Scope of the program2017-11-14T15:57:53-05:00
What is the scope of the CanadaGAP Program?2018-05-29T13:20:34-04:00

The CanadaGAP manuals are designed for use by operations involved in the production, handling and brokerage of fruits and vegetables in Canada. The manuals cover production, packing, repacking, storage, wholesaling and brokerage activities.

1. Fruit and Vegetable manual: covers field/orchard/vineyard-grown crops (i.e., Combined Vegetable, Leafy Vegetable and Cruciferae, Potato, Small Fruit, and Tree and Vine Fruit)

2. Greenhouse manual: covers greenhouse-grown product for fresh market.

For comprehensive information about the scope of the program, refer to the details in each manual. Crop groupings, individual commodities, exceptions, and information about destination markets are specifically identified.

May 29th, 2018 at 01:20 pm
An operation is growing microgreens. Are they covered under the scope of the CanadaGAP program?2020-02-07T11:17:46-05:00

As of January 1, 2020, operations involved in production, packing or storage of microgreens are no longer able to obtain certification through the CanadaGAP Program. CanadaGAP has determined that, given the potential risks of contamination with the production and handling of microgreens, a site-specific HACCP Plan is the best approach for managing food safety risks associated with these products.

CanadaGAP uses a generic HACCP model as the basis for the food safety requirements and procedures published in the CanadaGAP Food Safety Manual and Audit Checklist. We have determined that further research and scientific study is needed to understand the full range of microgreens production and handling practices, the associated food safety hazards, and the most effective control measures. Going forward, as the industry expands and new methods are adopted, additional science will be required to validate that all potential hazards have been appropriately addressed in the CanadaGAP generic HACCP model. Therefore, the decision was taken to phase out this scope of CanadaGAP certification for the time being.

The CanadaGAP program defines microgreens/shoots as small forms of edible product produced from very young vegetables, herbs or other plants. Seeds (from vegetables and herbs) are planted and they develop and grow in soil, substrate (e.g., peat moss or other fibrous material), aeroponically or using an alternative growing method. They are NOT grown in water. Microgreens are ideally grown in high light conditions, with low humidity and good air circulation.

Microgreens, if sold already cut, are cut above the soil surface and packed without roots. The seed portion of the plant gets left behind in the growing medium. Microgreens can also be sold in potted soil or another substrate; these are sometimes marketed as “living” greens. The consumer cuts the microgreens just before eating, for optimal freshness. Microgreens, sprouts, and baby greens are NOT the same.  

For further information for operations who currently hold certificates for microgreens, please see the CanadaGAP communiqué.

February 7th, 2020 at 11:17 am
What is the difference between microgreens, sprouts, and baby greens?2020-01-20T14:12:52-05:00

Microgreens, sprouts, and baby greens are NOT the same.

  • Microgreens vs. sprouts: Microgreens are larger than sprouts. Unlike sprouts, the seed portion of microgreens is not consumed. Microgreens are cut at harvest, and the seed portion of the plant gets left behind in the growing medium.
  • Microgreens vs. baby greens: Microgreens have more stem than leaf, whereas baby greens are predominantly leafy and typically have more leaf than stem. They may be marketed as “baby salad greens” or “mixed baby greens”. Below are some examples of baby greens and microgreens to help distinguish the two.

The images on the left are of baby greens, and the images on the right are of microgreens.

As of January 1, 2020, operations involved in production, packing or storage of microgreens are no longer able to obtain certification through the CanadaGAP Program. CanadaGAP has determined that, given the potential risks of contamination with the production and handling of microgreens, a site-specific HACCP Plan is the best approach for managing food safety risks associated with these products.

Sprout production requires site-specific HACCP and is not eligible for certification under CanadaGAP.

Baby green operations may continue to seek CanadaGAP certification.

January 20th, 2020 at 02:12 pm
An operation is growing produce (e.g., lettuce, herbs, etc.) using aquaponics. What is aquaponics? Can the operation obtain CanadaGAP certification?2019-07-25T09:59:29-04:00

Aquaponics combines aquaculture with hydroponic plant production. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a water based, nutrient rich solution that does not use soil. Instead, the root system is supported using an inert medium such as perlite, rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, or vermiculite.

Aquaculture is defined as the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, and other organisms. In an aquaponics system, the waste produced from aquaculture supplies the nutrients for the hydroponically-grown plants.

Operations growing fresh produce in aquaponic systems cannot use the CanadaGAP Program to obtain certification after March 31, 2020. CanadaGAP uses a generic HACCP model as the basis for the food safety requirements and procedures published in the CanadaGAP Food Safety Manual and Audit Checklist. Additional science is needed to validate that all potential hazards have been appropriately addressed in the CanadaGAP generic HACCP model. Unfortunately, peer-reviewed scientific studies on potential chemical hazards associated with aquaponic systems are limited at this time.

The scope of the CanadaGAP program is limited to whole fresh fruits and vegetables. A food safety certification program that addresses both aspects of an aquaponic system – that is, the production of fresh produce and the farming of fish or other aquatic organisms – may provide a more complete assessment of an operation’s implemented food safety program.

For more information on aquaponics and previous certifications, please see the related communiqué.

July 25th, 2019 at 09:59 am
What commodities does the CanadaGAP Program currently cover?2020-02-07T11:24:00-05:00

The commodities covered by the program as of Jan 1, 2020 are:

Commodities covered for production, packing and storage of product:

Fruit and Vegetables:

  • Small Fruit: Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries (High Bush, Wild), Cranberries, Saskatoon Berries, Currants (Red, Black) and Other (Gooseberries, Elderberries, etc.)
  • Potatoes
  • Combined Vegetables: Asparagus, Sweet Corn, Legumes (Beans and Peas), Globe Artichokes, Bulb and Root Vegetables [Garlic, Beets, Carrots, Onions, Radish, Parsnips, Rutabaga, Turnips, Shallots, Jerusalem Artichokes and Other (Horseradish, Sweet Potatoes, etc.)] and Fruiting Vegetables (Peppers, Eggplant, Melons, Pumpkins, Squash, Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Okra)
  • Leafy Vegetable and Cruciferae (except for microgreens): Leafy (Lettuce, Spinach, Edible Flowers, Mixed Greens, Baby Salad Greens, Asian Greens, Arugula, Green Onions, Leeks, Swiss Chard and Kale), Head [Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Radicchio, Kohlrabi and Lettuce (Iceberg, Romaine, etc.)], Leaf of Root Crops (Belgian Endive, Dandelion Greens, Beet Greens, Turnip Greens and Corn Salad), Fresh Leafy Herbs (Parsley, Cilantro, Fresh Dill, etc.) and Petioles (Celery, Fennel, Rhubarb)
  • Tree and Vine Fruit: Pome Fruits (Apples, Pears, Quince), Stone Fruits: [Peaches, Plums, Apricots, Nectarines, Cherries (Sour and Sweet), and Sea Buckthorn] and Vines (Grapes, Kiwi)

Greenhouse:

  • Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers, Eggplant, Leafy Greens (excluding microgreens), Fresh Herbs and Edible Flowers, Strawberries

Commodities covered for repacking, wholesaling and brokerage of product:

All fresh fruit and vegetables EXCEPT for:
•  Fresh sprouts
•  Fresh fruits and vegetables in hermetically sealed containers
•  Minimally processed fruits and vegetables

For comprehensive information about the scope of the program, refer to the details in each manual. Crop groupings, individual commodities, exceptions, and information about destination markets are specifically identified.

February 7th, 2020 at 11:24 am
What if an operation grows a commodity (e.g., oranges, bananas) that is not listed in the scope for production? Can production of that commodity be included in their CanadaGAP certification?2017-11-03T16:26:15-04:00

No. Only those commodities listed for production in the CanadaGAP manuals can be included under the scope for production on a CanadaGAP certificate. This is because for each of the commodities covered within the scope for production within the CanadaGAP Program, the practices used to grow them have been put through a HACCP analysis. This means all hazards (biological, chemical and physical) that may be present in the production of the commodity have been considered and requirements (those within the manuals) have been put in place to reduce the risk at the farm level through good agricultural practices. The commodities that are not listed in the scope for production have not undergone this hazard analysis by CanadaGAP; thus there may be requirements that are missing, unnecessary or unknown based on the commodity.

November 3rd, 2017 at 04:26 pm
An operation is growing edamame (fresh young soybeans that are harvested green), can they be CanadaGAP certified?2017-11-03T16:26:15-04:00

Yes. The operation would follow the Fruit and Vegetable manual (and any specific Combined Vegetable requirements). Edamame would fall under beans. For other types of soybean production (i.e., where soybeans are left to fully mature and to dry/cure in the field before being harvested) the CanadaGAP Program does not cover that. Those types of soybeans would be covered under the Canadian Grain Council’s On-Farm Food Safety program www.canadagrainscouncil.ca.

November 3rd, 2017 at 04:26 pm
An operation is growing artichokes. Are these included in the scope of the CanadaGAP program?2017-11-03T16:26:15-04:00

Yes, there are two different types of artichokes that are included in the scope of the CanadaGAP program. The first is “Globe artichokes” which are a member of the thistle family. The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The scope includes different cultivars of these artichokes, such as Imperial Star and Green Globe Artichokes. The globe artichoke is part of the ‘combined vegetable’ grouping within the CanadaGAP program.

Secondly, the CanadaGAP program also includes “Jerusalem artichokes”, which are not actually a true artichoke. These are sometimes called sunchoke or sunroot, and are a member of the sunflower family. Jerusalem artichoke is a tuber, and therefore should be considered as a bulb and root vegetable.

November 3rd, 2017 at 04:26 pm

November 14th, 2017 at 03:57 pm