Traceability is also addressed with new requirements for incoming and outgoing product, according to CanadaGAP’s summary of changes. Now packaging materials must be properly labeled and information must be recorded relating to produce history including fields, block numbers, pallet/bin and lot identification numbers.
The new repacking and wholesaling sections cover all fresh fruits and vegetables except mushrooms, sprouts, produce in hermetically sealed containers and minimally processed fruits and vegetables, according to CanadaGAP’s summary of changes.
Also, references to repacking have been added throughout the manual under relevant section titles such as sorting, grading, packing, repacking and storing.
Recordkeeping and other documentation requirements have been added to a number of entries in the manuals, as have some items on employee training, such as instructions on how to clean equipment and properly hold ladders.
New packaging requirements are also included. For example, in market-ready primary packaging, liners for reusable containers now must be impermeable.
A summary of the changes and the updated manuals are available for download at tinyurl.com/CanadaGAP2014 free of charge. Both the fruit and vegetable manual and the greenhouse manual have new material.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has already approved the changes in the good agricultural practices manuals.
“For certification purposes, the new manuals take effect on April 1. A corresponding update to the CanadaGAP audit checklist will be issued prior to that date,” according to a news release from CanadaGAP. “Requirements for all crop groupings remain largely unchanged. The majority of revisions to the manuals are editorial in nature, to clarify or further explain existing requirements.”
CanadaGAP has a quick reference summary of changes listed by commodity on its website in addition to the summary of main changes and the manuals themselves.