Friday, October 29, 2021

CFIA begins produce grading upgrades

In response to requests from the fruit and vegetable industry, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is proposing changes to grades and standards.

It is opening five phases of consultation.

Each phase will be open for 60 days to solicit comments from stakeholders.

Existing grades and requirements are outlined in the "Canadian Grade Compendium: Volume 2 – Fresh Fruit or Vegetables" incorporated by reference into the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), administered and enforced by the CFIA. The objective of the proposed changes is to reflect the following market needs:

- changes in consumer demand and demographics

- developments in technology and innovation, including but not limited to plant and variety breeding

- improved and innovative production practices, storage and packing technologies

- harmonization of standards with international trading partners, and

new grade standards where there are none existing and for which industry consensus has been achieved

In response to these market needs, the proposed changes include new size requirements, clarifications to terminology for defects and tolerances, and the introduction of new standards for certain commodities.