Sorting, Grading, Packing, Repacking, Storing and Brokerage2020-08-19T14:15:30-04:00

Selecting and Purchasing Product

Who are operations involved in packing/repacking/brokerage/wholesaling allowed to get product from (suppliers)?2017-11-03T16:25:24-04:00

Section 19.1 (Selecting/Purchasing and Receiving Harvested/Market Product) of the CanadaGAP Manuals states “The person responsible selects/purchases harvested/market product from operations that have successfully completed one of the options below and requests a copy of a current/valid certificate:

  • CanadaGAP®
  • Other industry recognized third party food safety audit/certification”.

November 3rd, 2017 at 04:25 pm
What documentation does the operation involved in packing/repacking/brokerage/ wholesaling need to get from their product suppliers?2017-11-03T16:25:25-04:00

The program requires that the operation ONLY get either a copy of the operation’s CanadaGAP certificate or other industry recognized third party food safety audit/certification. It is expected that the operation has one current/valid certificate per season per supplier. This is the minimum. No other documents (e.g., CanadaGAP manuals, CanadaGAP audit reports), records (e.g., agricultural chemical applications), etc. are required by the program. Based on their own assessment of risk or customer expectations, operations may decide or may be required to ask for more from their suppliers (e.g., additional documents, records, etc.).

November 3rd, 2017 at 04:25 pm
Can operations receive imported product from suppliers, pack, repack, broker, or wholesale it and still become CanadaGAP certified?2018-02-12T10:41:15-05:00

Yes. The operation would need the current/valid CanadaGAP or other third party industry recognized audit/certification from the operation providing the product.

February 12th, 2018 at 10:41 am

Outside Service Providers

What is an “outside service provider”?2020-03-31T19:04:33-04:00

An outside service provider is someone who performs an activity that the operation would otherwise perform himself.  “On behalf of” is the key phrase used and means in reference to the activities being provided by someone else, these are activities that the operation would otherwise be responsible for doing themselves within their certification scope.

For example, if an operation is certified for “Production”, the following activities would normally be included in the scope of their certification: growing, harvesting, putting harvested product into harvested product packaging materials, cooling, rinsing, storing, etc.

If the operation outsourced one of those activities, a certificate would be needed from the outside service provider.

Scopes of Certification:

Production: Activities (e.g., growing, harvesting, putting harvested product into harvested product packaging materials, cooling, rinsing, etc.) involved with harvested product. The production operation may or may not store and/or transport product.

Packing: Includes:

(i) The physical act of taking harvested product and putting it into market ready packaging materials for the first time (both in the production site and in the
packinghouse). This does not include re-packing. Note for the purposes of the certification scope, putting product into harvested product packaging materials at harvest is not considered “Packing”.

(ii) Activities (e.g., icing, labelling/coding, cooling, etc.) that occur once product is in the packaging materials.

The operation involved with packing may or may not store and/or transport packed product.

Repacking: Includes:

1)     Removing market product from its market ready packaging materials, re-handling the product (e.g., re-sorting, re-grading, re-trimming, re-washing, re-fluming, etc.), and putting it into market ready packaging materials. Product may also be combined with other product that differs in some way (e.g., type, origin, timeframe, etc.).

2)     Activities (e.g., icing, labelling/coding, cooling, etc.) that occur once product is in the packaging materials.

The operation involved with repacking may or may not store and/or transport product.

Wholesaling: Activity where operations are involved ONLY in storage of market product (see definition of “storage”). The operation may or may not transport product.

Brokerage: Activity where the operation is ONLY involved in arranging the transaction of product between a supplier and a buyer. The brokerage operation does NOT physically handle the product in any way. The person responsible for brokerage is the “broker”.

Examples:

Below are some examples where an outside service provider would need to provide the operation with a certificate:

a)     If the operation is certified for “Production” – harvesting is an activity the producer would complete themselves. If they use an outside service provider for harvesting, they must follow the requirement.

b)     If an operation is certified for “Production” – storing is an activity the producer would complete themselves. If they use an outside service provider to store product, they must follow the requirement.

c)     If an operation is certified for “Packing” – icing is an activity the packer would complete themselves. If they use an outside service provider to ice the product, they must follow the requirement.

d)     If an operation is certified for “Packing” – labelling is an activity the packer would complete themselves. If they use an outside service provider to label the product, they must follow the requirement.

Therefore, activities that are certifiable within a CanadaGAP scope that are conducted “on behalf” of the operation would need the outside service provider to provide a certificate.

March 31st, 2020 at 07:04 pm
Who would NOT be considered as an “outside service provider”?2018-03-23T10:28:21-04:00

Service providers that carry out activities that are beyond of the certified operation’s CanadaGAP scope would NOT be considered as an “outside service provider”.

Examples:

  • For an operation certified for only “Production”: since packing is an activity a producer would NOT complete as part of his scope, as operation that sends product to a packer would not have to get a certificate from the packer. (Note: production site packing is considered “packing”).
  • For an operation certified for only “Packing”: since wholesaling (as defined by CanadaGAP) is an activity a packer would NOT complete as part of his scope, an operation who uses a wholesaler to distribute product would not have to get a certificate from the wholesaler.

Therefore, a producer certified for Production (only) would not consider his packer, wholesaler, repacker or broker as an “outside service provider” conducting activities on his behalf. A packer certified for Packing (only) would not consider his wholesaler or broker an “outside service provider”. A wholesaler certified for Wholesaling (only) would not consider his broker an “outside service provider”.

March 23rd, 2018 at 10:28 am
Is it acceptable for an operation to use an outside service provider to perform activities?2018-03-23T09:53:09-04:00

Yes. An operation can use an outside service provider to perform activities on their behalf (e.g., harvesting, packing, icing, washing, storing in a standalone storage operation, etc.).

March 23rd, 2018 at 09:53 am
What documentation is required?2017-11-03T16:25:23-04:00

The outside service provider must have either CanadaGAP certification, or another industry recognized third party food safety audit/certification. This would be the case regardless of whether or not the product ever comes back from the outside service provider.

Examples:

  • Producer receives a certificate from a standalone storage operation.
  • Producer receives a certificate from a harvesting operation.
  • Packer receives a certificate from an “icing” operation.
  • Packer receives a certificate from another packer.
  • Wholesaler receives a certificate from another wholesaler.

 The program requires that the operation get either a copy of the CanadaGAP certificate or other third party food safety audit/certification from every service provider.

November 3rd, 2017 at 04:25 pm
Is the certificate the only documentation required?2017-11-03T16:25:23-04:00

The certificate alone may not contain all of the necessary information that is required nor be clear enough to ensure that the outside provider is performing the intended service. Therefore, it may be necessary to have the entire audit report or other supporting documentation available for review during an audit.

November 3rd, 2017 at 04:25 pm
What requirement does the operation have to meet if using an outside service provider?2018-03-23T09:56:08-04:00

Section 19.1 (Selecting/Purchasing and Receiving Harvested/Market Product)

  • If services are selected/purchased from an outside service provider to perform activities on behalf of the person responsible (e.g., harvesting, packing, icing, washing, storing in a standalone storage operation), regardless of whether product comes back from the service provider, the person responsible obtains a copy of a current/valid certificate (one certificate per season per service provider) (File under Tab: Letters of Assurance/Certificates):
    • CanadaGAP
    • Other industry recognized third party food safety audit/certification

March 23rd, 2018 at 09:56 am
What would happen if an auditee did NOT obtain a current/valid certificate from one of their outside service providers?2018-03-23T15:09:21-04:00

The auditee would be scored in Question P2 of the CanadaGAP audit checklist. If ANY certificate is missing for any service(s) being outsourced, the most the operation can receive during an audit is 5/10 for this question. The auditee must have a valid food safety certificate/third party report from ALL outside service providers for EACH service provided.

In addition, if the auditee does not have a certificate from an outside service provider performing an activity, then the Certification Body must be informed after the audit, and the relevant activity will be excluded from the operation’s certificate. An operation that is using the services of an uncertified/unaudited service provider will have a certificate that states that the outsourced activity is excluded from the scope of certification.

If operations in Options A1 or A2 indicate during the completion of their self-declaration and self-assessment checklist that they are not meeting the requirements for outside service providers, the Certification Body will be informed, and that activity will be excluded from the scope of their certificate.

March 23rd, 2018 at 03:09 pm

Environmental Monitoring Programs (EMPs)

What is an environmental monitoring program (EMP)?2020-08-19T13:48:24-04:00

An environmental monitoring program (EMP) is an operation-specific program that helps to assess the effectiveness of sanitation practices and provides information for preventing potential microbial contamination of product.

August 19th, 2020 at 01:48 pm
Should all operations complete an EMP?2020-08-26T07:00:13-04:00

A risk assessment must be completed by all operations that handle or store market product, which is produce that is in market ready packaging materials. It may be packed in the production site or packed/repacked in the packinghouse.

August 26th, 2020 at 07:00 am
How does an operation complete this section in the manual?2020-08-26T07:06:19-04:00

Step 1: The operation should read the risk assessment criteria carefully and check off the appropriate boxes as the assessment is carried out for each of the items, areas, etc. that pertain to their operation. The assessment is site-specific as it is dependent on factors such as commodity, equipment, facility, and the operation’s procedures.

Step 2: Once the operation’s risks have been determined, each listed section of the manual will be assessed to determine if the procedures that are already in place, are adequately controlling the identified risk. During the audit, the auditor will verify the provided documentation through observation of the premises and records and by interviewing the person responsible for the operation and for the EMP (risk assessment).

Based on the risk assessment, each operation will determine whether there is a need to take further measures (e.g., swabbing, testing) to confirm the cleanliness of the environment or the effectiveness of sanitation. It may be possible to conclude from the risk assessment that a sampling plan is NOT necessary. In that case, the auditor will verify the justification for this decision during the audit through interviewing, observation and review of records.

August 26th, 2020 at 07:06 am
What happens if a sampling plan IS determined to be necessary?2020-08-19T14:03:00-04:00

The operation can follow the guidance in Appendix X as well as utilize the many resources listed as a source of help to improve the operation’s sanitation practices. Remember, an EMP is used to assess the effectiveness of sanitation practices. During the audit, the auditor will review the sampling plan developed and any applicable results. If the results had indicated that further action was required, those will also be evaluated along with the relevant documentation.

August 19th, 2020 at 02:03 pm

August 19th, 2020 at 02:15 pm
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