EOTN- Canadian Horticulrural Council (Summer 2010)

canadian horticultural council

By Heather Gale,

CanadaGAP National Program Manager

“Once certified, accepted everywhere.” This has been the objective of the Global Food Safety Initiative. The GFSI is a collaboration between some of the world’s leading food safety experts from retailer, manufacturer, and food service companies, as well as service providers associated with the food supply chain.

After a thorough review process comparing the elements of CanadaGAP to the GFSI requirements, two of the certification options (B and C) that are part of the CanadaGAP (On-Farm Food Safety) Program, recently achieved recognition from GFSI. Many retailers in Canada and abroad are requiring suppliers of fresh produce be certified to a GFSI-benchmarked program. This means if a grower is CanadaGAP-certified, buyers can continue to have confidence the grower is using a world-class program that is credible and based on sound science.

The recent success of CanadaGAP recognition by GFSI is just one of the many benefits for potato growers who are implementing the program. With a tailored procedural manual and in-depth hazard analysis developed specifically for the potato industry,* the program’s specialized focus on the realities of the potato farm, storage facility, or packinghouse can be considered unique.

The Canadian Horticultural Council has also initiated benchmarking to GlobalGAP, since some growers are being asked by their customers for a GlobalGAP-equivalent program. The benchmarking process is similar to that set out by GFSI and entails a comprehensive comparison of CanadaGAP to the GlobalGAP standard and certification system. The CHC will continue to pursue GlobalGAP equivalence in the coming months. For more information, visit www.canadagap.ca.

*Note: there are also procedural manuals for five other crop groupings