Introducing CPMA Education and Training

Responding to requests for industry training and education, CPMA has developed a comprehensive suite of tools for the produce industry. Including podcasts, webinars and now online training, CPMA has engaged members nationally and internationally in the development of meaningful and cost effective training for the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for success in the produce industry.

Step 1 – Produce Basics Certificate
As the first stage of a comprehensive credentialing program, this certificate was developed for individuals who are relatively new to the produce industry. Produce Basics helps individual understand their role in the broader scope of the produce industry and helps them obtain the knowledge and skills expected by employers. 
Included are general and broad topics including: Professionalism, Communications, The Produce Supply Chain, Storage and Handling, Produce Identification, Product Knowledge, Food Safety and Food Safety Initiatives.

Number of Learners Member Cost Per Learner (CAD) Non-Member Cost Per Learner (CAD)
1-5 $150 $225
6-10 $125 $225
11-25 $100 $225
26 + $75 $225

Step 2 – Produce Essentials Credential
Prerequisites: Produce Basics Certificate
Course Description:
The Produce Essentials Credential recognizes individuals who have an in-depth working knowledge of the produce industry.
This program consists of five modules that are core to the produce industry including:

Sustainability & Social License The concepts of sustainability and social licence are interpreted and applied within produce industry operations.
Sales & Marketing The business of produce is explored including how business deals and relationships are developed and maintained in the produce industry.
Production Practices From fields to greenhouses and beyond this module examines production practices specific to various growing environments.
Produce Supply Chain Logistics The complexities of moving a living, breathing product from the field to the fork are examined across the supply chain.
Food Safety & Quality Assurance Ensuring safe, quality produce is examined as a foundational requirement for the produce supply chain.

Each module ends with a multiple choice exam.

Produce Essentials is now accepting registrations.

CPMA Member Price: $250 (CAD plus applicable taxes) per participant.
Non-CPMA Member Price: $500 (CAD plus applicable taxes) per participant.

Produce Essentials Credential Checklist:

  • Produce Basics Certificate
  • Completed Produce Essentials Modules
  • 3750 workplace hours primarily related to produce

Once an individual has completed all of the required courses they can apply to receive their credential.


Produce Talks: The CPMA Podcast

Produce Talks is the monthly CPMA podcast that is distributed through the CPMA website, iTunes, and several other podcast directories. Each month we explore topics that affect the produce industry such as exploring innovative approaches, insights into a sector of the industry, new and emerging technologies, or trends that may influence consumer choices.


CPMA webinars focus on topics that impact the businesses of CPMA members and the produce industry. CPMA works with a number of organizations to find speakers who are able to provide CPMA members with the best information possible. When possible these webinars are recorded and made available in the CPMA member community.

Additional Online Learning

Produce 101

Produce 101 is a standalone course for individuals who have absolutely no experience in produce. This course has introductory information on different categories of produce, basic handling techniques, proper storage, and rudimentary food safety information.

Traceability and Produce Identification

Developed in partnership between CPMA, PMA, GS1 Canada, GS1 U.S., and United Fresh, these modules provide an in-depth explanation of traceability and product identification in the produce industry.
To assist industry in an understanding of the basics of produce traceability, please read our Fresh Facts for Industry: Produce Traceability document.