altering some of the day-to-day routines, allowing a few minutes to document what you’re doing. Don’t be intimidated by the forms,” he advises.

Lariviere says the program is always evolving and where an 80 per cent score on an audit was a pass last year, the threshold will be 85 per cent this year. Only about three per cent of participants would be affected by the change, he says. If a grower fails an audit, he recommends they immediately take steps to fix items where they lost points, so they can be certified.

If it was a handwashing item, it’s far easier to fix than if the wrong spray was used on the crop, he notes. He also recommends that all growers—including those who passed their audit—look at the previous year’s audit and make whatever changes are needed to ensure a higher score is achieved the next year. Another change to this year’s CanadaGAP requirements is that training is now mandatory for anyone applying chemicals. Before, they could be applied under the supervision of someone with the training. There is an online short course available, or that person could take the Pesticide Applicator Certification. For more information or to learn about other changes to this year’s certification, go to the website:

Once there, growers can ensure their CanadaGAP Manual has been updated by clicking on the Manuals Download tab and refer to the Main Changes or Revisions. Annually, review the manual and complete the Confirmation Date and initial at the end of each section, he advises.

Lariviere also recommends completing an internal audit, using either the audit checklist or the self- declaration and self-assessment checklist prior to the third-party audit. They can be found under the Tools tab on the website.

Above all, he advises that growers use their time strategically. “Within the context of your operations, not all CanadaGAP program requirements are of equal significance to food safety. “Use the scoring on the audit checklist to prioritize any required corrective actions. Pay special attention to any relevant questions which are highlighted in yellow. Non-compliance with these items could result in an automatic failure.”

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2017 19

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