Retail Sign and Label Toolkit


Some of the content is in Word format. If you require Microsoft Word, download Microsoft Word Viewer. Other formats may also be available. For information contact 1-888-466-2372 Ext. 519-826-4655 or email foodinspection@ontario.ca.


Disclaimer

The toolkit may be updated from time to time. Make sure that you use the most recent version.

This toolkit is a guide only and is not a substitute for legal advice. Specific requirements for containers, signage and labelling can be found in Ontario Regulation 119/11 Produce, Honey and Maple Products under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001. OMAFRA does not guarantee that a sign or label created using these materials will meet the requirements of O. Reg. 119/11. It is your responsibility to ensure that your signs and labels comply with all legal requirements, including any applicable federal requirements.

For further information on federal requirements, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.


Toolkit for Selling, Packing and Labelling Ontario Grown Produce

Retail Display Sign

Whether produce is offered for sale at a retail store, farmer's market, road side stand or at farm gate, as the seller, you are legally required to have a retail display sign. Any produce that can be commercially grown or harvested in Canada, regardless of its origin, must comply with the retail display sign requirements of O. Reg. 119/11. The sign must give your customers accurate information about the produce you are selling.

This toolkit has been designed to assist in making retail display signs for produce that is grown and marketed in Ontario. Different labelling and retail display sign requirements apply to produce that is grown in other provinces or outside Canada. The following templates should not be used to make retail display signs for produce grown outside Ontario.

These easy to use downloadable templates will assist you in making a retail display sign for some of the most common produce grown and marketed in Ontario.

Except for potatoes, grades are no longer required on Ontario grown produce marketed in Ontario. Up until June 30, 2016, it is mandatory to grade potatoes in Ontario. On July 1, 2016, the Ontario potato grades will no longer be in effect.

There are established Federal grades for produce. Refer to the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations under the Canada Agricultural Products Act for more information on Federal grades.

Use one of the following templates, appropriate to your produce, for your retail display sign.


Packing

Other than potatoes, produce:

  • can be packed in any package that is suitable for the produce
  • there are no package size requirements

Until June 30, 2016, potato packages must be:

Potato package size requirements will be revoked on July 1, 2016. After that, potatoes can be packed in any package that is suitable for potatoes as of July 1, 2016.

Package requirements do not apply to produce that is meant for processing or is minimally processed. Minimally processed means produce that is peeled, cut, sliced or shredded in order to prepare and package the produce for sale as ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook product. Frozen baby carrots and sliced mushrooms are just two examples of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products. Processed means produce that is canned or preserved.


Labelling

This tool kit can assist with label content requirements for Ontario grown or packed produce. Federal labelling requirements apply to all produce that is grown in Ontario, in other provinces or outside Canada. The labelling requirements in O. Reg. 119/11 are in addition to requirements that may apply under the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act or the Food and Drugs Act.

While not required, federal grades established under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations of the Canada Agricultural Products Act may also be applied to Ontario grown produce.

When you package your Ontario grown produce for sale in Ontario, you are required to label the packages or master containers with this specific information:

  • the name and full address of the packer or person/firm on whose behalf the produce is packed
  • the country or province where the produce was grown or harvested
  • the common name of the produce if the produce is packed in a way that it is not readily visible and identifiable
  • in the case of potatoes,
    • the grade of the potatoes, and
    • if the potatoes are of a yellow fleshed variety, indication that the potatoes are "yellow fleshed"
  • in the case of peppers, the word "sweet" or "hot" as the case may be

If you pack produce in a previously used package or previously used master container and the previously used labels for those containers do not meet the requirements of O. Reg. 119/11, then:

  • you must remove the previously used labels and apply new labels that meet the requirements of O. Reg. 119/11; OR
  • you must completely destroy the information on the previously used labels and add the information that is required by O. Reg. 119/11 to the previously used labels.

If packages of produce are contained in master containers and the labels on the packages are easily and clearly readable in the master container, then a label with the same information as the package label is not needed on the master container.

Field packed raspberry or strawberry containers with a capacity of 1.14 litres or less do not require labelling.

It is optional to use the varietal name of produce and is not a requirement under O. Reg. 119/11.

Use the following examples to help create your own label for packages or master containers.

Depending on where you sell your products, the label used may require both official languages. Bilingual requirements are set out in the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations under the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. Please check with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to see if this applies to your situation.

If you would like to use the Foodland Ontario logo on your product packaging, please send an email, fax or letter describing your product and ingredients, and the intended use of the Foodland logo to:

Foodland Ontario
1 Stone Road West, 3rd Floor
Guelph, Ontario N1G 4Y2
foodland.omafra@ontario.ca
Phone: 888-428-9668
Fax: 519-826-3460

After reviewing your request, OMAFRA will mail or email the Foodland Ontario logo contract for your review and completion.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-888-466-2372 ext 519-826-4230
Local: (519) 826-4230
E-mail: foodinspection@ontario.ca


Author: Suzete Moniz, Regulatory & Standards Coordinator/OMAFRA
Creation Date: 18 October 2011
Last Reviewed: 18 November 2015