The CanadaGAP Program Management Manual describes how the certification program works, and includes information about auditor and certification body requirements. Details can be found in this document relative to audit timing, scope of certification, certificate validity, multi-site certification, certification body transfers, and other topics related to management of the certification program. Rules for Group Certification are detailed in Appendices III.1 and III.2.
To access the document (Component 3), visit the CanadaGAP website and click on the last tab of the ‘Becoming Certified’ page. Select the last item entitled “Management System Manual”.
CanadaGAP does not provide technical consulting services to individual operations.
CanadaGAP does not recommend specific consultants. There are many who offer services across the country, and we are not familiar with the quality of their work.
We suggest you try the following to locate a suitable expert:
- Do an Internet search for “food safety consultant” or “CanadaGAP consultant” to find someone in your local area who offers help with food safety program implementation
- Ask your provincial or regional trade association (e.g., producers’ association)
- Contact your provincial or territorial government contacts/services. Some offer technical services directly, or they may publish a list of experts in your area (e.g., technical advisors, qualified agronomists, consultants, etc.).
- Reach out to your certification body. Some CanadaGAP certification bodies have consulting arms of their business, staffed by experts who offer implementation assistance, pre-audits, etc.
- Seek recommendations from other producers who have used consultants.
It is advisable to ask potential consultants for references, and to check those references. Some service providers claim to have expertise but may not necessarily be qualified.
The certification program is open to companies involved in production, handling and brokerage of fresh fruits and vegetables who need to demonstrate to their customers that they are implementing food safety programs and/or following the CanadaGAP manuals. Buyers may be asking specifically for CanadaGAP certification, in which case operations should enrol. If an operation is not sure exactly what is required, they should contact their customer(s). Some buyers are asking their suppliers to implement the manuals, but this is not the same as requiring certification. The certification is being requested by buyers who wish to ensure that the CanadaGAP manuals are being implemented effectively by their suppliers (e.g., Metro, Loblaw Companies Limited, Wal-mart, McCain Foods Canada, Simplot Canada, Lamb-Weston, Cavendish, etc.).
As customers become more aware of the CanadaGAP Program, demands for multiple food safety audits are expected to decrease.
Step 1 is to have a food safety program in place and at least three months of records. To download the CanadaGAP manual(s), click here.
Step 2 is to enrol in the program through CanadaGAP. Click here for the enrolment form, or contact the CanadaGAP office. Program participants will be required to pass a third party audit specifically based on the CanadaGAP manuals. The audit will be performed by a qualified, third party auditor who will be trained using CanadaGAP-specific materials to understand and assess a supplier’s compliance with the CanadaGAP food safety requirements. The audit service is provided by an independent Certification Body.