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Overview of the proposed changes to the Canadian Grade Compendium: Volume 2 – Fresh Fruit or Vegetables

This document is part of the consultation on proposed changes to the Canadian Grade Compendium: Volume 2 – Fresh Fruit or Vegetables. Each phase of the consultation will focus on a group of fresh fruit or vegetables and will be open for a 60-day period.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is seeking comments on proposed changes to the Canadian Grade Compendium: Volume 2 – Fresh Fruit or Vegetables.

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About the Canadian Grade Compendium

Certain fresh fruit or vegetables (FFV) must be graded in order to be marketed in import or interprovincial trade in Canada. FFV grades and requirements are maintained and enforced by CFIA in an incorporated by reference (IbR) document titled "Canadian Grade Compendium: Volume 2 – Fresh Fruit or Vegetables", incorporated into the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). When a document is incorporated by reference into regulations, the incorporated wording has the same effect as if it appeared in the regulations.

This Compendium contains grades and requirements for FFV that are used as a reference point to:

Therefore, FFV grades and requirements are:

Developing the draft standards for fresh fruit and vegetables

Over time, CFIA has received comments from stakeholders that many FFV grade standards are out of date and do not reflect current market needs, in relation to:

In order to address these market needs, and with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) has undertaken a review of existing FFV standards and inspection manuals available in Canada and internationally. DRC engaged with their members and industry associations, representing diverse perspectives of the supply chain to develop proposals to update FFV grades and requirements. These proposed changes have been submitted by the DRC to the CFIA in order to proceed with the CFIA process to update documents that are incorporated by reference, including further review and stakeholder consultation.

Consultation process

CFIA will invite stakeholders to participate, through a phased consultation approach, to review and comment on proposed changes to FFV grades and requirements:

Comments from these consultations, including comments from World Trade Organization (WTO) notifications, will be analyzed by the CFIA with the goal to revise FFV grade standards in the Canadian Grade Compendium.

Visit the consultation page to see what phase is currently open for comments.


Types of proposed changes to FFV grades and requirements include:

Impact assessment

CFIA recognizes that any changes to existing grades and requirements may have an economic impact on regulated parties, or create administrative, operational and implementation costs for the CFIA. Consumers may also be impacted, such as by changes to the varieties and quality of foods available for purchase and choices in the marketplace.

In order to evaluate costs and benefits to industry, the CFIA used a questionnaire to gather information from the DRC on how proposed changes could impact Canadian industry competitiveness and affect business decisions. Preliminary analysis of received information determined that proposed changes to grades and requirements are expected to pose a minimal trade impact and be of benefit to Canadians, business and government. Specifically, the proposed amendments are expected to generate the following impacts:

A final impact analysis will be conducted using the results of this consultation, considering all relevant comments and evaluating level of effort associated with implementation of the proposed changes.

These changes will be made to the existing framework for grades, rather than by introducing new requirements. As such, there will be some temporary effort required to integrate the proposed requirements into existing activities and to implement the amendments.

Transition and implementation of the proposed changes

In developing a transition and implementation approach for this proposal, the CFIA considered the Food labelling coordination: Joint policy statement published by CFIA and Health Canada on August 5, 2021. This included an assessment of the potential for label changes and the need for focused consultation with stakeholders on an appropriate transition period.

During DRC's development of the amendments, CFIA sought input on industry readiness to adopt the proposed changes. Industry stakeholders expressed an interest in the amendments coming into effect immediately when they are finalized in order to facilitate uptake as early as the next growing season in 2022.

Additionally, as the majority of existing grade names will continue, existing packaging inventory would continue to be usable, with potential adjustments to the graded produce that is packaged in a container bearing a given grade name.

While there is stakeholder readiness to adopt the changes quickly while ensuring continuity and fulfilments in supply, CFIA recognizes that some regulated parties or trading partners may need time to adjust to the new grades and requirements, taking into consideration the needs of small businesses and different growing seasons across Canada, as well as adjustments to sizing equipment in some cases. As such, CFIA proposes that the proposed amendments come into effect as follows:

To facilitate implementation and promote compliance, following the finalization of the amendments, CFIA will update its Inventory of documents incorporated by reference, as well as industry guidance, inspection tools and training materials. Additional information on the transition and implementation dates as well as availability of guidance documents and information tools will be available by email notification.

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If you have any questions about this consultation, please send an email to

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