Regulations and certification standards

Regulations and certifications relating to food safety and labelling apply to the food and beverage processing sector. In addition, processed products may also need to meet the regulations and certification standards of other jurisdictions, to be sold outside of British Columbia.


Producers and processors are responsible for complying with all relevant federal, provincial and municipal legislation and bylaws that deal with the production of safe food. Buyers often ask for third-party certification audits of which most are Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) compliant at an international level of food safety.

Guidance on food safety and food labelling regulations

Depending on which marketplace you intend to sell your processed food or beverage products, different food safety and labelling requirements must be met. Information about regulations and guidance documents are available for producers and processors of various food commodities from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

British Columbia regulations

If you are planning on selling your products only within British Columbia, provincial food safety regulations apply.

U.S. regulations

If you are shipping or planning on shipping to the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides information on all food resource topics.

Food safety certifications

Third-party certifications are based on audits performed by certification body auditors who are trained and contracted by the industry to audit a processor based on an industry standard. These standards are based on best practices within the industry at an international level and many participate in the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)

Canadian-based third-party certifications are reviewed by government food agencies, but are not enforced nor inspected by government agencies. To determine the best standard to implement for certification, it is best to ask your buyers which standard they require you to follow.

Other processing certifications

Processing certifications are not limited to food safety and other standards can be followed to gain a certain market share. Some examples of other third-party audit certifications include gluten free, organic, Non-GMO (genetically modified organism), kosher, and halal.

For further information on certification bodies: