The Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Canadian Horticultural Council and RCC are announcing an extension to the timeline by which fresh fruits and vegetable (FFV) packaging is required to be compliant with the traceability regulations included in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). Although the regulations will come into place on January 15, 2020 industry packaging will not be expected to be compliant with the traceability regulations until the following year. Although the CFIA website will continue to state January 15, 2020 is the compliance date for traceability regulations for FFV, CFIA is developing language to explain this “soft enforcement” period for packaging. Industry will be advised when that language is on the website.
Jane Proctor, vice-president, policy and issues management, CPMA, has shared the text from CFIA and outlines the extension:
CFIA appreciates the efforts CPMA and its members have been putting into finding a means for complying with the lot code labelling requirements by the coming into force date of January 15, 2020. We also understand the challenges that the FFV industry may be facing.
Consequently, CFIA has decided to allow the FFV industry until January 15, 2021 to use their current stock of packaging material. During this extended period of time, the FFV industry should focus their efforts on aligning with lot code labelling requirements of the Safe Foods for Canadian Regulations (SFCR).
CFIA commits to responding to the questions received from CPMA in the next coming weeks.
CPMA appreciates the CFIA decision announced on September 11th which allows Growing Region (province, state or other subnational division within a country) to be used as the lot code for FFV. The December 2 announcement recognizes the complexity of lot code inclusion on consumer prepackaged products; the issue at the core of industry concerns with compliance. CFIA has explained that during the period of January 15, 2020 to January 15, 2021, although the regulations will officially be in place, enforcement will not occur but industry will be encouraged to make necessary changes to packaging to be ready for the January 15, 2021 enforcement.
As noted in the CFIA text above, CPMA (along with CHC and RCC) have received numerous questions from members relative to implementation, in particular relative to the details of how growing region as lot is captured on a label. The associations have requested that CFIA work collaboratively with industry to capture information in a Frequently Asked Questions document.
Source: CPMA December 2, 2019 note