Canadian produce industry leaders expressed support for the final regulations for the Safe for Canadians Act, published June 13.
The regulations are effective Jan. 15.
The Ottawa-based Canadian Produce Marketing Association said in a news release that the association has worked with industry and government officials to support the government’s objective of a safe food supply chain while maintaining the competitiveness of industry.
“The federal government has shown tremendous leadership in developing these new food safety regulations,” CPMA president Ron Lemaire said in the release. “The new (regulations) present Canada’s most significant overhaul of food safety regulations in its history.”
CPMA said in the release it will review and monitor the new regulations and will support industry implementation and compliance. The association said it will also continue to advocate for regulatory harmonization, where appropriate, between the Canadian food safety regulations and the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act.
Besides addressing food safety and traceability, the regulations also include a provision about membership in the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation, according to a news release.
Canadians who buy, sell or negotiate the sale or purchase of fruits and vegetables inter-provincially, intra-provincially and internationally will be required to be a member in good standing of the DRC, unless excepted from the regulations, according to the release.
“This is an important milestone for DRC,” president and CEO Fred Webber said in the release. “When the DRC opened in 1999, one of the founding principles was to work toward single ‘body’ licensing in Canada to integrate the CFIA Licensing and Arbitration Regulations requirement for a Produce Licence with the requirement for a DRC Membership. The new regulatory requirement fulfills that objective.”
DRC offers members a common set of trading standards and member responsibilities that promote the fair and ethical trading of produce entering the North American marketplace as well as a full range of mediation and arbitration services, according to the release.
Webber said in the release that it will be important for non-Canadians to ensure when they are purchasing from or selling to an entity in Canada they only transact with a DRC member in good standing.
The release said a part of the DRC website http://fvdrc.com/sfcr/ is dedicated to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and includes background information, a list of exceptions as well as a self-assessment tool to assist in determining if one is subject to the regulatory requirement.