Labelling Requirements for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

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Table of Contents

Overview

This document explains in detail the labelling requirements for fresh fruit and vegetables subject to the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations (FFVR) under the Canadian Agricultural Products Act (CAPA). This Act and these Regulations apply in respect of all produce that is marketed in import or interprovincial trade, supplied fresh to the consumer or for food processing, graded or otherwise.

The labelling requirements for fresh fruit and vegetables subject to the FFVR are stated in Part II - Packaging and Labelling of the FFVR. Fresh fruit and vegetables may also be subject to the following Acts and Regulations:

In the case of produce to which the CPLR apply, all information required by the FFVR to be shown on a label shall be shown in the manner that would be required if the information were information prescribed by the CPLR [10(8), FFVR]. The labelling requirements detailed in the following sections are specific to fresh fruit and vegetable products. They are in addition to the core labelling and voluntary claims and statements requirements of the Industry Labelling Tool that apply to all prepackaged foods.

The following labelling requirements are intended for prepackaged, master and shipping containers. Labelling requirements for bulk containers are the same as those for shipping containers. Unless otherwise noted, the information provided in each of the following sections is applicable to all container types.

Please refer to Table 1 - Summary of Labelling Requirements for Prepackaged Containers, Table 2 - Summary of Labelling Requirements for Master Containers and Table 3 - Summary of Labelling Requirements for Shipping Containers for a summary of the labelling requirements for each container type.

Language

All labelling requirements must be declared in French and English on prepackaged containers [6(2), CPLR; B.01.012(2), FDR].

Master and shipping containers destined to a commercial or industrial enterprise or institution are exempt from the bilingual requirement provided that the containers and their contents are not resold as a one unit prepackaged product to a consumer at the retail level and all mandatory information is shown in one of the official languages [B.01.012(11), FDR]. For more information, refer to Bilingual Labelling.

Exemptions

In some cases, produce may be exempt from some of the requirements of the FFVR. However, requirements for Health and Safety as listed in Part I.1 of the FFVR are never exempted. In addition, where applicable, requirements of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations, and the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations still apply.

Exemptions from the FFVR

The following are some of the items exempted from the FFVR as specified in 2.1(2) of the Regulations.

Produce with no Grade Declared

Strawberries, blueberries for processing, cantaloupe, crabapples, cranberries, and field rhubarb, are exempt from the FFVR unless a grade is declared [2.1(2), FFVR, Test Market List].

Gift Pack/Combo Pack

Fruit or vegetables which are marketed in combination with other kinds of fruit or vegetables and with other food products are exempt from the additional requirements for packaging, labelling and grade declaration as prescribed in the FFVR. The container must be clearly labelled with the term "Gift Pack" or "Combo Pack"; no one kind of fruit or vegetable in the combination can exceed 1 kg net weight; and, the net weight of the contents of the container cannot exceed 10 kg [2.1(2)(g), FFVR; Test Market List].

"Gift Packs" and "Combo Packs" are still subject to the CPLR and the FDR and are required by these Regulations to be labelled with:

  • List of ingredients, any part of the label except the bottom [B.01.008 (b), FDR];
  • Identity and principal place of business of Responsible Party, any part of the label except the bottom [13, CPLR];
  • Net quantity, principal display panel [12(a), CPLR].

Stew-Pack/Vegetables for Stew/Fresh Pack

Fruit or vegetables marketed in combination with other kinds of fruit or vegetables, are exempt from the additional requirements for packaging, labelling and grade declaration as prescribed in the FFVR. The container must be either clearly labelled with the designation "Stew-pack" or "Vegetables for Stew", when only vegetables are combined, or with the designation "Fresh pack" when only fruit or vegetables, or fruit and vegetables are combined; no one kind of fruit or vegetable in the combination can exceed 1 kg net weight; and, the net weight of the contents of the container cannot exceed 10 kg [2.1(2)(h), FFVR, Test Market List].

"Stew-Packs", "Vegetables for Stew" and "Fresh Packs" are still subject to the CPLR and the FDR and are required by these Regulations to be labelled with:

  • List of ingredients, any part of the label except the bottom [B.01.008 (b), FDR];
  • Identity and principal place of business of Responsible Party, any part of the label except the bottom [13, CPLR];
  • Net quantity, principal display panel [12(a), CPLR].

Exemptions from the FFVR Labelling Requirements

The packaging and labelling requirements of the FFVR do not apply in respect of produce that is:

  • prepackaged in a wrapper or confining band of less than 13 mm (½ inch) in width; or
  • displayed in bulk in a retail store
    • unlabelled, except for bar codes, number codes, environmental statements and product treatment symbols, sold in one unit, and packaged in an otherwise clear, transparent protective wrapping, or
    • without any packaging [4, FFVR, Test Market List].

Other Exemptions

Foods packaged from bulk

The type size requirements set out in subsections 12(2) and 12(3) of the FFVR do not apply to a prepackaged product that is packaged from bulk on a retail premises or to a prepackaged catch-weight product that is sold by a retailer. (for example, bulk whole green beans prepackaged in cello tray packs in-store [12(5), FFVR]).

Packaged in the Field

Prepackaged products consisting of raspberries or strawberries that are packaged in the field in containers having a capacity of 1.14 litres or less are exempt from declaring a net quantity [4(5), CPLR].

Ministerial Exemptions

In order to alleviate a shortage in the domestic supply of a fresh fruit or vegetable, the Minister or a delegate of the Minister, may exempt fresh fruit or vegetables marketed in import or interprovincial trade, from any of the requirements of the CAPA and the FFVR.

The labelling, packaging and quality requirements may be waived, when a Ministerial Exemption is requested for processing purposes. Only the labelling and packaging requirements may be waived, when a Ministerial Exemption is requested for repacking purposes.

For more information, refer to the Guidelines for Requesting and Administering Ministerial Exemptions for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables.

Common Name - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Every container of fresh produce must be labelled with a common name (definition). Since fresh fruits and vegetables do not have prescribed names in any Regulations, the name by which the food is generally known is acceptable as a common name [B.01.001, B.01.006, FDR].

Fresh fruit and vegetables are exempt from declaring a common name if:

  • the prepackaged produce is visible and identifiable in the package [B.01.006(2), FDR; 32(1), 32(2), CPLR],
  • the produce in the prepackaged container or the common name on the prepackaged produce container inside the master container is easily and clearly discernible without opening the outer container [23, FFVR],
  • the shipping container is an open container or is transparent [10(2.1), FFVR].

The common name must be shown on the principal display panel [10(8), FFVR; 12(b), CPLR; B.01.006(1), FDR] in letters at least 1.6 mm in height based on the lower-case letter "o" [12(3), FFVR; 14,15, CPLR]. For more information, refer to Common Name.

Net Quantity - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Every container of prepackaged produce and every shipping container must be labelled with the net quantity [4(1), CPLA; 10(1)(c),10(2)(c), FFVR]. Master containers are exempt from net quantity declaration provided that a net quantity is displayed on the prepackaged containers within [10(2)(c), 23, FFVR].

The net quantity of prepackaged produce must be declared by weight, volume or numerical count, in metric units or in both metric and Canadian units. If both metric and Canadian units are used, they must be grouped together and the metric units should appear first [17, 22(5), CPLR]. Where produce is not prepackaged, the net quantity may be declared in metric units, Canadian units, or in both metric and Canadian units [14(1), FFVR].

The bilingual symbols for Canadian units, such as "lb" for pounds or "oz" for ounces must be shown in lower case letters and may not be shown in the plural, nor may they contain brackets or periods.

It is not necessary to use phrases such as "net", "net weight", "net contents" or "net quantity" as part of the net quantity declaration. When such terms are used, however, they should appear in both French and English.

The net quantity must be shown on the principal display panel of a prepackaged container, but may be shown on any part of the label applied to a shipping container except that part of the label, if any, applied to the bottom [4(2), CPLA; 12 CPLR; 10(7), FFVR].

The letters and numerical quantities in the declaration of net quantity must be shown in bold face type in letters and numerals of not less than the following height [12(2), FFVR]:

  • 1/16 inch (1.6 millimetres), where the principal display surface of the container is not more than five square inches (32 square centimetres);
  • ⅛ inch (3.2 millimetres), where the principal display surface of the container is more than five square inches (32 square centimetres) but not more than 40 square inches (258 square centimetres);
  • ¼ inch (6.4 millimetres), where the principal display surface of the container is more than 40 square inches (258 square centimetres) but not more than 100 square inches (645 square centimetres);
  • ⅜ inch (9.5 millimetres), where the principal display surface of the container is more than 100 square inches (645 square centimetres) but not more than 400 square inches (25.8 square decimetres); and
  • ½ inch (12.7 millimetres), where the principal display surface of the container is more than 400 square inches (25.8 square decimetres).

For more information regarding the net quantity declaration, such as rounding and metric symbols, refer to Net Quantity.

Standard Containers

Produce marketed as prepackaged products, namely beets, carrots, onions, parsnips, potatoes and rutabagas shall be packaged in the prescribed containers as outlined in Schedule II of the FFVR and in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Test Market List [6.1(1), FFVR; Test Market List].

Identity and Principal Place of Business - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

The identity and principal place of business of the person (individual, corporation, business, head office, distributor, importer, etc. ) by or for whom the product was manufactured or produced for resale must be shown on the label [B.01.007(1.1)(a), FDR; 10(b)(i), CPLA; 10(2)(d), 23(c), FFVR].

On master containers, where the name and address is easily and clearly discernible in or on the inner container without opening the outer container, the name and address need not be shown on the outer container [23, FFVR].

The name and address should be complete in order to allow communication in writing with the responsible party.

Additional descriptive wording, such as "Packed for", "Packed by" is optional.

Providing additional information such as telephone number, e-mail address, website, etc., is at the discretion of the responsible party.

More than one name and address may be displayed on the label, as long as at least one complete mailing address is provided.

The identity and principal place of business may be shown anywhere on the label, except that part which is applied to the bottom of the container [B.01.005, B.01.007 (1.1)(a), FDR; 13, CPLR; 10(7), FFVR]. The letters must be at least 1.6 mm in height based on the lower-case letter "o" [12(3), FFVR; 15, CPLR].

The name and the address may be shown in either French or English [B.01.012 (9); 6(2), CPLR].

If wording such as "Packed by", "Packed for", etc., is displayed with the name and address on the label of a prepackaged container it should appear in both French and English; if this wording appears on master or shipping containers it may appear in French and/or English.

For more information, refer to Identity and Principal Place of Business.

Durable Life Date - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetables are exempt from displaying a durable life date ("best-before" date). If the durable life date is voluntarily applied to a prepackaged container the information must be declared in the proper format [B.01.007(6) FDR]. If the durable life date is voluntarily applied to a master or shipping container, that will not be sold at retail, the information is not required to be declared in the format as mentioned above.

Refer to Date Markings for more information.

List of Ingredients - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

In most cases, single ingredient foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, do not require the declaration of an ingredient list.

For a prepackaged product consisting of more than one ingredient (such as a mixture of fresh-cut fruits or vegetables, bagged lettuce blends, etc.), the ingredients must be shown in descending order of their proportion of the prepackaged product or as a percentage of the prepackaged product, and the order or percentage must be the order or percentage of the ingredients before they are combined to form the prepackaged product [B.01.008(3), FDR].

Example: A bagged lettuce blend lists romaine lettuce first and radicchio second in the list of ingredients to indicate that romaine is the primary ingredient.

Note: Master and shipping containers are included in the above-mentioned requirement as per the FDR definition of "prepackaged product" [B.01.001, FDR].

Omissions or substitutions of ingredients, over the 12 month period from the time the label is applied to the prepackaged product, are permitted in an ingredient list provided that it is clearly stated that the ingredient may not be present or that another ingredient may be substituted [B.01.011(1), FDR].

It is also possible for a manufacturer to vary the proportions of ingredients in a prepackaged product, over the 12 month period from the time the label is applied to the prepackaged product provided that it is clearly stated that the proportions indicated are subject to change and the ingredients are listed in descending order of the proportion in which they will probably be used during the 12 month period [B.01.011 (2), FDR].

The list of ingredients may be shown on any part of the label, except that part of the label, if any, that is applied to the bottom of the packaging or container [10(7), FFVR; B.01.005, FDR]. The letters must be a minimum of 1.6 mm in height based on the lower-case letter "o" [12(3), FFVR; 15, CPLR].

For more information, refer to List of Ingredients.

Food Additives

Food additives are considered to be ingredients in a final prepackaged product. Added ingredients must be included in the list of ingredients, except wax coating compounds and their components, which are not required to be shown on the label of a prepackaged fresh fruit or fresh vegetable as an ingredient or component thereof [B.01.008(7), FDR].

For more information, refer to Food Additives.

Food Allergens

Any allergens present in a food must be declared in an ingredient list or "Contains" statement, and that the source of a food allergen or gluten must be declared in consistent and easy to understand terminology.

For example, wax coatings containing casein on fresh produce which were previously exempt from declaration are now required to be declared as "Contains milk".

In the case of sulphites, the new regulations require that sulphites added as components of an ingredient exempted from component declaration must be declared when the total amount of sulphites contained within the food is 10 parts per million or more in the finished product. With the exception of grapes, it is not permitted to add sulphites to any fresh fruit or vegetable that is intended to be consumed raw [B.11.001.1, FDR].

For more information, refer to Food Allergens, Gluten & Added Sulphites.

Nutrition Labelling - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetables without any added ingredients, including some food additives, are exempt from displaying a Nutrition Facts table. This exemption includes oranges with added food colour, and fruit and vegetables coated with paraffin wax or petrolatum [B.01.401(2)(b)(ii), FDR]. This category also includes fresh herbs, sprouts and fruits and vegetables that are minimally processed (e.g., washed and, peeled, cut-up, shredded, etc.), including mixtures of fruits and vegetables such as bagged mixed salad and coleslaw (without dressing, croutons, bacon bits, etc.).

The exemption is lost if the label or advertisement contains one or more of the following:

  • a nutritional reference or nutrient content claim (e.g., "Good source of Vitamin C");
  • a nutrient function claim (e.g., "Vitamin A aids in the development and maintenance of night vision");
  • a health claim (e.g., "A healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may help reduce the risk of some types of cancer.");
  • a health-related name, statement, logo, symbol, seal of approval or other proprietary mark of a third party (e.g., heart-shaped symbol); or
  • the phrase "nutrition facts", "valeur nutritive" or "valeurs nutritives". [B.01.401(3), FDR]

Voluntary display of the nutrition information is permitted, provided the content and format meet the requirements in the FDR. Only the Canadian Nutrition Facts table may be used to provide nutrition information in Canada. Nutrition labelling systems from other countries are not acceptable.

Prepackaged products that are intended solely for use as ingredients in the manufacture of other prepackaged products intended for sale to a consumer at the retail level or as ingredients in the preparation of food by a commercial or industrial enterprise or institution are not required to display a Nutrition Facts table, however they must be accompanied by written nutrition information when delivered to the purchaser [B.01.404, B.01.405, FDR].

For more information, refer to Nutrition Labelling.

Nutrition and Health Claims - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Nutrient content claims such as, "Source of Vitamin C" and disease risk reduction claims such as, "A healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may help reduce the risk of some types of cancer", can be made on some fresh fruits and vegetables. The conditions for making these types of claims are prescribed in the tables following B.01.513 and B.01.601, respectively, of the FDR. The prescribed wording of these claims cannot be altered in any way. The presence of a nutrition or health claim would trigger a Nutrition Facts table [B.01.401(3), FDR].

When a nutrient content claim is made on a non-prepackaged product, such as on a sticker on a bulk bin of fresh fruit, a Nutrition Facts table would not be triggered. However, a declaration of the applicable energy value or nutrient amount to support the claim would have to appear on either the label or in the advertisement [B.01.503(1)(c), FDR].

Quantitative declarations of energy value and the amount of nutrients per serving of stated size may be permitted on labels or in advertisements for foods that are exempt from carrying a Nutrition Facts table, however, a Nutrition Facts Table would be triggered, (e.g., "451 mg potassium per banana [114 g]").

For more information on the conditions for making nutrition and health claims, refer to Nutrient Content Claims and Health Claims.

Grade Designation for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

The grade designations for fresh fruit and vegetables are set out in Schedule I of the FFVR. It is not permitted to indicate a Canadian grade on a product for which the Regulations do not prescribe a grade standard.

Grades do not apply to minimally processed versions of produce for which grades are established. This includes but is not limited to, produce that is peeled, cut, sliced, chopped, cored, shredded or consists of separated leaves.

No label of produce graded according to the FFVR or imported into Canada may be marked with any word or words declaring or implying that the produce packed therein is superior in quality to the grade marked thereon [26, FFVR].

For prepackaged containers, the letters and numerals in the declaration of grade must be shown on the principal display panel in bold face type in letters and numerals the height of which varies in proportion to the principal display surface [10(8), FFVR]. See Minimum Type Height for Net Quantity Declaration for more information.

For master or shipping containers, the grade name must appear in the same type height as described in the section on net quantity but may be shown on any part of the label, except that part of the label, if any, applied to the bottom [10(7), FFVR].

Domestic Produce

Every container of produce must be labelled with the grade name, if one is established by or specified in the Regulations [10(1)(a), 23(b), 10(2)(b), FFVR]. The use of the word "Canada" in a grade name is limited to Canadian grown produce.

On master containers, where the grade is easily and clearly discernible in or on the inner container without opening the outer container, the grade name need not be shown on the outer container [23, FFVR].

Imported Produce

Fresh fruits and vegetables that are imported prepackaged or that are imported, then packaged or repackaged in Canada must display the import grade name as set out in column II of Tables I and II of Schedule I.1 of the FFVR (e.g., No. 1 Grade) [3(1.1, FFVR].

If Canadian produce, for which a grade standard exists, is combined with imported produce and is prepackaged in Canada, the combined produce is no longer of totally Canadian content and cannot bear the Canada grade name. The combined produce must, therefore, display the import grade name, as set out in column II of Tables I and II of Schedule I.1 of the FFVR.

Master containers and shipping containers of imported produce are exempt from declaring a grade [23(b), 10(2)(b), FFVR].

Foreign Grades

Many countries have grade standards for foods. Indicating the foreign grade is permitted on the labels of imported produce provided:

  • it is sold in its original container;
  • it conforms to a Canadian grade standard; and,
  • the grade name established in the country of origin of the produce represents substantially the same quality as the import grade name as set out in column II of Tables I and II of Schedule I.1 in the FFVR [3(1.2), FFVR].

e.g. U.S. No. 1, or for countries using Codex, Class 1.

Indicating a foreign grade is also permitted on the labels of imported produce for which there are no grades established in Canada. For example, it is permitted to declare U.S. No. 1 on a bag of Florida oranges, although there are no grades established for oranges in Canada. In these cases, the grade declaration may appear on any part of the label except that part of the label, if any, applied to the bottom, in a minimum of 1.6 mm type.

Size of Produce

When the size of produce is required by the FFVR to be shown on a label, it must be shown immediately adjacent to the grade name in the same sized print as the grade name in terms of:

  • metric units, e.g., Canada No. 1 - 70 mm to 114 mm;
  • Canadian units, e.g., Canada No. 1 - 2 ¾ inches to 4 ½ inches;
  • both metric and Canadian units, e.g., Canada No. 1 - 70 mm to 114 mm
    2 ¾ to 4 ½ inches; or
  • in any of the word descriptions set out in Part II of Schedule I of the FFVR, e.g., Canada No. 1 Chef [Part II, 25, FFVR].

Country of Origin - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Country of Origin is defined in section 2 of the FFVR.

All country names must be written out in full, except for the United States which may be abbreviated to "USA" as it is recognized worldwide.

The country of origin shall be shown on the principal display panel and in close proximity to the declaration of net quantity or the grade name [10(8), 10(11), FFVR]. The letters in the country of origin declaration must be shown in bold face type in letters the height of which varies in proportion to the principal display surface.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Grown in Canada

Indicating the country of origin is voluntary on produce grown in Canada. A Canadian packer who wishes to declare its product as being of Canadian origin must avoid giving misleading information to consumers. The "Product of Canada" Guidelines were developed to reflect consumer and industry expectations about what constitutes a Canadian product.

The use of these claims is voluntary, however, when applied they will be assessed against the "Product of Canada" guidelines.

Fresh fruit and vegetables grown in a country other than Canada

The country of origin declaration is mandatory on all containers of imported fresh produce, regardless of whether they are packaged whole produce, or packaged fresh-cut (minimally processed) produce. This requirement also applies to imported produce packaged and labelled or re-packaged and labelled in Canada.

Every container of imported produce shall be labelled to show the words "Product of", "Produce of", "Grown in" or "Country of Origin", followed by the name of the country of origin of the produce, or other words which clearly indicate the country in which the produce was grown [10(11), FFVR].

On master containers, where the country of origin is easily and clearly discernible in or on the inner container without opening the outer container, the country of origin need not be shown on the outer container [23, FFVR].

Determining country of origin labelling requirements

Examples of produce for which country of origin labelling is mandatory:
Whole or fresh-cut produce imported from single or multiple origins, for example:

  • A bag of apples is imported from the USA - "Product of USA";
  • A prepackaged mix of sweet peppers, 1 orange and 1 yellow from Mexico and 1 green from the USA - "Product of Mexico and USA";
  • Squash is grown, chopped and packaged in the USA - "Product of USA".

Whole or fresh-cut produce imported from a single origin and repacked in Canada, for example:

  • Onions imported from Mexico in 50 kg bags, then repacked into 10 kg bags in Canada - "Product of Mexico".

Domestic whole produce is packaged with imported whole produce from one or more origins, for example:

  • A salad blended from whole baby lettuce leaves imported from the USA and spinach leaves grown in Canada - "Product of USA and Canada";
  • Domestic apples are packaged with apples imported from the USA - "Product of Canada and USA".

Single ingredient fresh-cut produce prepared in Canada from imported whole produce, for example:

  • Carrots imported from the USA then shredded and packaged in Canada - "Product of USA".

Registration Number

A registration number is a unique number assigned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to an establishment that meets the conditions set out in sections 59 and 60 of the FFVR [56(3), FFVR]. Registration of establishments is voluntary under the FFVR.

Every lot of produce conveyed interprovincially from a registered establishment shall clearly and prominently display the establishment registration number inside the Canada Produce Legend as shown in Schedule IV of the FFVR [63, FFVR; Test Market List].

The registration number may be shown anywhere on the label, except that part which is applied to the bottom of the container. Alternatively, the registration number may be displayed on each palletized unit of produce in a lot [63, FFVR; Test Market List].

The numerical quantities in the declaration of the registration number on prepackaged, master or shipping containers must be shown in bold-face type in numerals the height of which varies in proportion to the principal display surface (see the type size requirements in Net Quantity – Fresh Fruit and Vegetables for more information).

The declaration of the registration number of the registered establishment, when clearly affixed to a palletized unit of produce, shall be shown in bold-face type in a minimum of ¾ inch (19.0 millimetres) in height [Test Market List].

Specific Requirements for Apples and Potatoes

Pursuant to the FFVR, there are specific requirements for certain containers of produce.

Tags on Apple Bags

All mandatory information required under the FFVR (e.g., grade, country of origin, size, variety, registration number, etc.) may be printed on a tag attached to a prepackaged container of apples [Test Market List].

Declaration of Variety on Apples

Every label applied to a container of apples must show the name of the variety of the apples [10(3), FFVR; 32(3), CPLR; Test Market List].

The declaration of apple variety may be shown on any part of the label except that part of the label, if any, applied to the bottom of a container [10(7), FFVR]. Alternatively, the apple variety may be displayed on a tag attached to a prepackaged bag of apples [Test Market List]. The declaration of apple variety required to be shown on the label (or tag) of a container of apples shall be shown in print that is at least 1.6 mm in height [12(3), FFVR].

Diameter Size Range on Apples

Unless the container is transparent, an open basket of not more than 11 quarts capacity, or contains apples of Canada Commercial Cookers grade, every label applied to a container of untiered (not in a tray pack) apples shall show one of the diameter size ranges for apples as shown below [10(4), 10(5), 25, 4(1)(c) of Part I, Schedule I, FFVR].

  • 60 mm (2 ⅜ inches) to 63 mm (2 ½ inches),
  • 60 mm (2 ⅜ inches) to 70 mm (2 ¾ inches),
  • 60 mm (2 ⅜ inches) and up,
  • 63 mm (2 ½ inches) to 70 mm (2 ¾ inches),
  • 63 mm (2 ½ inches) to 76 mm (3 inches),
  • 63 mm (2 ½ inches) and up,
  • 70 mm (2 ¾ inches) to 76 mm (3 inches),
  • 70 mm (2 ¾ inches) and up, or
  • 76 mm (3 inches) and up.

The diameter size range must be shown immediately adjacent to the grade name in the same type height size, which varies in accordance with the principal display surface [25, FFVR].

Yellow Fleshed Potatoes

The declaration of yellow fleshed potatoes is voluntary in accordance with a test market [Test Market List]. However, if declared it must be displayed in the following manner:

  • "yellow fleshed", where the common name of the produce is shown elsewhere on the container; or
  • "yellow fleshed potatoes", where the common name of the produce is not shown elsewhere on the container [10(6.1), FFVR].

The declaration of "yellow fleshed" or "yellow fleshed potatoes", if declared, must be shown on the principal display surface, in bold face type, in letters, the height of which varies, in proportion to the principal display surface [10(6.1), FFVR, Test Market List].

Organic Products

Organic products are regulated under the Organic Product Regulations pursuant to the Canada Agricultural Products Act.

For specific information on organic labelling requirements, refer to Organic Claims.

The Organic Products Regulations state, if the organic logo appears on the label of containers of imported produce, the declaration of the country of origin must be immediately preceded by the words "Product of", or "Imported" which must appear in close proximity to the logo. However, the declaration of "Imported" alone does not fulfil the "country of origin" requirement under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations. See Country of Origin - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables for fresh fruit and vegetables grown in a country other than Canada for more information.

Irradiated Foods - Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Currently, the only types of fresh produce approved for irradiation and sale in Canada are onions and potatoes. The purpose of irradiating onions and potatoes is to inhibit sprouting.

For specific labelling requirements, refer to Irradiated Foods.

Test Markets

If a dealer wishes to market produce which does not meet the requirements of the FFVR, the dealer may apply to test market the produce for a period of up to 24 months. The test market request may be authorized provided that:

  • based on information available to the Minister, the test market for that produce is valid; and
  • the dealer provides evidence that:
    • the container to be used is suitable for the produce;
    • the labelling of the container is not misleading as to the nature, quantity, quality, composition, character, safety, value, variety or origin of the produce; and
    • the produce meets the requirements of section 3.1 of the FFVR.

At the end of the test market period the proposed regulatory change may be incorporated into the Regulations [2.3, FFVR].

For more information on test markets for fresh fruit and vegetables, refer to the current listing of existing test markets.

Review of Labels

Table 1 – Summary of Labelling Requirements for Prepackaged Containers

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables - Prepackaged Containers - Domestic, Import
Requirements Height of Letters Location Language References
Common Name - mandatory (not required if produce is visible and identifiable)
The name by which the food is generally known
minimum 1.6 mm on the principal display panel English and French Common Name - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.006, FDR
10(b)(ii), CPLA
12(b), CPLR
Net Quantity - mandatory
Declared by weight, volume or numerical count in metric, or metric and Canadian units
in proportion to the principal display surface on the principal display panel English and French Net Quantity - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
4(1), CPLA
14-20, FFVR
12(a), CPLR
Identity and Principal Place of Business– mandatory
Identity and principal place of business of the person Table Note 2 by or for whom the product was manufactured or produced for resale
minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English or French Identity and Principal Place of Business - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.007(1.1)(a), FDR
10(b)(i), CPLA
13, CPLR
List of Ingredients - single ingredient products are exempt
Ingredients must be shown in descending order of their proportion if multi-ingredient
minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English and French List of Ingredients - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.008, B.01.010, FDR
Nutrition Facts Table - exempt unless otherwise triggered in proportion to the available display surface any surface including the bottom if it is considered part of the ADS English and French Nutrition Labelling - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.401(2) and (3), FDR
Grade - mandatory on produce for which a grade is established in the FFVR
The grade name as established in the Regulations
in proportion to the principal display surface on the principal display panel English and French Grade Designation for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
10(1)(a), FFVR
Size of Produce - mandatory if required in the FFVR
Must be shown immediately adjacent to the grade name, in metric units, Canadian units, metric and Canadian units, or in any of the word descriptions set out in Part II of Schedule I of the FFVR
Same size as the grade name on the principal display panel English and French Size of Produce Section
25, FFVR
Country of Origin - mandatory on imported produce, optional on domestic produce
The country where the produce was grown
in proportion to the principal display surface on the principal display panel English and French Country of Origin - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
10(11), FFVR
Registration Number - mandatory (for RPWs only) unless displayed on the master container, shipping container, or on the palletized unit of produce
The number must be the number of the establishment where the produce was packed.
in proportion to the principal display surface or minimum 19.0 mm on palletized units of produce any surface except the bottom N/A Registration Number Section
63, FFVR
Test Market List
Variety - mandatory on apples minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom or may be displayed on a tag attached to the bag English and French Specific Requirements for Apples and Potatoes Section
10(3), FFVR
Test Market List
"Yellow Fleshed" - optional on yellow fleshed potatoes in proportion to the principal display surface on the principal display panel English and French Specific Requirements for Apples and Potatoes Section
10(6.1), FFVR
Test Market List
Organic Labelling - mandatory (if applicable) minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English and French Organic Products Section
Part III, OPR
Irradiation Symbol/Statement - mandatory (if applicable)
Must carry the irradiation symbol as well as one of the irradiation statements
minimum 1.6 mm (letters)
Outer diameter height of numbers in net quantity (symbol)
on the principal display panel English and French Irradiated Foods - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.035 FDR

Table Notes

Table Note 2

The term "person" includes individuals, corporations, etc.

Return to table note 2  referrer

Table 2 – Summary of Labelling Requirements for Master Containers

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables - Master Containers - Domestic, Import
Requirements Height of Letters Location Language References
Common Name - mandatory Table Note 3
The name by which the food is generally known
minimum 1.6 mm on the principal display panel English or French Common Name - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
23(a), FFVR
B.01.006, FDR
Net Quantity - optional provided that inner containers are labelled with a net quantity
Declared by weight, volume or numerical count in metric, Canadian, or metric and Canadian units
in proportion to the principal display surface any surface except the bottom English or French Net Quantity - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
23, FFVR
Identity and Principal Place of Business - mandatory Table Note 3
Identity and principal place of business of the person by or for whom the product was manufactured or produced for resale
minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English or French Identity and Principal Place of Business - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
23(c), FFVR
List of Ingredients - single ingredient products are exempt
Ingredients must be shown in descending order of their proportion if multi-ingredient
minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English or French List of Ingredients - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.008, B.01.010, FDR
Nutrition Facts Table - exempt unless otherwise triggered in proportion to the available display surface any surface including the bottom if it is considered part of the ADS English or French Nutrition Labelling - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.401(2)(b)(ii) and (3), FDR
Grade - mandatory Table Note 3 on domestic produce for which a grade is established in the FFVR or on imported produce that is packed or repacked in Canada
The grade name as established in the Regulations
in proportion to the principal display surface any surface except the bottom English or French Grade Designation for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
23(b), FFVR
Size of Produce - mandatory if required in the FFVR
Must be shown immediately adjacent to the grade name, in metric units, Canadian units, metric and Canadian units, or in any of the word descriptions set out in Part II of Schedule I of the FFVR
Same size as the grade name on the principal display panel English or French Size of Produce Section
25, FFVR
Country of Origin - mandatory Table Note 3 on imported produce, optional on domestic produce
The country where the produce was grown
in proportion to the principal display surface on the principal display panel English or French Country of Origin - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
23(d), FFVR
Registration Number - mandatory (for RPWs only) unless displayed on the prepackaged containers within, the shipping container or on the palletized unit of produce
The number must be the number of the establishment where the produce was packed.
in proportion to the principal display surface any surface except the bottom N/A Registration Number Section
63(b), FFVR
Test Market List
Variety - mandatory on apples minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English or French Specific Requirements for Apples and Potatoes Section
10(3), FFVR
Test Market List
"Yellow Fleshed" - optional on yellow fleshed potatoes in proportion to the principal display surface on the principal display panel English or French Specific Requirements for Apples and Potatoes Section
10(6.1), FFVR
Test Market List
Organic Labelling - mandatory (if applicable) minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English or French Organic Products Section
Part III, OPR
Irradiation Statement - mandatory (if applicable)
Must carry the statement "Do not irradiate again"
minimum 1.6 mm on the principal display panel English or French Irradiated Foods - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.035 FDR

Table Notes

Table note 3

Where the produce or any of the information, including the common name, grade, identity and principal place of business, or the country of origin, is easily and clearly discernible in or on the inner container without opening the outer container, the same information need not be shown on the outer container.

Return to table note 3  referrer

Table 3 – Summary of Labelling Requirements for Shipping Containers

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables - Shipping Containers - Domestic, Import
Requirements Height of Letters Location Language References
Common Name - mandatory (not required if container is open or transparent)
The name by which the food is generally known
minimum 1.6 mm on the principal display panel English or French Common Name - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
10(2)(a) and 10(2. 1), FFVR
Net Quantity - mandatory
Declared by weight, volume or numerical count in metric, or metric Canadian, and Canadian units
in proportion to the principal display surface any surface except the bottom English or French Net Quantity - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
10(2)(c) and 14 - 19, FFVR
Identity and Principal Place of Business– mandatory
Identity and principal place of business of the person Table Note 4 by or for whom the product was manufactured or produced for resale
minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English or French Identity and Principal Place of Business - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section]
10(2)(d), FFVR
List of Ingredients - single ingredient products are exempt
Ingredients must be shown in descending order of their proportion if multi-ingredient
minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English or French List of Ingredients - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.008, B.01.010, FDR
Nutrition Facts Table - exempt unless otherwise triggered in proportion to the available display surface any surface including the bottom if it is considered part of the ADS English or French Nutrition Labelling - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.401(2)(b)(ii), and (3), FDR
Grade - mandatory on domestic produce for which a grade is established in the FFVR or on imported produce that is packed or repacked in Canada.
The grade name as established in the Regulations
in proportion to the principal display surface any surface except the bottom English or French Grade Designation for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
3 and 10(2)(b), FFVR
Size of Produce - mandatory if required in the FFVR
Must be shown immediately adjacent to the grade name, in metric units, Canadian units, metric and Canadian units, or in any of the word descriptions set out in Part II of Schedule I of the FFVR
Same size as the grade name on the principal display panel English or French Size of Produce Section
25, FFVR
Country of Origin - mandatory on imported produce, optional on domestic produce
The country where the produce was grown
in proportion to the principal display surface on the principal display panel English or French Country of Origin - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
10(11), FFVR
Registration Number - mandatory (for RPWs only) unless displayed on the master container, shipping container, or on the palletized unit of produce.
The number must be the number of the establishment where the produce was packed.
in proportion to the principal display surface any surface except the bottom N/A Registration Number Section
63(b), FFVR
Test Market List
Variety - mandatory on apples minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English or French Specific Requirements for Apples and Potatoes Section
10(3), FFVR
Test Market List
"Yellow Fleshed" - optional on yellow fleshed potatoes in proportion to the principal display surface on the principal display panel English or French Specific Requirements for Apples and Potatoes Section
10(6.1), FFVR
Test Market List
Organic Labelling - mandatory (if applicable) minimum 1.6 mm any surface except the bottom English or French Organic Products Section
Part III, OPR
Irradiation Symbol/Statement - mandatory (if applicable)
Must carry one of the irradiation statements and the statement "Do not irradiate again".
minimum 1.6 mm on the principal display panel English or French Irradiated Foods - Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Section
B.01.035 FDR

Table Notes

Table Note 4

The term "person" includes individuals, corporations, etc.

Return to table note 4  referrer

Method of Production Claims – Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Refer to Genetic Engineering Claims and "Free of Pesticides Residues" Claims for information on how these types of method of production claims may be used on labels for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Definitions

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Includes fresh, whole fruit and vegetables, fresh-cut (minimally processed) fruit and vegetables such as shredded cabbage, mixed or blended fruit or vegetables such as bagged mixed salad (without dressing, croutons, bacon bits, etc.) and coleslaw, fresh herbs, sprouts, and edible fungi.

Subject to the FFVR.

Shipping Container

Contains non-prepackaged, loose produce that is not destined for sale directly to consumers.

Master Container

An outer container in which containers of prepackaged produce, which display a net quantity, are packed.

Bulk Container

A large capacity shipping container.

Principal Display Surface

The principal display surface of a package is the surface of a container that is displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use [See 2, FFVR for complete definition].

Principal Display Panel

The part of the label applied to all or part of the principal display surface [2, FFVR].

Canadian Unit

A unit of measure set out in Schedule II to the Weights and Measures Act [2, FFVR].

Country of Origin

The country in which the produce was grown [2, FFVR].

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