This communication updates and clarifies CanadaGAP’s previous statement regarding major changes being made to the program for 2021. We regret any confusion or concern caused in connection with our previous communique on this subject.

The CanadaGAP Food Safety Program has been benchmarked to and recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) since 2010, and CanadaGAP is currently in the final stages of completing re-benchmarking to GFSI requirements v2020. GFSI recognition is critical for users of the CanadaGAP program participating in certification options B, C, and D (for Repacking and Wholesaling). GFSI recognition of CanadaGAP allows producers to confidently supply customers who require certification to a GFSI-recognized program.

CanadaGAP willingly and voluntarily enters into the GFSI benchmarking process, and makes changes to the program as needed, because we value the opportunity to demonstrate compliance with GFSI requirements. CanadaGAP is currently among only a few select food safety programs globally that is committed to achieving this level of recognition through GFSI benchmarking.

CanadaGAP is proud to be participating in the GFSI benchmarking process, and is pleased to offer program participants a world-class food safety standard and an internationally-recognized certification system that has demonstrated acceptance by customers.

Changes to Option B, C, and D (Repacking and Wholesaling) Requirements for 2021

To continue to meet recognition requirements in 2021, CanadaGAP is introducing a significant change to the program. This change applies to CanadaGAP’s three GFSI-recognized certification options:

  • Option B (Group Certification)
  • Option C (Annual Audit)
  • Option D (for Repacking and Wholesaling).

The changes effective April 1, 2021 are as follows:

  • To be certified, program participants must comply 100% with CanadaGAP requirements.
  • We acknowledge the difficulty of scoring full points on the CanadaGAP audit checklist. To reach 100% compliance, items that score less than full points on the checklist must be addressed after the audit through the corrective actions process.
  • The auditor/certification body must approve corrective actions before the program participant can be certified.
  • Where it is impossible to take corrective action during the current year, the program participant must submit a corrective actions plan to the auditor/certification body, for approval.
  • The corrective actions plan will be verified at the next audit. The company can be certified in the meantime if the corrective actions plan is acceptable to the certification body.
  • The program participant will pay the certification body for the time required to review and approve corrective actions or a corrective actions plan.
  • The timeframe to close out CARs remains 60 days from the date the audit report is issued. Requests for a longer close-out period can be considered by the certification body on a case-by-case basis.

For more information about these changes, please refer to the following CanadaGAP documents, as they become available on the CanadaGAP website in the weeks leading up to implementation on April 1st:

For CanadaGAP Certification Options that are NOT GFSI-recognized

The following CanadaGAP certification options are NOT GFSI-recognized:

  • Option A1
  • Option A2
  • Option D (Brokerage)

Those three certification options will continue to meet the usual CanadaGAP requirements:

  • A score of 85% with no autofailure items is required to pass the CanadaGAP audit
  • Those with autofailure items on the audit must correct them before being certified
  • To be certified, those scoring below 85% on the audit checklist must implement corrective actions sufficient to obtain a passing score of 85%
  • Several GFSI-related requirements in the CanadaGAP Food Safety Manuals are no longer applicable. See further details in the manuals.

Additional GFSI Resources

To provide further background information and context to the importance of GFSI recognition to CanadaGAP program users, GFSI has made available the following resources:

“Food Safety: Rethink, Reset, Recharge”

“4 Ways GFSI is Driving a ‘Race to the Top’ for Food Safety”

February 25th, 2021 at 10:07 am