CanadaGAP has released two new food safety manuals: Fruit and Vegetable Manual, Version 7.0 and Greenhouse Manual, Version 7.0. For certification purposes, the new manuals take effect on April 1, 2017. A corresponding update to the CanadaGAP audit checklist will be issued prior to that effective date.
To facilitate the transition to the updated manuals, the following resources can be downloaded from CanadaGAP website.
- The updated manuals.
- A document outlining the main changes to the manuals.
- Revisions documents tracking the changes from previous versions of the manuals.
- A document summarizing commodity-specific differences.
- A chart outlining which sections of the manual are applicable to different types of operations (i.e., production, packing, storing, repacking, wholesaling, brokerage).
Manuals are updated to respond to user requests. CanadaGAP receives an average of 20 requests each year asking for clarification of wording in the manual or the intent of the requirements. Most requests come directly from producers or from those working with producers (consultants, auditors, etc.) who need the expectations explained more clearly or who suggest ways to simplify the wording. Manuals also are updated to maintain technical rigor of the program as science, industry, buyer, or government requirements change. There are still many unanswered questions in food safety research, and as the science progresses, technical requirements must keep pace. We are also in an environment of fast-paced change in food safety regulations both in Canada and internationally.
Additionally, CanadaGAP is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Most major customers now require certification to a GFSI-recognized program. To maintain recognition, it must implement updates whenever GFSI makes changes to its requirements. The program has been reviewed for technical soundness by federal and provincial governments. To maintain its technical review status, CFIA requires that CanadaGAP review the manuals annually and submit changes for approval by government. CanadaGAP's Stakeholder Advisory Committee reviews all proposed changes and often brings forward suggestions of their own. They meet once a year to discuss requests for changes.
As part of the CanadaGAP program, participants are required to update their manuals each year to meet the requirements found in Section 24. The release of Version 7.0 is the optimal time to go through the manual to review its currency and to update it with the 2017 changes.
CanadaGAP has the following material available on its website:
- Outline of Main Changes to the CanadaGAP Manuals - an overview of the changes for 2017
- Revisions document - shows changes from the previous version
- A PowerPoint presentation of the Main Changes for 2017.
There are a number of ways to update your manual for 2017. You do NOT need to reprint the entire manual.
- Use the Outline of Main changes handout to get an overview of the changes. Determine which changes affect your operation (there may be few or none).
- When you have identified the changes that affect you, we encourage you to view the revisions document, as it provides the detailed wording.
- Reprint only the pages that contain changes that affect your operation. Print from the PDF version if you want a formatted, clean copy without the tracking.
- Insert any new pages into your existing manual, showing you have completed (checked off) any new procedures relevant to your farm.
- Go through each section, make updates as needed, and initial at the bottom to show that you have reviewed your manual.
- It is wise to reprint the entire Glossary, or at least print/review any changes to definitions. The terms that have been redefined are listed in the Outline of Main changes handout. Changes (usually clarifications) to terminology are important to understand, as they can impact how program requirements are met.
- On the title page of your manual, cross out last year's version number/date and write in "Version 7.0 2017", or print a new title page.
To update CanadaGAP Forms for 2017
- Find out which record-keeping templates (CanadaGAP Forms) have changed. These are identified on the Outline of Main changes handout.
- Other than a new Form (U) to accompany the Food Fraud requirements, the 2017 forms contain only minor changes. Some changes may not be applicable to your operation.
- Determine whether the changes pertain to you.
- Start using the new versions of the forms.
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