Staff Updates at DRC

Paola Gonzalez Diaz, Trading Assistance Officer will be taking on some additional communications and membership duties as Andrea Bernier, Manager, Communications & Membership departs on leave. Ms. Bernier leaves some big shoes to be filled and will be missed, while away, by staff and members alike. For additional information please contact:

DRC Help Desk | 613-234-0982 | [email protected]


Back to basics: Contract of Sale

While DRC has helped resolve disputes worth millions of dollars, we strive to counsel and educate our members about best practices in business so they may avoid disputes altogether. Our dispute resolution model is designed to reduce risk and facilitate trade between members. DRC provides dispute prevention education via confidential consultation, the DRC Help Desk, seminars, guest speaking opportunities, fact sheets, our Solutions blog, and more.

Did you know? The two most important things parties can do to help avoid disputes are: COMMUNICATE and DOCUMENT.

Clearly communicate your understanding and document the details of the transaction. To help you get started, DRC has included an example of a Contract of Sale.


DRC speaks to issues facing exporters to Canada at Trade Representative Seminar

On Tuesday, January 17th, DRC was invited as a guest speaker at the Trade Facilitation Office (TFO) annual trade representative seminar at Global Affairs Canada. The topic for this year’s seminar was “Food Safety Regulations and Certifications: Are they considered non-tariff barriers to trade for developing countries’ Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)?”. This topic is very relevant to almost all developing countries and one for which DRC provides support and facilitates trade. Trade representatives had previously shown an interest and requested more information on the subject. The audience for the event was comprised of trade representatives from developing countries, economic officers for high commissions and embassies, as well as, trade promotion agencies from both Ottawa and Montreal.

DRC Trading Assistance Manager, Jaime Bustamante, was on hand to represent DRC as a guest speaker. His presentation, “Commercial issues faced by countries when exporting to Canada”, was well received and strove to demystify some of the common issues being encountered by audience members. Patricia Rengifo Hidalgo Trade Specialist Office of Ecuador in Canada, Tammy Swicha, Director Food Safety Program Planning and Requirements CFIA, and CPMA’s Jane Proctor, Vice President, Policy & Issue Management, were also guest speakers. Canada Organic Association and Fairtrade Canada were also expected to participate on the panel discussion.

Issues that were addressed included the perspective of the developing country exporter, what are exporter limitations in accessing the Canadian market, an overview of the Canadian market for fresh fruits and vegetables, the importance of food safety from farm to fork, as well as highlights of Canadian regulatory framework as it relates to food safety.

If you are interested in DRC representation at an event or speaking engagement, please reach out to the DRC Help Desk at:

DRC Help Desk | 613-234-0982 | [email protected]


Safe Food for Canadians Regulations entered into Canada Gazette, Part 1

In case you missed the Note from the President Fred Webber, on Friday January 20 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency “CFIA” published the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations in Canada Gazette Part I for a 90 day comment period.  We thank members for their continued support in moving Canada towards a single entity delivery model for dealers and dispute resolution.  The proposed changes under Division 2, sections 25 and 26 will have minimal impact on current DRC members.  The changes will mean some firms not currently holding a DRC membership will have to apply for membership in order to comply with the new regulations.  In other words some of your Canadian suppliers or clients may require a DRC membership once the Regulations are passed in Canada Gazette Part II. As the DRC moves towards a role of service provider to the CFIA, we will remain a neutral industry driven organization overseen by its board of directors and membership.

For more information, including the proposed regulations please visit: .

You may also want to register to participate in the consultations on line or in person at: .

For more information please call or email the DRC Help Desk at:

DRC Help Desk | 613-234-0982 | [email protected]


Q & As: Dumping Product after Repacking

If both the shipper and receiver agree that an inspection is not needed, do we still need to get an inspection when more than 5% of the product is dumped?

Q. We are an importer from Vancouver. We recently received 4000 cartons of mangoes from Mexico in poor condition. We immediately emailed some pictures of the load to the shipper and we agreed to have the mangoes repacked without obtaining a federal inspection. During the re-packing we lost 1000 cartons. After providing our repacking accounting to the shipper they rejected our liquidation and claimed they needed proof the lost cartons had no value. We have a dump slip indicating 1000 cartons were dumped. Is this enough to prove the dumped mangoes had no value?

A. (Answer provided by Jaime Bustamante, Trading Assistance Manager)
The answer is no – a dumping slip does not validate that the product dumped has no commercial value. The shipper was timely notified of a problem with the mangoes on arrival and you secured a repacking agreement without the need for a federal inspection. So far, you have covered your tracks. However, without an inspection, you have no indication of the extent of the damage of the product. When disposing of more than 5% of the product received, an official certificate is required demonstrating that the product has no commercial value.

Section 9 of the DRC Trading Standards state: “Reasonable cause for destroying or disposing of any produce exists when the commodity has no commercial value … The term “commercial value” means any value that a commodity may have for any purpose that can be ascertained by the exercise of due diligence without unreasonable expense or loss of time. When produce is being handled for or on behalf of another person, proof as to the quantities of produce destroyed or discarded in excess of five percent of the shipment shall be provided by procuring an official certificate regarding the actual disposition of the discarded produce…”

In most cases the “official certificate” is a federal inspection indicating the percentage of condition defects in the product to be disposed of is needed to provide evidence that the product has no commercial value as well as the actual disposition of the product.


CPMA & DRC Host Successful Event for International Embassies in Ottawa

On August 31st, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and the Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) hosted 23 embassies and 11 industry representatives at a luncheon event in Ottawa. Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Agricultural Minister-Counselors received valuable foundational information on how their vendors can ensure they are “export ready” and to encourage country delegation participation in CPMA’s upcoming Convention and Trade Show in Toronto.

Participants were impressed with the breadth of information provided and affirmed that events such as these are essential to continue engagement with the embassies and their commercial trade offices to facilitate the smooth export and import of fresh fruit and vegetables. This included understanding the seasonality of Canadian production so that international exporters understand when there are gaps in availability that they can fill.

Industry participants were pleased with the chance to discuss potential trade opportunities with the countries represented, and expressed interest in participating in future events.

CPMA & DRC Embassy Event

Sam Silvestro, Walmart Canada & CPMA Chair, Fred Webber, DRC President & CEO, and Tanya Sefolo, Minister Plenipotentiary, South African High Commission.


Did You Know?

Imports to Canada – Stats

We thought it would be fascinating to provide some statistics in this issue on some of the top imports to Canada. Statistic enthusiasts enjoy!

Top 5 fresh vegetable import sources (thousands of Canadian dollars) – 2015
United States 2,163,621
Mexico 828,313
China 67,160
Peru 49,909
Spain 42,244

Source: Statistics Canada.


Top 5 sources of fresh fruit imports (thousands of Canadian dollars) – 2015
United States  1,985,688
Mexico 634, 453
Chile 311,699
Guatemala  232,682
Costa Rica  206,474

Source: Statistics Canada.


Top 5 exporters of vegetables [1] worldwide (CAN$’000) 2014
Spain 6,004,540
Netherlands 5,804,129
Mexico 5,339,643
China 3,724,630
United States 3,098,890

[1] Does not include potatoes
Source: Global Trade Atlas. (June 2015). Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.


Fresh fruit import value by commodity (thousands of Canadian dollars) 2015
Grapes [1] 554,494
Bananas [2] 530,124
Strawberries 403,941
Raspberries 337,530
Mandarines and clementines 266,911
Apples 252,974

[1] Includes table grapes and wine grapes
[2] Includes dried
Source: Statistics Canada.


Fresh vegetable imports by commodity (thousands of Canadian dollars) – 2015
Lettuce 457,889
Tomatoes 399,370
Cabbage 373,667
Peppers 300,339
Onions & Shallots 171,694

Source: Statistics Canada. 


Update your DRC records

It’s that time of year – time to ensure your DRC records are accurate and up to date. Please go to your member portal to verify your information. If you have yet to visit our newly refreshed member portal, please create an account. The member area will allow you to search our directory, view your account information online and ensure your records are kept up to date. Visit or create your account at: