Our Food Safety Certification
The Norfolk Fruit Growers’ Association is committed to being annually certified to a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked scheme. As a prime example of our commitment to food safety, our packing plant is certified FSSC 22000, and our member growers are certified to CanadaGAP, an on-farm food safety program, for the production and harvesting of their fruit. With the goal of providing Canadian business with increased access to expanding world markets, these Standard's stress that our association wishes to:
- implement, manage, monitor, validate and continuously improve our food safety management systems;
- assure ourselves of our conformance to our stated food safety policy;
- demonstrate such conformance to others;
- seek certification/registration of our food safety management system by an external organization; and
- demonstrate our commitment to food safety through conformance to these International Standards.
Our HACCP Program
To ensure our product integrity we employ the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) food-safety system in our packing and storage processes. This structured approach to food safety enables us to satisfy ourselves that our product is safe. The HACCP system involves:
- analyzing the potential hazards in any given processing operation;
- identifying the points in the operation where the hazards may occur; and
- eliminating hazards that are critical to consumer safety.
Our Quality Assurance Program
The Norfolk Fruit Growers' Association has established a quality assurance program to continually upgrade the products and services it supplies to its members and customers. Our fruit is grown under an Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) in conjunction with the Horticultural Experimental Station in Simcoe.
We were the first to recognize the benefits of an IPM program, initiating it in 1979. This intensive program enables growers to have each 20-acre block of their orchard monitored as opposed to selected-site monitoring that was supplied by the regional program. Furthermore, each grower receives an immediate written report for each monitored site to ensure they can implement a crop-protection program that is effective from horticultural, environmental and economic standpoints.