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Chapter 11 - Labelling Guide for Processed Fruits and Vegetables

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Introduction

This chapter explains the mandatory labelling requirements for processed fruits and vegetables subject to the Processed Products Regulations (PPR) under the Canada Agricultural Products Act (CAPA). This Act and the Regulations made there under apply when processed fruits and vegetables listed in Table 11-1 of this Chapter are sold in interprovincial trade, international trade or marked with a grade.

The labelling requirements for process and fruits and vegetables subject to the PPR are stated in part IV - Marking of the PPR. Those products are also subject to the following Acts and Regulations:

  • Food and Drugs Act (FDA);
  • Food and Drug Regulations (FDR);
  • Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (CPLA)*
  • Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations (CPLR).*

*For prepackaged products for retail sale in Canada.

NOTE: All the regulatory requirements stated in this chapter apply also to products destined for hotels, restaurants and institutions (HRI).

Definitions

Principal Display Surface (PDS) means, in most cases, the total area or surface that is displayed or is visible under normal conditions of sale or use. This usually does not include the side(s), top, or the bottom of containers. In the case of a container that does not have a particular side for display e.g., round can), the PDS is 40 per cent of the total surface area of the container, excluding the top and bottom. (For the complete definition, please refer to Section 2 of the CPLR.)

As the common name, net quantity and grade must be declared on the "principal display panel", its meaning is summarized as:

"Principal Display Panel (PDP)" means, in most cases, the label that is applied to the PDS and is visible under normal conditions of sale or use.

11.1 Common Name

The common name of a processed fruit or vegetable is:

  • the prescribed name in the Processed Products Regulations (PPR);
  • the name of the food printed in boldface type in the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR); or
  • if the name of the food is not so printed or prescribed, the name by which the food is generally known.

Examples:

  1. Canned "Apple Juice" is specifically listed in Schedule I, Table I, Item 3, of the PPR. It must be named "apple juice".
  2. "Orange Juice" is not specifically listed in the PPR. It falls under the generic standard of identity "fruit juice" in Schedule II, Item 13, of the PPR. Since Section B.11.128 of the FDR has "orange juice" in bold face type, the common name of the food must be declared as "orange juice".
  3. Canned "hearts of palm" are not specifically listed in the PPR. The product falls under the generic standard of identity "canned vegetable" in Schedule II, Item 23, of the PPR. The FDR does not have "hearts of palm" as a bold face name. The common name of the food becomes the name by which it is generally known, i.e., "hearts of palm".

11.1.1 Location

The common name must be shown on the principal display panel of the container [42(1), PPR; B.01.006(1); 12, CPLR].

11.1.2 Type Size

The common name must be shown in letters of at least 1.6 mm in height based on the lower-case letter "o" [36 PPR; 14, 15, CPLR].

11.1.3 Language

The common name must be shown in English and French [32, PPR; B.01.012(2); 6(2), CPLR].

11.2Net Quantity Declaration

11.2.1 Manner of Declaring Net Quantity

Depending on the product, the quantity must be shown by metric volume, metric weight or count, as prescribed in Schedule 5, Sections 4 and 5 of the PPR.

When the quantity is given in both metric and imperial units, the metric units should be displayed first and the two must be grouped together, while leaving sufficient space between them to prevent any confusion [31(f), PPR; 21, 22, CPLR].

Indicating the net quantity in brackets is not permitted. All metric and imperial symbols must not be followed by a period. Ex: " fl. oz." is not acceptable.

Metric units must be shown in:

  • millilitres (mL or ml) or litres (L or l) for volume
  • grams (g) or kilograms (kg) for weight.

Imperial units must be shown in:

  • fluid ounces (fl oz) for volume
  • ounces (oz) and pounds (lb) for weight

For conversion purposes:

  • 1 US fl oz = 1.04084 Canadian fl oz = 29.57353 mL
  • 1 fl oz (Canadian) = 28.413 mL
  • 1 oz = 28.350 g

Certain products are sold in containers which already indicate a declaration of capacity (e.g.: letters molded into glass containers). Since this is not clearly displayed, the net quantity of the product must still be shown on the product label.

When the product offers an extra quantity as a bonus within the same container, the net quantity of product shown on the label must be the total quantity of the product. Example: 500 mL plus 250 mL bonus, the net quantity declared on the label must be 750 mL. This new net quantity must comply with the standardized container sizes (if applicable), see 11.2.2 below.

Schedule IV of the PPR contains specific requirements for minimum net and drained weights for several processed fruits and vegetables. However, this information does not have to be declared on the label.

11.2.2 Standardized Container Sizes

Some processed fruits and vegetables are subject to standardized container sizes prescribed in Schedule III of the PPR. Table 11-1 of this chapter contains a column called "Standard Containers". This column is divided in 4 sub-columns :

  • The first 2 sub-columns specify which tables and sections of the PPR outline the standardized container size for each product.
  • The third column indicates the largest standardized container size (as per Schedule III) and;
  • The last column indicates if the product can be packed in a container smaller than the smallest size standardized.

When a product is subject to standardized container sizes, the net quantity declared on the label must :

  • Correspond to one of the standardized sizes in Schedule III of the PPR, or;
  • Be larger than the largest standardized container size (LTL) but, smaller or equal to 20 kg or 20 L, and a multiple of 500 g or 500 ml [Section 25(1), PPR] or;
  • Be smaller than the smallest standardized container size, if permitted [Sections 21(2), 25(2) and 25(3), PPR]

When a product is not subject to standardized container sizes, it can be marketed in any format.

11.2.3 Location

The net quantity must be shown on the principal display panel of the label; it must be clearly and prominently displayed, easily legible and in distinct contrast to any other information shown on the label [42, PPR; 4(2), CPLA;12, CPLR].

11.2.4 Type Size

The minimum type height must be 1.6 mm for all the information contained in the declaration of net quantity, except for the numerals, which must be shown in bold face type of the height based on the principal display surface, shown in the following table [36, PPR; 14, CPLR];

Principal Display Surface of the Packaging (PDS) Minimum Height for Numerals and Grade
square centimetres square inches millimetres inches
≤ 32 ≤ 5 1.6 1/16
> 32 to ≤ 258 > 5 to ≤ 40 3.2 1/8
> 258 to ≤ 645; > 40 to ≤ 100 6.4 1/4
> 645 to ≤ 2580 > 100 to ≤ 400 9.5 3/8
> 2580 > 400 12.7 1/2

11.2.5 Language

  • The net quantity must be shown in English and French [32, PPR; 6(2), CPLR].
  • All metric symbols are considered bilingual.
  • Indicating "oz fl" is considered bilingual

11.3 Grade

11.3.1 Use of Grade Names

[37, 38, PPR]

Grades are used on the following conditions:

  • The product is listed in Schedule I of the PPR:* indicating the grade is either mandatory (for example:"apple juice", "canned peaches") or optional, i.e. at the discretion of the company (for example "tomato paste");
  • The product meets the composition specified by the standard; and
  • The product was manufactured or graded and repackaged in a registered establishment, or is imported and sold in its original container.

* Foods subject to grades are also listed in Table 11-1 of this Chapter.

Note: It is not permitted to indicate a Canadian grade on a product for which the Processed Products Regulations do not prescribe any grade standard [38, PPR]. For further information on foreign grades, refer to Section 11.3.3 of this Chapter.

11.3.2 Declaration of Grades

[31(e), 37, Schedule V, PPR]

Products packed in registered establishments in Canada must indicate a grade beginning with "CANADA".

The grade declaration must be in capital letters, as shown in Schedule V of the PPR. The declaration of grades can also be displayed in such a way that the words "FANCY", "CHOICE" or "STANDARD" or the letters "A", "B" or "C" may figure directly under the word "CANADA" rather than next to it.

Examples:

  1. Apples from Québec are processed into apple juice in a registered establishment in Canada. The apple juice must be marked either "CANADA FANCY" or "CANADA CHOICE".
  2. Cherries from France imported into Canada in bulk, repackaged and graded in a registered Canadian establishment must be marked either "CANADA FANCY", "CANADA CHOICE" or "CANADA STANDARD".
  3. Imported apples from USA are processed into apple sauce in a registered establishment in Canada. The apple sauce will therefore be labelled either "CANADA FANCY" or "CANADA CHOICE".

Products imported and sold in their original container must indicate a grade ending with the word "GRADE" for canned products or beginning with the word "GRADE" for frozen products. The declaration of grades can also be displayed in such a way that the words "FANCY", "CHOICE" or "STANDARD" or the letters "A", "B" or "C" may figure directly under the word "CANADA" rather than next to it.

Products packed in a registered establishment (domestic or imported)

  • Canned/Hermetically sealed container: CANADA FANCY
    Frozen: CANADA A
  • Canned/Hermetically sealed container: CANADA CHOICE
    Frozen: CANADA B
  • Canned/Hermetically sealed container: CANADA STANDARD
    Frozen: CANADA C
  • Canned/Hermetically sealed container: SUBSTANDARD
    Frozen: SUBSTANDARD

Imported Products (sold in original container)

  • Canned/Hermetically sealed container: FANCY GRADE
    Frozen: GRADE A
  • Canned/Hermetically sealed container: CHOICE GRADE
    Frozen: GRADE B
  • Canned/Hermetically sealed container: STANDARD GRADE
    Frozen: GRADE C

11.3.3 Foreign Grades

A number of countries also have grade standards for foods. Indicating the foreign grade is permitted on the label of the imported product when it is sold in its original container. This practice is permitted even when Canada does not prescribe a grade for the product in question. The indication of the foreign grade must, however, clearly identify the country that prescribed the standard. Furthermore, the indication must not lead to confusion with Canadian grades.

Example: "Mandarin Oranges from Morocco". Morocco has grade standards for this product. It is permitted to indicate "Morocco #1" on the label, even if no grade standard is prescribed for this products in Canada. However, the indication "Grade #1" would not be permitted since consumers might believe that the product meets Canadian grade standards when there are none. It is also possible to indicate, on the same label, grades of various countries, for example; " USA Grade A - Spain #1".

11.3.4 Location

The grade designation must be shown on the principal display panel of the container [42, PPR].

11.3.5 Type Size

[36, PPR]

The height of the letters used for the grade declaration is based on the principal display surface (see section 11.2.4 of this Chapter). The letters must be in capitals, as illustrated in Schedule V of the PPR.

11.3.6 Language

The grade must be shown in English and French [32, PPR].

11.4 Size Grading of Vegetables

[31(g), 40, PPR]

11.4.1 Use of Size Grading

The following vegetables should be graded by size, to indicate the size of the vegetable:

  • Asparagus (tips or spears) - canned or frozen
  • Beans (green or wax) - canned or frozen
  • Cut carrots (cut carrots-baby whole style, cut carrots - whole style, whole baby carrots, whole carrots) - frozen
  • Lima beans - canned or frozen
  • Peas - canned or frozen
  • Potatoes (whole, white) - canned or frozen
  • Brussel sprouts - frozen: the size grading is optional

11.4.2 Declaration of Size Grading

The declaration of size grading of vegetables must be declared on the label as follows:

  • The number designation or the word designation as prescribed in Schedule VI of the PPR;
  • When the product contains two or more sizes, the description "ASSORTED SIZES" or "MIXED SIZES" must be used; or
  • When the product is not graded by size, the label must state "UNGRADED AS TO SIZE" (does not apply to brussels sprouts) [40(1)c), PPR]

11.4.3 Location

The size grading may be shown on any panel of the label, except on the bottom of the container [42(2), PPR].

11.4.4 Type Size

The size grading must be shown in letters of at least 1.6 mm in height based on the lower-case letter "o" [36(1), PPR].

11.4.5 Language

The size grading must be shown in English and French [32, PPR].

11.5 Name and Address

11.5.1 Manner of declaring the Name and Address

The legal name of the person (individual, corporation, business, distributor, importer) for whom and/or by whom the product was manufactured must be shown on the label [31(a), PPR; B.01.007(1.1)(a); 10(b)(l), CPLA].

When the name and address declared are those of the first dealer*, wording such as: "Prepared for", "Distributed by", "Packed for..." is mandatory and must precede the name and address.

According to the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, subsection 31(2), if a pre-packaged product has been wholly manufactured or produced in a country other than Canada, and the identity and principal place of business of the person in Canada for whom the pre-packaged product was manufactured or produced for resale appears on the label, then the identity and principal place of business shall be preceded by the words "imported by" or "imported for", unless the geographic origin of the product is stated on the label grouped with, or adjacent to, the Canadian name and address.

When the name and address declared on the label are those of the manufacturer, the wording: "Packed by", "Prepared by ..." is optional.

*First dealer:

means any person operating as a wholesaler, retailer or distributor who buys and sells under his own private label any food product packed for him by another person; (premier commerçant)

The address must be complete enough to allow consumers to communicate in writing with the party responsible. The address must include the following information:

For Canadian addresses: city, province, postal code or city, Canada, postal code.

For foreign addresses: country and all other information necessary to forward the mail.

The address shown on the label may be that of the company's head office. Specifying the place of manufacture and telephone number is optional. However, the establishment's registration number or his identifying code mark must be declared.

11.5.2 Location

The name and address of the responsible party may be shown anywhere on the label, except the bottom of the container [42(2), PPR; B.01.005, B.01.007(1.1)(a); 13, CPLR].

11.5.3 Type Size

The letters must be at least 1.6 mm in height based on the lower-case letter "o" [36(1), PPR; 14,15, CPLR].

11.5.4 Language

The name and the address can be shown in English, French or both. [32, PPR; B.01.012 (9); 6(2), CPLR].

11.6 Country of Origin

11.6.1 Indication of the Country of Origin

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.

11.6.1.1 Processed fruit and vegetable products wholly manufactured* in a country other than Canada.

The declaration of the country of origin is mandatory. Section 41(1) of the PPR applies to all imported food products whether they are sold in their original containers or repackaged in Canada. The country of origin can be declared as part of the name and address of the foreign packer (processor) or as a separate declaration, for example:

  • as part of the name and address of the foreign packer (processor) :
    • "ABC Cannery, Cleveland, Ohio, USA"
    • Manufactured or Packaged by: Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp., Hilo, Hawaii 96720, USA
  • as a separate declaration indicating the country of origin:
    • "Product of USA"

* A product is "wholly manufactured in a country other than Canada..." when it has not undergone any processing in Canada and its nature remains the same. For example, repackaging and labelling a product does not change the nature of the product.

Examples:

  1. Frozen carrots are imported from Belgium and repackaged in Canada; the packaging operation does not change the nature of the product. Therefore, the label must read: "Product of Belgium"
  2. Olives are imported from Spain and repackaged in Canada in their original brine; they remain a "Product of Spain"

11.6.1.2 Products completely prepared in Canada from fruits and vegetables grown and processed in Canada

11.6.1.3 Processed fruit and vegetable products prepared in Canada from imported fruits or vegetables

11.6.1.4 Processed fruit and vegetable products prepared in Canada from a mix of imported and domestic fruits or vegetables

For the above situations (11.7.1.2 to 11.7.1.4) indicating the country of origin is optional.

A Canadian packer who wishes to declare its product as being of Canadian origin must be careful to avoid giving misleading information to consumers. Guidelines were developed to reflect consumer and industry expectations about what constitutes a Canadian product. The objectives of the guidelines are to promote compliance with subsection 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act and subsection 7(1) of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act by providing truthful and not misleading claims that are clear, simple and transparent.

The use of these claims is voluntary, however, when applied they will be assessed based on the criteria stated in Chapter 4, section 4.19 of the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising (http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/guide/ch4ae.shtml#a4.19)

Please refer to these guidelines to determine if the claim "Product of Canada"/"Made in Canada" can be made.

11.6.2 Location

The country of origin may be shown anywhere on the label, except on the bottom of the container [42(2), PPR].

11.6.3 Type Size

When imported processed fruit and vegetable products are prepared for a Canadian importer under their private label, the country of origin must be declared clearly and conspicuously on the label, in lettering [41(2), PPR]:

  • not less than 1/4 inch or 6.4 mm high for containers over 10 ounces (> 284 g or > 284 ml); or
  • at least 1/8 inch or 3.2 mm for containers 10 ounces and under (≤ 284 g or ≤ 284 ml) .

When the country of origin is declared as part of the foreign name and address, the minimum height of the letters of the declaration of country of origin is 1/16 inch or 1.6 mm. [41(1), PPR].

11.6.4 Language

The designation of the country of origin must be shown in English and French, (for example "Product of Spain" "Produit d'Espagne" [32, PPR]) unless the country of origin is part of the name and address of the foreign company (for example "Company ABC ..., Spain").

11.7 Registration Number

11.7.1 Definition

A unique registration number is assigned to establishments registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Products regulated by the PPR and marketed in interprovincial trade, export trade or marked with a Canadian grade must be prepared in a registered establishment.

11.7.2 Declaration

When the product has been packed in Canada, the registration number of the establishment (where the product was prepared) or his identifying mark must be shown :

  • on the label or embossed on the container, when the name and address of the responsible party are those of the distributor or the first dealer [33, PPR].
  • on the label of all shipping containers [46(e), PPR].

The registration number assigned to an establishment can not be applied to a product prepared or packaged in another establishment [47, PPR].

Products imported and sold in their original container do not carry a registration number since they were not prepared or packaged in an establishment registered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

There are no objections to declare a registration number on a label of a product not covered under the Processed Products Regulations but prepared in a registered establishment.

11.7.3 Location

The registration number may be shown anywhere on the label, except the bottom of the container. However, it is recommended that the registration number be shown near the name and address of the responsible party. [42 and 46, PPR]

11.7.4 Type Size

The registration number must be at least 1.6 mm in height. [36(1), PPR].

11.8 Production Code

11.8.1 Declaration

Each hermetically sealed container of fruit and vegetable products, for which a grade is established in the regulation, must be identified with a code. This code can be embossed or marked with indelible ink on the container and must permit the identification of the following: [31(aa), PPR];

  • The establishment where the product was thermally processed;
  • The date of manufacture (day, month and year or day and year depending on the type of code used).

Each hermetically sealed container of low-acid food must be identified with a code. This code can be embossed or marked with indelible ink on the container and must permit identification of the following:

  • The establishment where the product was thermally processed
  • The food product
  • The date of manufacture (day, month and year or day and year depending on the type of code used); [30.3(d), PPR]

A low-acid food product is a product whose components has a pH greater than 4.6 and a water activity (Aw) greater than 0.85, after thermal processing [2(1) PPR; B.27.001].

Notwithstanding these regulatory requirements, it should be noted that in order to ensure an effective recall procedure, it is strongly recommended that a code be identified on all products and shipping containers.

11.9 List of Ingredients

11.9.1 Manner of Declaring Ingredients

Ingredients and components must be shown by their common name in decreasing order of proportion by weight [B.01.008(3), (5)]. See section 2.8 of this Guide.

11.9.2 Location

The list of ingredients may be shown anywhere on the label, except the bottom of the container [42(2), PPR; B.01.005].

11.9.3 Type Size

The letters must be at least 1.6 mm in height based on the lower-case letter "o" [36(1), PPR].

11.9.4 Language

The list of ingredients must be shown in English and French [32, PPR; B.01.012(2)].

11.10 Nutrition Labelling

Amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations made nutrition labelling mandatory for most prepackaged products as of December 12, 2005. Small companies with revenues from the sale of food of less than $1 million in Canada for the 12 months prior to December 12, 2002 had until December 12, 2007 to comply. These regulations affect processed products. Details on the nutrition labelling requirements are located in Chapters 5 and 6 of this Guide.

11.11 Nutrient Content Claims and Diet-Related Health Claims

Nutrient content claims and diet-related health claims can be made on some processed products. For more information on the conditions for making these claims, refer to Chapters 7 and 8 of this Guide respectively.

11.12 Special Label Wording

There are several types of mandatory special label wording that must be indicated on the labels of processed fruits and vegetables; please refer to Table 11-2 of this Chapter.

11.13 Shipping Containers

(see definition in PPR section 2)

For details concerning the labelling of shipping containers, please refer to >Table 11-3 of this Chapter.

11.14 Registration of Labels

For a label to be registered, it must meet the PPR requirements.

11.14.1 Processed Fruit and Vegetable Products Packed in a Registered Establishment

11.14.1.1 Sold in Canada:

  1. Prepackaged Consumer Sizes: The labels on these products must be registered in Ottawa [44(1), PPR].
  2. Institutional Sizes (including Larger than the Largest Size (LTL) and all other sizes): The labels on these products must be registered in Ottawa [25(1)(d) and 44(1), PPR].

    Note: LTL are institutional sizes up to 20 Kg or 20 L, for products subject to standardized container sizes in Schedule III of the PPR. They include bulk packages and institutional packages containing prepackaged but unlabelled smaller sizes (example: 1 case containing 10 x 2 kg of unlabelled frozen carrots)

  3. Smaller than the Smallest Size: The labels on these products must be registered in Ottawa [21(2), 25(2), 25(3) and 44(1), PPR]
  4. Shipping Containers: The labels on these products are NOT subject to registration.

    Note: These are the outer packages containing fully labelled consumer size containers. They are exempt from label registration as they are outside the scope of sections 25 and 44 of the PPR.

11.14.1.2 Exported

These labels are subject to the same registration requirements as the ones for products sold in Canada (as above) unless Section 57 of the PPR is applied. This section allows products to be exported, under certain conditions, which do not meet the requirements of the PPR relating to grades, standards, packaging and/or marking.

11.14.2 Imported Processed Fruit and Vegetable Products sold in their Original Containers

  1. Prepackaged Consumer Sizes: The labels on these imported products are not subject to registration.

    Note: These labels can be voluntarily submitted to a local CFIA office for review, subject to operational availability . This review is not an approval process.

  2. Larger than the Largest Size (LTL): The labels on these imported products must be registered [25(1)(e), PPR].
  3. Smaller than the Smallest Size: The labels on these imported products are not subject to registration.

    Note: These labels can be voluntarily submitted to a local CFIA office for review.

  4. Shipping Containers: are not subject to registration.

11.14.3 Exceptions to Label Registration

Labels exempt from being registered in Ottawa include labels of products which have been granted:

  • Test Market Authorization (TMA) [9.1, PPR]:

    TMAs are granted on the basis of a regulatory deviation (e.g., non-prescribed container size, non-permitted ingredient, etc.)

  • A Ministerial Exemption [63, PPR (for import trade)]:

    To alleviate a shortage in Canada.

11.14.4 Label Registration Procedure

Regardless of label registration requirements, all labels are subject to enforcement action when labelling violations are encountered.

Labels are registered (and applications for modification are processed) by the Label Registration and Recipe Unit (LRRU). The company must submit an application in writing, using the 1478 CFIA form, accompanied by three (3) copies of the label to the following address:

Clerk / Label Registration and Recipe Unit (LRRU)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
8 Colonnade Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Y9

Request for Registration of Labels, Markings and Containers is available on the CFIA website: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/for/mpppe.shtml (CFIA/ACIA 1478)

The Director then registers the label or indicates any modifications necessary to meet the applicable requirements.

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