May 17, 2012, Ottawa, Ont – The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) and Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) will integrate the CanadaGAP (On-Farm Food Safety) Program and the CPMA Repacking and Wholesale Food Safety Program (RWFSP).
Both the CHC and CPMA boards of directors approved the integration initiative during their respective annual meetings earlier this year.
Integrating the two programs will result in some key benefits for the Canadian fruit and vegetable industry, including:
- adopting an industry-wide food safety system that meets customer requirements
- ensuring consistent and complementary food safety standards from producers and packers to wholesalers and re-packers
- lessening the confusion around overlapping programs or requirements
- meeting the needs of companies that pack and re-pack product
- maintaining strong linkages between the various levels of the value chain
- competing more effectively with other internationally-recognized programs whose scope reaches further along the value chain
- integrating audits, audit checklists, auditor training, government technical reviews and international benchmarking processes (saving time and money)
A formal study was undertaken in 2010 to examine the feasibility of the joint venture. The study concluded this was a feasible initiative. The two programs will be integrated under an autonomous corporate entity that will function independently of both CHC and CPMA.
Work on this initiative will continue through 2012 and 2013, with funding assistance from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative under Growing Forward. The integrated program could be available by 2013 and 2014.
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