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United Fresh and CPMA team up on U.S.-Canada labeling guide

First time the CPMA has partnered with an American organization on a guide that covers labeling

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and the United Fresh Produce Association have launched a bilateral labeling guide aimed at ensuring produce labeling and packaging are in compliance with Canadian and American regulations.

The U.S.A.-Canada Bilateral Labeling Guide will help grocers’ “make sure that (suppliers’) packaging is correct,” says Jane Proctor, vice-president, policy and issue management at the CPMA in Ottawa.

The last thing that retailers want is to have products in their stores pulled off the shelves because of labeling violations, she says.

Available online as a PDF document, the user-friendly guide has been in the works for about two years and is aimed at people involved in the design of fresh produce labeling and packaging destined for shipping and distribution in Canada and the U.S.

It’s the first time the CPMA has partnered with an American organization on a guide that covers labeling, Proctor says.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to deliver something that does meet marketplace needs in both the markets.”

Dan Vaché, vice-president of supply chain management at United Fresh, said the guide will be extremely helpful in the day-to-day operations of members in the U.S. and Canada.

United Fresh and the Produce Marketing Association are the two national organizations in the U.S. that CPMA partners with on various issues.

The guide’s major benefit will be to help people who ship between the two countries understand the complexities of labeling, Proctor says. “Frankly, our regulatory framework in Canada is much more defined than in the U.S. That leaves a lot of angst for people for people who are trying to figure out packaging to ship into Canada from the U.S.”

The guide enables people to clearly see where the differences lie in terms of labeling in the two countries, she says. “It’s a very complex topic.”

CPMA previously created a Canadian labeling guide and offers a label review service to members.

The guide will be updated as regulations change.

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