Skip to main content

CPMA launches online training program for produce industry

Education will help produce pros take their career to the next level

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) has developed an online program for the produce industry that it says is in response to member requests for more industry-responsive training.

The first component, a Produce Basics certificate, has been launched at A French version will follow soon.

“This program is perfect for newcomers to the industry, and I can see it becoming a key introductory piece for new hires,” said Eric Biddiscombe, CPMA director and senior category director of Loblaw Companies.

READ: Snackable veggies and new packaging key trends at CPMA

The program consists of eight online modules and includes general and broad topics such as professionalism, communications, the produce supply chain, storage and handling, produce identification, product knowledge, food safety and food safety initiatives.

The modules were developed through industry consultations, an industry working group and the CPMA's education committee.

“The broad scope of the modules allow each learner to develop core competencies and apply that learning to their specific work context,” Biddiscombe said.

After completing the online training modules, participants can take a 75-question online multiple choice exam, which they have up to three hours to complete. Those who pass will be awarded a printable Produce Basics certificate and digital badge and will be included in the public listing of certificate holders.

READ: Making your safety training effective

The program costs $150 plus taxes per participant ($225 plus taxes for non-CPMA members), making it a cost-effective way for companies to train staff on best practices and on the industry’s unique needs, said CPMA president Ron Lemaire.

Additional credential programs will be added for various career levels, including a Produce Essentials credential now in development. It will recognize individuals who have an in-depth working knowledge of the produce industry.

The program, which requires the Produce Basics certificate as a prerequisite, will consist of six courses that are core to the produce industry: produce supply chain logistics, production practices, food safety and quality control, common trade practices, sales and marketing and industry sustainability.

READ: CPMA launches ‘Doing Business in Canada’ online tool

Participants who successfully complete the required courses and exams will be able to receive their certification and designation by submitting for verification 3,750 workplace hours that are primarily related to produce.

The credential program will be aimed at people who want to take their career in produce to the next level. It will cost $250 for the complete program of six courses or $60 for each course.

Also in development is the CPMA Specialty Program, which will recognize those with expertise in a specific industry sector. It will be open to those with the Produce Essentials credential. Participants will complete project-based programs and submit them for evaluation by industry experts.

The Produce Essentials certificate and Produce Specialist designations will be valid for three years and will be renewable by obtaining points for a number of activities, such as participating in CPMA events, industry events and courses recognized by the CPMA and on-the-job experience.


This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds