Comment on: Proposed changes to guidelines for "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" claims

Current status: Closed

This consultation ran from May 27, 2019 to June 23, 2019

About the consultation

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has launched a public consultation to seek comments on the proposed guidelines for "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" food labelling claims.

Objective

Consumers have told the government that they want to be able to better identify Canadian foods. So the Government of Canada is reviewing the guidelines for "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" food labelling claims.

To help Canada's food industry better promote Canadian products within Canada, the government reviewed the guidelines and consulted with the food industry on proposed changes. The goal of that consultation was to make the guidelines better reflect market realities and help the food industry produce and market Canadian products.

CFIA is now consulting with Canadians on the proposed changes to the guidelines. The aim is gauge your support for the proposed changes to improve the information that consumers need to identify Canadian products and make an informed purchasing decision.

Who is the focus of this consultation

CFIA wants to hear from:

  • Consumers and the general public
  • Individuals and organizations in Canada's food industry

Why the Government of Canada is reviewing the guidelines

Canadians want information about the Canadian content of their food so that they can make purchasing decisions that match their personal interest. Many want to purchase food products that are made and processed using Canadian standards, while some want assurance that a significant amount of the product contains Canadian ingredients.

The current guidelines make it difficult for consumers to identify products with Canadian content. And they do not align with guidelines used in some provinces and territories, such as Quebec and Manitoba.

In addition, Canadian food processors are not able to use these claims on their food products if the ingredients they need are not always available or cannot be grown in Canada. Produce (such as fruits and vegetables) is not available year-round in Canada and some ingredients (such as cane sugar and certain spices) cannot be grown in Canada. This can affect labelling claims for products produced by Canadian companies.

An example

Under the current guidelines, a jar of pickles made from Canadian-grown cucumbers, pickled and jarred in Canada, and using Canadian labour, cannot claim to be a product of Canada because they are using vinegar that was imported.

Under the current definition of "Product of Canada," all or virtually all the ingredients must be Canadian (generally considered to be 98%). This is not the case with the jar of pickles because vinegar will often take up x% of the ingredients.

In this scenario, a consumer cannot easily identify the pickles as being grown or produced in Canada.

CFIA wants Canadians' views on the proposed new guidelines to help them make better informed choices when shopping for food.

Proposed changes to the guidelines
Claim Current guideline Proposed change

Product of Canada

Claim may be used when all or virtually all major ingredients, processing, and labour used to make the food product are Canadian.

This means that all the significant ingredients are Canadian in origin and that non-Canadian material is negligible.

"All or virtually all" has been interpreted to mean greater than 98%.

Example: A jar of pickles made from Canadian-grown cucumbers, pickled and jarred in Canada using Canadian labour could not claim to be product of Canada because they are using vinegar that was imported.

Lower the threshold for "all or virtually all" to 85%.

Example: A jar of pickles made from Canadian-grown cucumbers, pickled and jarred in Canada using Canadian labour could claim to be "Product of Canada" because the imported vinegar is less than 15% of the total product.

Made in Canada

Claim may be used on a food product when the last substantial transformation of the product occurred in Canada, even if some ingredients are from other countries.

When the claim is used, it must also include a qualifying statement to indicate that the food product is made from imported ingredients or a combination of imported and domestic ingredients.

Example: Orange juice made in Canada from imported oranges would say "Made in Canada from imported ingredients".

The qualifying statements that can be used include "Made in Canada from domestic and imported ingredients" or "Made in Canada from imported ingredients."

A qualifying statement would no longer be required to accompany the "Made in Canada" claim.

Example: Orange juice made in Canada from imported oranges would say "Made in Canada."

In addition, an optional statement could be added to highlight the origin of specific ingredients (for example, "Made in Canada with 100% Canadian wheat").

Other domestic content claims

Qualified claims for other food products that do not meet the "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" guidelines may be used.

Example: "Roasted and blended in Canada" to describe Canadian contribution to coffee.

No change is proposed.

To participate

  • Complete the online survey – available until June 23, 2019.

Related information

Contact us

By email: cfia.labellingconsultation-etiquetage.acia@canada.ca and include "Product of Canada consultation" in the subject line.

Date modified: