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The CFIA Chronicle

Edition 3 – October 2017

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CanadaGAP successfully completes the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Food Safety Recognition Program

An apple over a green background

Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, industry and consumers. Industry and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) work together to enhance food safety for Canadian families from farm to fork through programs such as the CFIA's Food Safety Recognition Program (FSRP).

On September 15, CanadaGAP became the 3rd organization to be recognized for successfully completing the CFIA's Food Safety Recognition Program, demonstrating that they have implemented effective preventive controls, including requirements for growing, harvesting and packing fresh produce for interprovincial trade or export. The Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Chicken Farmers of Canada previously achieved this recognition in 2016 and 2013 respectively.

Paul Glover, the President of the CFIA and Heather Gale, Executive Director of CanadaGAPs
Paul Glover, the President of the CFIA, presents Heather Gale, Executive Director of CanadaGAP with a certificate for the Food Safety Recognition Program

CanadaGAP is a food safety program for companies that produce, handle and broker fruits and vegetables. It promotes good agricultural practices (GAPs) and is designed to help implement and maintain effective food safety procedures within fresh produce operations. There are over three thousand companies enrolled and certified within CanadaGAP.

CanadaGAP voluntarily entered into the FSRP back in 2003 and has completed all the required technical reviews and assessments.

"This achievement has been years in the making, and we are proud to receive recognition," stated Jack Bates, Chair of the Board for CanAgPlus, the corporation that owns and operates the CanadaGAP Program. "We congratulate our dedicated and hard-working staff on reaching this important milestone, and we thank government representatives for their commitment to this process."

Recognition under the FSRP acknowledges that a food safety program has been developed and effectively implemented in line with:

  • a systematic and preventive approach to food safety based on internationally accepted standards
  • federal, provincial and territorial legislation, policy and protocols

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, congratulated CanadaGAP for successfully completing the Food Safety Recognition Program and stated that this is "another example of how working closely with industry helps develop and implement government-recognized food safety management systems at the farm level. It is a positive step in helping to build consumer trust in Canada's food safety system."

Achieving recognition one stage at a time

Before receiving a Letter of Recognition under the program, national industry organizations must complete a rigorous process that includes a technical review of the organization's food safety program standards and management systems as well as successful audits completed by both government and third-parties

Several stages were involved in CanadaGAP achieving full recognition:
Stage What was reviewed Who did the review
Technical review of the standard
  • Generic Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Models
    (commodity-specific)
  • Food Safety Manuals
Canadian government
officials (federal and
provincial)
Technical review
of the management
system
  • Program management
    Manual and procedures
  • Audit checklists
  • Auditor training materials
CFIA
Third party audit to
assess program
implementation
and delivery
  • National office audit
  • Certification body assessments
  • On-farm witness audits
Third party auditor and
accreditation bodies
Evaluation by
government of third
party audit findings
  • Third party audit report
    accreditation assessments
  • Witness audit reports
Canadian government
officials (federal and
provincial)

Paul Glover, the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was on hand to congratulate CanadaGAP for this achievement and to present the certificate of recognition to Heather Gale, Executive Director of CanadaGAP. Mr. Glover was very pleased to recognize CanadaGAP's accomplishment and welcome them on board.

About the initiative

The Food Safety Recognition Program is a collaborative effort funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada under the Growing Forward 2 initiative. The CFIA leads the program with the participation of industry as well as provincial, territorial governments and other federal departments. The FSRP encourages national industry organizations to develop food safety systems in line with a systematic and preventive approach to food safety called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), which in turn strengthens Canada's food system.

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Did You Know?

Ask CFIA is your single point of entry for questions about current regulatory requirements. Since June 2016, over 1500 regulatory questions have been answered. Ask CFIA is available to most food businesses including those in the following sectors: fish and seafood, dairy, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, maple, honey and egg and egg products. Have a regulatory question? Ask CFIA.

Consultation and Engagement Opportunities

Consultation is a key activity of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). It supports open and transparent government. We encourage you to have a look at the complete list of consultation and engagement opportunities, become informed and have your say.

Questions or Suggestions

If you have questions about regulatory requirements or other technical questions regarding your business, visit Ask CFIA.

If you have questions about one of the articles in The CFIA Chronicle or would like to suggest an article for futures editions, email: CFIA-Modernisation-ACIA@inspection.gc.ca.

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