After years of operating and maintaining a rigorous company wide food safety program J.E. Russell is pleased to announce that the Storage, Receiving and Shipping of fresh fruit and vegetables have been certified to Option D by NSF to be in conformity with the CanadaGAP Standard. That’s (the required) fancy language for we now have a GFSI food safety certificate from CanadaGAP.
In 2009 J.E. Russell Produce was certified with the Gold Standard of the Good Distribution Center Practices. In the years between 2009 and 2017 the key elements of our HACCP plan and program continued to be the guiding principles of our overall food safety program. Meeting the program requirements set out by the CanadaGAP Food Safety Manual for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables was a small but important step from the program that we were already following in our operations. Adjusting our documentation practices to the CanadaGAP manual standard was a straightforward shift for the business.
More and more of our customers are requesting a GFSI food safety certificate and we are happy to go beyond what many of the businesses at the Ontario Food Terminal are currently able to supply. Just as our certification requires that we have food safety certificates for all of our suppliers covered under the certificate, our customers need to ensure that their supply chain has all of its required food safety elements in place. There is little doubt that there will be more and more of these food safety requirements upstream and downstream from our business in the future and we look forward to meeting them head on.
Additionally, we are reinforcing our commitment to food safety through our support of the Produce Marketing Association’s Gold Circle Campaign for Food Safety. By participating in the PMA Gold Circle Campaign for Food Safety, we join more than 300 fresh produce suppliers and buyers—from growers and distributors to retailers, foodservice operators and solutions providers.
We are proud of our J.E. Russell Produce Ltd – 2017 CanadaGAP Certificate and our participation with the PMA Gold Circle Campaign, and we are happy to discuss our program with you. Please contact Hutch Morton, Director of Compliance, with any questions or requests.