Canada is known for having one of the most robust food safety systems in the world, thanks to stringent requirements such as the Safe Food For Canadians Regulations and a pervasive food safety culture. In order to access the global market, though, Canadian producers must be able to demonstrate their safety to buyers and regulators beyond their borders. That's where GFSI-recognised CPOs like CanadaGAP come in.
This week on the GFSI Experts Series, while Canada celebrates its national day, we talk to Heather Gale, Executive Director of CanadaGAP. Heather, a longtime GFSI collaborator who contributed to the Benchmarking Requirements, is proud to help both CanadaGAP and Canadian producers reach the global stage. Watch her interview on GFSI Youtube or read the transcript below.
Can you introduce yourself and your role at CanadaGAP?
Heather Gale: I'm Heather Gale. I'm the Executive Director for the CanadaGAP programme.
What is CanadaGAP?
Heather: CanadaGAP is a certification programme for fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers. So we cover producers, packers, storage operators, repackers and wholesalers as well as fresh produce brokers.
Why did you decide to apply for GFSI recognition?
Heather: Well, we started our GFSI journey back in 2009. At the time we had just launched the programme, and we recognised that CanadaGAP certification would give growers access to the domestic market very easily, but to seek a further acceptance around the world for CanadaGAP certification, we would really need to pursue an international recognition like GFSI.
Is global market access the main benefit of GFSI recognition?
Heather: That has been the main benefit for the Canadians suppliers of fresh produce. Being able to access international markets through the certification through a GFSI-recognised programme has been a huge benefit. It's also been a benefit to CanadaGAP to be a part of the GFSI community, to participate in the activities, and to continue to develop and grow the standard in an international context. This has been very valuable from a programme perspective as well as for the clients that we serve with the programme.
To learn more about the benefits of certification through a GFSI-recognised CPO, stay tuned to the GFSI Experts Series. In the coming weeks, we'll feature five other CPOs who are helping companies access the global market, including FSSC-22000, GAA and IFS. Follow #GFSIexperts on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and subscribe to GFSI News to make sure you do not miss an episode!