Here you find relevant information overviews on standards, mostly mined from the United States Department of Agriculture. It is important that in your watermelon business you have an understanding of Country of Origin Labeling practices, Food Defense Guidance, Canadian Labeling practices, and the USDA Grades & Standards guidelines.
Country of Origin Labeling
Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a labeling law that requires retailers, such as full-line grocery stores, supermarkets and club warehouse stores, to notify their customers with information regarding the source of certain foods. Food products covered by the law include muscle cut and ground meats: lamb, goat, and chicken; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts; and ginseng.
COOL program implementation is the responsibility of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
You can visit the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Website to learn more about Country of Origin Labeling.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) safeguards Canada’s food supply. The CFIA works from the farm gate to the consumer’s plate to protect public health. In carrying out its mandate, and in support of Government of Canada priorities, the CFIA strives to:
- Protect Canadians from preventable health risks
- Protect consumers through a fair and effective food, animal and plant regulatory regime that supports competitive domestic and international markets
- Sustain the plant and animal resource base
- Contribute to the security of Canada’s food supply and agriculture base, and
- Provide sound agency management
- Any watermelon product that moves from the United States across the border to
- Canada is subject to labeling restrictions and guidelines that are different than those watermelons that stay domestic.
Fresh Produce Grading and Quality Certification
The Fresh Products Branch of USDA Agriculture Marketing Services (AMS) develops U.S. grade standards and provides grading, inspection and certification services (including for good agricultural practices and good handling practices) at shipping and destination locations throughout the country. These services facilitate the marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables, including watermelon. For more information, you can visit USDA AMS: https://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/watermelon-grades-and-standards
Please take the time to review the standards and grades for watermelon.
Stay on top of what’s happening with Watermelon
Sign up here to receive the monthly What About Watermelon? enewsletter with seasonal tips, tricks and recipes.