Labelling Requirements for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Grade Designation for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
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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].
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].
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].
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.
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