Quebec’s Poultry Farmers (Éleveurs de volailles du Québec)
In 2005, Gestion Qualiterra inc. was one of the first to conduct food safety audits on farms throughout Quebec. At that time, the poultry farmers had approached us to undertake the third party audit process for poultry production farms in Quebec. Since then, Quebec chicken and turkey producers are monitored annually by Gestion Qualiterra to ensure the maintenance of on farm food safety and animal care programs.
Egg Farmers of Canada
In 2003, the Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) sought to improve inspections of their industrial eggs program. The EFC wanted to hire a third-party inspection service to replace Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors whose activities were limited to food security, while the EFC was looking for a commercial specific inspection service. Gestion Qualiterra has been responsible for the third party inspection of egg processing plants Burnbrae Farms of Upton and Vitoeuf inc. of Saint-Hyacinthe for more than twelve years. Our inspectors’ mandate was to conduct the verification of eggs reception, to monitor eggs stocks and equipment in transit, to make observations in case of problems (and to intervene if needed) and to play a critical role ensuring harmony between all parties.
In the province of Quebec, more than 250 brokers, wholesalers and repackers as well as field and greenhouse fruits and vegetables farms use Gestion Qualiterra services for CanadaGAP audits. Companies certified under the option E and option C receive a visit from an auditor annually. CanadaGAP certificate option C is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and thus allows its companies to sell their products abroad and to all retailers that require this recognition. To know more about GFSI: click here Gestion Qualiterra also performs audits for companies that choose instead to have an audit under Option A. The farm audits are performed according to the relevant sequence thereafter. During the years without a farm visit, our auditors ensure the annual monitoring required for the farmer’s declaration. Moreover, Gestion Qualiterra is recognized for performing audits for companies that market their products at Costco. Indeed, our auditors can check the additional compulsory requirements, as well as the CanadaGAP. Finally, we also perform CanadaGAP audits for fruits and vegetables trade companies. Indeed, option D and F of this program are aimed specifically at companies with fruits and vegetables repacking, wholesale and brokerage operations. These operators must develop their own HACCP plan for their site. The CanadaGAP scheme, Option D “Repacking and Wholesaling” is now recognised by GFSI.
Quebec potato producers’ Board (Les producteurs de pommes de terre du Québec or PPTQ)
In 2003, potato production experienced some difficult times and people wanted to distinguish the high-quality seed production made in Quebec from the one in other parts of Canada. The Quebec potato producers’ Board contacted Gestion Qualiterra to develop the seed potato certification program. However, it was in 2008 that the program really started to grow. Today, the Quebec seed potatoes’ certification program is managed by the PPTQ under the Regulations on the production and marketing of seed potatoes or «Règlement sur la production et la mise en marché des pommes de terre de semence»(c. M-35.1, r. 270) of the «Régie des marchés agricoles et alimentaires du Québec» (RMAAQ). This regulation requires all Quebec producers to be members of this program to market seed potatoes, both for the Quebec market and for exports. To know more about this regulation (in French only): click here Several complementary criteria to those of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) apply to this program. The key elements are to follow the specifications manual, to update registers, to undergo an audit by an independent firm and to perform mandatory post-harvest tests.
The Artisans Cider Producers of Québec
In December 2013, this association mandated us to develop a practical control plan that would allow auditing of businesses according to a specifications manual. These audits lead to “Quebec Ice Cider” certification, as required by the “Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants” (CARTV) for a Protected Geographical Indication. Gestion Qualiterra worked on the development of the program in collaboration with the Quality Assurance International (QAI) certification body. In fall 2014, we received the first cider producers’ registrations and we audited a few businesses. The “Quebec Ice Cider” Protected Geographical Indication was officially recognized on December 19 2014 and the first ciders were certified in September 2015. To know more about this certification, see the QAI site (in French only).
Strawberry and raspberry producers
needed quality standards and tools in order to perform their own quality control. Gestion Qualiterra developed a standard for each product, with pictures illustrating each defect. We trained groups of producers and taught them how to use the tools and to conduct their own quality control.
wanted to develop a global certification program that would include food safety requirements, animal welfare and environmental protection. The pillars were three existing programs managed and audited independently. We achieved our goal, which was to harmonize the three programs, simplify their understanding and management and to enable an auditor to perform the audit of all three programs on a farm in one day.
Potato quality inspection
Gestion Qualiterra’s inspectors also regularly visited supermarkets. Every month, several Super C, Metro and IGA stores, as well as independent stores and fruit stores, were visited to inspect the quality of Quebec potatoes. Statistical follow-ups were sent to those responsible. Gestion Qualiterra also carried out on-site inspections at Provigo’s distribution center. Our services were also specifically mandated by the Sobeys banner, which wished to ensure potato quality in its distribution centers.
Our inspectors worked in two egg breaking plants. Upon receiving a load of eggs at the processing plant, the inspector could take notice of their state and take photos. The claim of the processor was therefore not discussed when the carrier was responsible for the loss of dozens of egg cartons. Similarly, the inspector could determine the economic value of slowing shelling equipment if the eggs were defective.
Fruit and vegetable processing
During the harvest of vegetables for processing (peas and beans), we were dispatched to ensure field supervision and measure the loss of vegetables left in the field. This work determined harvest efficiency while taking into account external parameters such as the state of the field, the condition of the plants and the presence of weeds or rocks. Our employees established statistical monitoring of losses in kilograms per hectare, compared the efficacy of the machines together and our involvement helped settle disputes between buyers and producers.