An effort to integrate food safety programs at the grower and wholesaler level in Canada is expected to be in place by this fall.

Food safety integration effort making progress in CanadaOttawa-based Canadian Horticultural Council and Canadian Produce Marketing Association are making good progress on integrating CanadaGAP and the CPMA Repacking and Wholesale Food Safety Program within a new corporate entity, according to a news release.

“We’ve been working very hard to make this important transition,” Paul LeBlanc, chair of the horticultural council’s Food Safety Management Committee, which is currently responsible for oversight of CanadaGAP, said in the release. “The integration initiative is an exciting development and good news for the industry.”

Hugh Bowman, chairman of CPMA’s Food Safety Committee, said in the release that the integration will cut costs for growers, packers and repackers.

The Food Safety Integration Project Steering Committee — made up of members from CHC and CPMA — has been meeting to draft by-laws and rules for the new corporation, according to the release.

After a technical review of the Repacking and Wholesale Food Safety Program standard is completed by government officials, the technical standards, audit checklists and auditor training programs will be merged, according to the release.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provided funding through the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative under. Establishing a new corporate entity is an industry initiative, and not funded by the government, according to the release.