Labelling Requirements for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Country of Origin - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

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Country of Origin is defined in section 2 of the FFVR.

All country names must be written out in full, except for the United States which may be abbreviated to "USA" as it is recognized worldwide.

The country of origin shall be shown on the principal display panel and in close proximity to the declaration of net quantity or the grade name [10(8), 10(11), FFVR]. The letters in the country of origin declaration must be shown in bold face type in letters the height of which varies in proportion to the principal display surface.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Grown in Canada

Indicating the country of origin is voluntary on produce grown in Canada. A Canadian packer who wishes to declare its product as being of Canadian origin must avoid giving misleading information to consumers. The "Product of Canada" Guidelines were developed to reflect consumer and industry expectations about what constitutes a Canadian product.

The use of these claims is voluntary, however, when applied they will be assessed against the "Product of Canada" guidelines.

Fresh fruit and vegetables grown in a country other than Canada

The country of origin declaration is mandatory on all containers of imported fresh produce, regardless of whether they are packaged whole produce, or packaged fresh-cut (minimally processed) produce. This requirement also applies to imported produce packaged and labelled or re-packaged and labelled in Canada.

Every container of imported produce shall be labelled to show the words "Product of", "Produce of", "Grown in" or "Country of Origin", followed by the name of the country of origin of the produce, or other words which clearly indicate the country in which the produce was grown [10(11), FFVR].

On master containers, where the country of origin is easily and clearly discernible in or on the inner container without opening the outer container, the country of origin need not be shown on the outer container [23, FFVR].

Determining country of origin labelling requirements

Examples of produce for which country of origin labelling is mandatory:
Whole or fresh-cut produce imported from single or multiple origins, for example:

  • A bag of apples is imported from the USA - "Product of USA";
  • A prepackaged mix of sweet peppers, 1 orange and 1 yellow from Mexico and 1 green from the USA - "Product of Mexico and USA";
  • Squash is grown, chopped and packaged in the USA - "Product of USA".

Whole or fresh-cut produce imported from a single origin and repacked in Canada, for example:

  • Onions imported from Mexico in 50 kg bags, then repacked into 10 kg bags in Canada - "Product of Mexico".

Domestic whole produce is packaged with imported whole produce from one or more origins, for example:

  • A salad blended from whole baby lettuce leaves imported from the USA and spinach leaves grown in Canada - "Product of USA and Canada";
  • Domestic apples are packaged with apples imported from the USA - "Product of Canada and USA".

Single ingredient fresh-cut produce prepared in Canada from imported whole produce, for example:

  • Carrots imported from the USA then shredded and packaged in Canada - "Product of USA".
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