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Industry NewsCPMA, Western Growers launch working group to address fresh produce packaging requirements

CPMA, Western Growers launch working group to address fresh produce packaging requirements

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and Western Growers (WG) have launched a working group to address packaging requirements. 

“Packaging plays a critical role in enabling the sustainability of North American and global fresh produce supply chains — from ensuring food safety and minimizing food waste to mitigating packaging waste,” says Ron Lemaire, CPMA president. “The trend of diverging market and regulatory packaging  requirements is a significant risk to fresh produce supply chains, hence the strategic importance of  developing and adopting North American guidelines for fresh produce packaging.” 

With challenges looming, growers associations from North America are discussing the state of produce packaging and outlining goals for the Sustainable Produce Packaging Alignment for North America (SPPA). By December 2025, SPPA will develop unified guidelines for use across the North American fresh produce supply chain. 

The CPMA and WG are actively involved in responding to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) pre-proposal to limit fresh produce packaging in Canadian grocery stores, a statement reads. The ECCC is pushing for a substantial reduction in plastic packaging for produce, aiming for 75 per cent of all produce to be sold in bulk or non-plastic packaging by 2026, with this target rising to 95 per cent by 2028.

“Packaging is key to ensuring the quality, affordability and safety of fresh produce,” says Western  Growers president and CEO Dave Puglia. “Consumers are requesting high-quality fresh produce from our growers and changes in packaging. As such, the industry is facing new and aggressive demands from both the public and private sector — demands that are often in conflict with each other, and don’t fully recognize industry realities and progress. The intersection of sustainability with packaging must be addressed for the continued trade with our most important partners and continued availability of nutritious foods for consumers.” 

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