Certification Option C: Annual On-Site Audit

To allow Canadian suppliers to continue using the CanadaGAP® Program while also satisfying the demands of international customers who require programs recognized by GFSI, Option C certification includes an Annual Audit on-site. Some domestic customers may also require their suppliers to be certified under Option C, or may require it only for identified “high-risk” suppliers. This option is equally available to any program participant who simply prefers an annual on-site visit.

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) in May 2010 formally benchmarked and approved certification options B and C as meeting international requirements for on-farm food safety.

Cost Implications

Option C is more costly than other options due to the Annual Audit. Costs will vary somewhat depending on the scope, size and location of your operation and the duration of your audit.

Option C involves three cost components:
  • Annual Program Fee
  • Audit Fees
  • Auditor Travel Expenses
1) Annual Program Fee Paid by the program participant to CanadaGAP. Covers CanadaGAP’s costs to administer the program, process enrolment applications, maintain the technical standards and training materials, oversee Certification Bodies, pursue international benchmarking and maintain our government recognition status, collect and analyse data, monitor developments in food safety science and media, offer technical support to the CBs, communicate to program participants, program marketing/education, office overhead, staff and related expenses.

2) Audit Costs Paid directly by the program participant to the Certification Body. Covers the CB’s cost to deliver audit and certification services including auditor’s time to perform audits, auditor travel time and expenses, technical review of audit reports, follow-up on corrective actions, issuing certificates, administration and office overhead, billing functions, etc.

3) Auditor’s Travel Expenses Costs vary depending on location of the facility, closest available auditor, and proximity to other audit sites. Every effort will be made to schedule audits in such a way to minimize auditor travel expenses.

What is Benchmarking?

Official processes are available under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and GLOBALG.A.P. programs to obtain formal recognitions of equivalency. During the benchmarking process, the CanadaGAP program is rigorously reviewed by a group of experts to ensure that the food safety requirements as well as program delivery, certification and management systems are comparable to other recognized programs. CanadaGAP certification options B and C have undergone benchmarking by GFSI and in May 2010 were formally recognized by GFSI.