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Chapter 11 - Labelling Guide for Processed Fruits and Vegetables

Chapter 11: Sections 11.1-11.12 | Summary Tables

Chapter 11 explains in detail the basic 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 thereunder apply to companies who engage in interprovincial trade and imports and exports of foods subject to these regulations. The products covered by the PPR are listed in Table 11-1 of this Chapter.

Processed fruits and vegetables subject to the PPR 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.

11.1 Common Name

When the composition of a product corresponds to a standard in the PPR, the common name should be as set out in the standard prescribed for that product, for example "apple juice", "peach nectar" [31(f)(1), PPR]. If it is not prescribed by the PPR, the common name must be the name used to designate the food, for example: "hearts of palm" [10 CPLA; B.01.001, B.01.006].

11.1.1 Location

The common name must be shown on the principal display panel of the label or of the packaging [42(1), PPR; B.01.006(1); 12, CPLR]. The principal display panel is that part of the label applied to all or part of the principal display surface (with the exception of an ornamental container or packaging which includes a display card) [2(2), CPLR].

The principal display surface of a packaging is the surface of a container that is displayed or visible under normal or customary conditions of sale or use.

11.1.2 Type Size

The common name must be shown in letters not less than 1.6 mm in height based on the lower-case letter "o" [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].

11.2 Net Quantity Declaration

11.2.1 Manner of Declaring Net Quantity

Depending on the product, the quantity is shown by volume, weight or count. Metric units must be used or, metric units and any other equivalent unit of measurement, provided that the metric units are displayed more prominently.[31(f), PPR; 21, 22, CPLR]

When the quantity is given in metric and Canadian units, this information must be grouped together, while leaving sufficient space between them to prevent any confusion.

The declaration of net quantity in Canadian units must be shown in fluid ounces (fl oz) for volume, in ounces (oz) and pounds (lb) for weight. Metric units must be shown in millilitres (mL) or litres (L) for volume, and in grams (g) or kilograms (kg) for weight.

Indicating the net quantity in brackets is not permitted. For conversion purposes:

1 U.S. fl oz = 1.04084 Cdn. 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, etc.). In this case, the net quantity must nonetheless be shown on the label.

When the container offers a quantity of product as a bonus, the net quantity of product shown on the label must be the total quantity of the product. Example: 500 mL + 250 mL bonus, the net quantity declared must be 750 mL. In addition, this new net quantity must still comply with the standardized formats (if applicable), see 11.2.2 below.

11.2.2 Standardized Containers

Standardized container sizes are prescribed by the PPR for certain processed fruits and vegetables. These foods are listed in Table 11-1 of this chapter. To determine the standardized formats, refer to Schedule III of the Processed Products Regulations.

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 height of the type 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 shown in the following table [36, PPR; 14, CPLR]:

Principal Display Surface of the Packaging

Minimum Height for Numerals and Grade

square centimetres square inches millimetres inches

less than or equal to 32

less than or equal to 5

1.6

1/16

> 32 to less than or equal to 258

> 5 to less than or equal to 40

3.2

1/8

> 258 to less than or equal to 645

> 40 to less than or equal to 100

6.4

1/4

> 645 to less than or equal to 2580

> 100 to less than or equal 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 the symbols for metric units are considered bilingual (and must not be followed by a period):

g - grams ml, mL, or ml - millilitres
kg - kilograms l, L, or I - litres

* The units "fl oz", "oz", and "lb" are also considered bilingual.

11.3 Grade

11.3.1 Use of Grade Names [37, 38, PPR]

Grades are used on the following conditions:

  • For products listed in Table I or II of PPR Schedule I:* 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 (whether the grade is declared or not); and
  • The product was manufactured or graded and repackaged in a registered establishment, or is imported and sold in its original container.

* Foods which require a grade 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 Regulations do not prescribe any grade standard [38, PPR]. For foreign grades, refer to Section 11.3.3 of this Guide.

11.3.2 Declaration of Grades [31(e), 37, PPR]

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

Products imported and sold in their original container must indicate grade as follows: "Grade ..." (for frozen products) or "...Grade " (for canned products).

  Products for Which Grades are Established
Canadian Product Canned: CANADA FANCY - CANADA DE FANTAISIE
Frozen: CANADA A
Canned: CANADA CHOICE - CANADA DE CHOIX
Frozen: CANADA B
Canned: CANADA STANDARD - CANADA RÉGULIER
Frozen: CANADA C
Canned or frozen: SUBSTANDARD - SOUS-RÉGULIER
Imported Product
(sold in original container)
Canned: FANCY GRADE - CATÉGORIE DE FANTAISIE
Frozen: GRADE A - CATÉGORIE A
Canned: CHOICE GRADE - CATÉGORIE DE CHOIX
Frozen: GRADE B - CATÉGORIE B
Canned: STANDARD GRADE - CATÉGORIE RÉGULIÈRE
Frozen: GRADE C - CATÉGORIE C

Note that the substandard grade is not permitted for imported products. Therefore, to import a product, the minimum grade (i.e. standard grade) must be met.

Products imported in bulk, processed or graded and repackaged in Canada in a registered establishment must indicate the grade beginning with "CANADA".

Example: cherries from France imported into Canada in bulk, repackaged and graded in a registered establishment must be marked "CANADA CHOICE / CANADA DE CHOIX"

Example: apples are imported from the United States. These apples are processed into apple sauce in a registered establishment. The apple sauce will therefore be labelled "CANADA FANCY / CANADA DE FANTAISIE".

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. 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 in Canada for this product. 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; "Fancy Grade - U.S.A Grade A - Spain #1".

11.3.4 Location

The grade designation must be shown on the principal display panel of the label [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 the table in Section 11.2.4 of this Guide).

11.3.6 Language

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

11.4 Size Grade [31(g), 40, PPR]

11.4.1 Use of Size Grades

Certain products listed in the PPR must be graded by size, giving an indication of the size of the vegetable; these vegetables are listed below:

  • Canned or frozen beans (green or wax)
  • Whole canned white potatoes
  • Canned or frozen peas
  • Canned or frozen lima beans
  • Canned or frozen asparagus (tips or spears)
  • Frozen carrots, cut carrots - baby whole style, cut carrots - whole style, diced, sliced, whole, whole baby carrots.

Note: The size grade is optional for Brussels sprouts

11.4.2 Declaration of Size Grades

The declaration of size grade of vegetables must be shown on the label in one of the following ways:

  • The number designation, its equivalent optional word designation or the word designation specified in the PPR (Tables I to V and VII of PPR Schedule VI).
  • When the product is a combination or blend of any two or more sizes, the wording "ASSORTED SIZES" or "MIXED SIZES" is used to designate the size grade.
  • 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].

Note: It is not permitted to combine the declaration of the country of origin with the declaration of grade. Example: "Product of Canada A"/ "Produit du Canada A"

11.4.3 Location

The size grade 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 grade must be shown in letters not less than 1.6 mm in height based on the lower-case letter "o" [36(1), PPR].

11.4.5 Language

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

11.5 Name and Address

11.5.1 Definition

The legal name as well as the address of the principal place of business of the person (individual, corporation, business, distributor, importer) for whom or by whom the product was manufactured for resale must be shown on the label [31.(a), PPR; B.01.007(1.1)(a); 10(b)(i), CPLA ].

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

- 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
  • When the name and address declared are those of the first dealer, wording such as: "Packed for...\Emballé pour...", "Imported by ...\Importé par..." or "Imported for ...\Importé pour..." is mandatory and must precede the name and address, and the registration number of the operator or his identifying code mark shall appear on the label or be embossed on the container.

  • When the name and address declared are those of the manufacturer, the wording: "Packed by ...\Emballé par.." is optional.

The address shown on the label may be that of the head office of a business. Providing the place of manufacture and telephone number is at the discretion of the responsible party.

11.5.2 Location

The name and address of the responsible party may be shown anywhere on the label, except on the bottom of the packaging [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

"Country of origin" means the last country in which a food product undergoes processing that changes the nature of the food product before it is offered for sale.

11.6.1 Indication of the Country of Origin

When processed fruits and vegetables are imported, the country where the product was packed must be shown clearly and conspicuously on the label, either as a part of the name and address of the foreign operator or as a separate declaration indicating the origin of the product [41, PPR].

The abbreviation "USA" may be used because it is recognized around the world. However, all other abbreviations are not permitted because they could cause confusion among consumers, and thus, the name of the country of origin must be written out in full.

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

Indicating "Product of Canada/ Produit du Canada" is optional for the purposes of marketing in Canada and export.

  • 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 by or Packaged by: Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp., Hilo, Hawaii 96720, USA
- as a separate declaration indicating the country of origin:
Product of Morocco, Product of the United States.

* 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:

(i) Frozen carrots are imported from Belgium and repackaged in Canada; the nature of the product is not modified in the packaging operation. It is therefore necessary to indicate:
"Product of Belgium/ Produit de Belgique"
(ii) Olives are imported from Spain and repackaged in Canada in their original brine; they remain a "Product of Spain/ Produit d'Espagne".
  • Processed fruit and vegetable products prepared in Canada from imported fruits or vegetables

Indicating the country of origin is optional. The processing steps which are carried out in Canada modify the nature of the product (addition, removal, combination of one or more ingredients, physical or chemical processing, canning, freezing, including grinding and mixing).

A Canadian packer who wishes to declare its product as being of Canadian origin must be careful to avoid giving misleading information to consumers. The Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act as well as the Food and Drugs Act provide relevant information.

According to the Canadian position set out in the policy adopted by the Competition Bureau, two conditions must be met in order to consider the product as being Canadian:

  • the product "was created" in Canada, i.e. the last substantial transformation was carried out in Canada, thereby resulting in a recognizably new final product, that is a product significantly different in appearance from the individual ingredients;
    AND

  • the total cost of direct Canadian labour and/or additional Canadian ingredients represents at least 51 % of the cost of production of the new product.

These two conditions must be met in order to consider the product as being Canadian and, if desired, to be able to be declared as "Product of Canada" / "Produit du Canada".

Examples:

(i) Apples are imported in bulk from the United States and processed into apple sauce in Canada. The name and address of the Canadian processor or of the first dealer are required and the product becomes a Canadian product only if the cost of Canadian direct labour and of the ingredients represents at least 51% of the production cost of the final product.
(ii) Frozen peas from Canada are mixed with frozen carrots from Belgium. The mixture will be a Canadian product only if the 51% rule is satisfied.
(iii) Olives imported from Spain, in bulk, which are repackaged in Canada in a new brine become a "Product of Canada" / "Produit du Canada" (assuming that the 51% rule is satisfied).
(iv) Fresh beans are imported from USA and are canned in Canada. The product may be declared as a "Product of Canada" / "Produit du Canada" only if the 51% rule is satisfied.

Note: According to CPLR section 31(3), it is mandatory to write "imported by" or "Imported for" if the country of origin is not on the label, for a product wholly manufactured outside Canada.

11.6.2 Location

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

11.6.3 Type Size

When imported processed fruit and vegetable products are prepared for a Canadian importer under his private label, the country of origin must be declared clearly and conspicuously on the label, in lettering not less than 1/4 inch or 6.4 mm high for containers over 10 ounces (283.5 g) and at least 1/8 inch or 3.2 mm for containers 10 ounces (283.5 g) and under [41.(2), PPR]. Nonetheless, when the country of origin is declared as part of the name and address of the foreign packager, 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

Products regulated by the PPR and marketed in interprovincial trade or exported or marked with a Canadian grade must be prepared in a registered establishment. Establishments registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have a unique registration number.

11.7.2 Declaration

The registration number (of the establishment where the product was prepared) 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].

The registration number assigned to an establishment must not be applied to a prepackaged product or to a shipping container of 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.

11.7.3 Location

The registration number may be shown anywhere on the label, including the bottom of the packaging. However, it is recommended that the registration number be shown near the name and address of the party responsible.

11.7.4 Type Size

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

11.8 Production Code

11.8.1 Declaration

Each can (low-acid food products or marked with a grade) must be identified with a code. This code can be embossed or marked with indelible ink on the can.

A low-acid food product designates a product one of 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].

The code for canned products for which a grade standard is prescribed by the Regulations [31(aa), PPR] must identify:

  • 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).

The code for low-acid food products [30.3(d), PPR] must identify:

  • 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);
  • The product itself.

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 in decreasing order of their respective 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 on the bottom of the packaging [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 will make nutrition labelling mandatory for most pre-packaged products by 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 have a five year transition period. These regulations affect processed products. More details on the requirements for nutrition labelling can be found in Chapters 5 and 6 of this Guide.

11.11 Nutrient Content Claim 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. For full details on these wordings, please refer to Table 11-2 below.

11.13 Shipping Containers

For full details concerning the labelling of shipping containers, please refer to Table 11-3 below.

11.14 Registration or Approval of Labels

Any product covered by the PPR and packaged in a registered establishment must have its label registered [44, PPR]. Labels are registered (and applications for modification processed) by the Label Registration Unit. The company must submit an application in writing, accompanied by three (3) copies of the label. The Director then registers the label or indicates any modifications necessary to meet the applicable requirements. See Section 1.4.3 of this Guide.

Chapter 11: Sections 11.1-11.12 | Summary Tables

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