CanadaGAP is a food safety program for companies that produce and handle fruits and vegetables. It is designed to help implement and maintain effective food safety procedures within fresh produce operations. Two manuals, one specific to Greenhouse operations, the second for other fruit and vegetable operations, have been developed by the horticultural industry and reviewed for technical soundness by Canadian government officials. The manuals are designed for companies implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in their production, packing and storage operations, and for repackers and wholesalers implementing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and HACCP programs. The program is also designed for fresh produce brokers implementing best practices in supplier management and product traceability.
The manuals are based on a rigorous hazard analysis applying the seven principles of the internationally-recognized HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) approach. The program is benchmarked to and officially recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Audit and certification services for the program are delivered by accredited Certification Bodies.
History of CanadaGAP
CanadaGAP was started in 1999 by the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC). Between 2000 and 2008, CHC established eight commodity-specific On-Farm Food Safety Working Groups to complete commodity-specific hazard analyses. The HACCP models and user manuals were submitted to representatives from the federal and provincial governments for technical review. The CHC Food Safety Committee and a Technical Review Steering Committee oversaw the process as each module proceeded through the official government technical review process. Task Groups were set up in 2007 to develop the certification system and audit protocols. All of the work was overseen by the CHC Food Safety Committee. In 2008, CHC launched the CanadaGAP certification program and the eight groups were consolidated into six generic HACCP models and six OFFS manuals. In 2010, CanadaGAP was successfully benchmarked to the Global Food Safety Initiative and in 2012 became an independently operated program under a not-for-profit corporation called CanAgPlus.