The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) and Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) says they are making good progress on integrating CanadaGAP and the CPMA Repacking and Wholesale Food Safety Program (RWFSP). Integration of the two programs entails establishing a new corporate entity that will function independently of the CHC and CPMA. The new corporation is expected to be in place this fall.
The Food Safety Integration Project Steering Committee (comprised of members from CHC and CPMA) was set up to manage the logistics of integration. The committee has been meeting to draft by-laws for the new corporation, determine the corporation’s statement of purpose, establish a governance process and create an integrated management system.
CPMA is currently in the process of undergoing Government Technical Review of the Repacking and Wholesale Food Safety Program standard. Once that process is complete, both of the technical standards, audit checklists and auditor training programs will be merged.
This month, an interim Board of Directors for the new corporation will be named, consisting of three CHC representatives and three CPMA representatives. The first meeting of the interim board will be held shortly after it is established to recruit and hire an executive director.
The first Annual General Meeting for the new corporation is anticipated for November 2013, and the election of the Board of Directors by members will take place at that time. Board members of the new corporate entity will be drawn from CHC-approved representatives (four directors), CPMA-approved representatives (two directors), and two directors from among program participants (members of the new corporation).
Each company that is currently enrolled as a CanadaGAP Program participant will become a member of the new corporation. This transition will give program participants new rights and privileges, including opportunities to participate directly in program governance. As a member of the new corporation, program participants will have the right to attend Annual General Meetings, cast votes on special resolutions, elect the corporation’s Board of Directors and stand for election as directors themselves. Program participants are receiving direct communication from CanadaGAP about how the integration will impact them.
A CanadaGAP Communiqué has been released with additional information on the integration initiative. It can be found online at bit.ly/RoJFBl and more background is available at bit.ly/PMASpO.
Work on this initiative will continue into 2013. Funding assistance has been received from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative under Growing Forward, to integrate the management systems and technical standards. The establishment of the new corporate entity is an industry initiative that is not funded by AAFC.
To learn more, visit www.canadagap.ca.
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