A New Regulatory Framework for Federal Food Inspection: Discussion Document
Requirements for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Dealers

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Fair trading practices within the fresh fruit and vegetable industry are particularly important due to the perishable nature of the food commodity. Currently under the Licensing and Arbitration Regulations (LARs) fresh fruit and vegetable dealers are required to have a licence from the CFIA. An exemption from the LARs' licensing requirement applies for members of the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC). The purpose of licensing under the LARs or membership with the DRC is to ensure that fresh fruit and vegetable dealers are financially sound and have acceptable business histories (e.g., making payments). The LARs are an anomaly among CFIA regulations and do not contain any food safety or consumer protection components.

The Canadian fresh fruit and vegetable industry has recommended to the Government of Canada, under the auspices of the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council, that the current licensing regime under the LARs be replaced by a system whereby conditions for orderly trade are established and enforced by a non-government body. The Canadian fresh fruit and vegetable industry believes that such an approach would improve financial protection for industry; more effectively address unscrupulous trade behaviours and better align with the system in the United States

The CFIA agrees that this role should reside with industry. As such, it is proposed to replace the LARs with a requirement for fresh fruit and vegetable dealers to be members of a non-government body with a mandate to facilitate orderly trade in the industry.

The DRC was established to harmonize orderly trade conditions across North America and provide members with a contract and payment dispute settlement service. Over 80% of the Canadian fresh fruit and vegetable dealers are members of the DRC. As such, consideration could be given to whether the DRC should be the entity selected as the appropriate non-government body with whom membership would be required.

Question 28: Do you support the proposed approach of industry providing arbitration of fair trade practices for fresh fruit and vegetable dealers?

Question 29: Under what conditions should an entity be selected to carry on this function?

Question 30: Do you support the identification of the DRC as the entity for this function?

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