Overview of CanadaGAP
CanadaGAP® is a food safety program for companies that produce, handle and broker fruits and vegetables. It is designed to help implement and maintain effective food safety procedures within fresh produce operations. Two manuals, one specific to greenhouse operations, the second for other fruit and vegetable operations, have been developed by the horticultural industry and reviewed for technical soundness by Canadian government officials. The manuals are designed for companies implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in their production, packing and storage operations, and for repackers and wholesalers implementing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and HACCP programs. The program is also designed for fresh produce brokers implementing best practices in supplier management and product traceability.
The manuals are based on a rigorous hazard analysis applying the seven principles of the internationally-recognized HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) approach. The program is benchmarked to and officially recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Audit and certification services for the program are delivered by accredited Certification Bodies.
What is Program Certification?Certification is the term used by CanadaGAP to describe the determination by a qualified authority that the supplier meets the standard and that its food safety program is being maintained on an ongoing basis. This involves having a third party auditor from the Certification Body visit the operation, review the food safety manual(s) and related records, interview the operator and staff, and assess the company’s conformance to the CanadaGAP Audit Checklist. Since the Audit Checklist covers all crop groupings, multi-crop operations may be able to cover their entire production in only one audit. Those who pass the audit are certified to the program.
Certification indicates that the operation has a system of procedures to minimize the risk of contamination to product. The Certification Body certifies processes, not products. The auditor gathers evidence to attest to the ongoing maintenance of the food safety system, rather than simply gaining a snapshot at a given point in time.