Updates and revisions are made to the CanadaGAP program on a regular basis. These changes stem from user requests (program participants, Certification Bodies/auditors, buyers and/or other stakeholders), to account for new science, to align with changes in government regulations and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), as well as to clarify interpretation of existing requirements.
The general procedure for processing requests for modification are:
- Requests for modification are received.
- As needed, further research is carried out by CanadaGAP staff.
- Requests and supporting information are taken to the Stakeholder Advisory Committee annual meeting.
- CanAgPlus Board approves changes as necessary.
- Approved changes are integrated into CanadaGAP Program materials (HACCP models, manuals, audit checklists, training materials, etc.).
- All changes must be approved by CFIA to show that technical rigour is being maintained.
- Manuals released in January/February for April 1st implementation by program participants.
For a number of years, CanadaGAP issued annual updates to the Food Safety Manuals. 2019 was the first year that no update was issued. This decision was well received by program users, and in future, manuals may be updated less frequently. However, the process for integrating changes into the standard must be followed regardless of frequency of updates. This means that users may have to wait longer for requested changes (e.g., request to include a new crop in the scope of the program).