will help us demonstrate to our customers that we are committed to food safety.” 

The certificate was presented to Red Hat Co-operative Ltd. past president Doyle Brandt at the CHC’s 87th Annual General Meeting, which took place March 3 to 6 in Calgary. 

The CHC OFFS Program consists of national food safety standards and a certification system for the safe production, storage and packing of fresh fruit and vegetables. 

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 CHC On-Farm Food Safety Manuals (eight crop-specific manuals containing comprehensive guidance based on a rigorous hazard analysis using HACCP principles). 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 very encouraged by the number of producers participating so far,” said national program manager Heather Gale.

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