Such recognition is for food safety programs developed in Canada that meet government requirements for a technically sound and effectively delivered program.
Several stages were involved in getting it such as a technical review of the standard and management system, third party audit and evaluation of government of the audit findings.
CanadaGAP is a food safety program for companies that produce, handle and broker fruits and vegetables.
Heather Gale, executive director for CanadaGAP, said the recognition coincides well with regulatory modernization that will ‘significantly impact’ the fresh produce industry.
“New food safety regulations are on the way that include requirements for growing, harvesting and packing of fresh produce for interprovincial trade or export,” she said.
“The program is now positioned to be a ‘model system’ for program participants needing to demonstrate they have implemented effective preventive controls.”
Gale said the work was complimentary to efforts to get GFSI recognition.
“Both avenues of recognition have ensured that the CanadaGAP program meets international standards and provides a technically sound, effectively managed certification program for the fruit and vegetable industry,” she said.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) applauded CanadaGAP on the achievement.
GFSI said the recognition is a major public/private achievement and it reinforces the fact that achieving certification to a GFSI-recognised certification programme puts operations in a good place to meet government regulations.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has a policy on private certification schemes and was involved with the “G30” summit of food safety.
Mike Robach, chair of the GFSI board of directors, said companies and governments are working together to assure safe food for consumers everywhere.
“We are delighted to be at the forefront of this first-in-kind collaboration to harmonise and strengthen food safety systems around the world. We applaud the Canadian government in its leading role in making this happen.”