With the introduction of the new Safe Foods for Canadians
Act, more than 50,000 participants in the food sector
will come under Federal jurisdiction for the first time. In
anticipation of its increased supervisory obligations, CFIA is
looking to private certification schemes as a way to assist it in
assessing and managing risk.
In the arena of food safety, global initiatives such as the
Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the International
Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) already create
an opportunity international collaboration in the creation private
certification schemes which emphasize food safety. CFIA has
also developed several initiatives to assist it in meeting its
goals. The key CFIA initiative which will factor into the
private certification policy is the Food Safety Recognition Program
(FSRP), a food safety program developed and implemented by industry
organizations within Canada.
In a recent information bulletin, CFIA has outlined how it plans
to use private certification schemes in managing its obligations:
"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is transforming
how it delivers its food safety programs and activities to better
meet the needs of today's consumer and industry. The CFIA
recognizes that private certification schemes may play an important
role in helping industry achieve food safety regulatory objectives,
provided they can be assessed as being effective, credible and
aligned with public policy objectives."
While CFIA will remain responsible for ensuring regulatory
compliance, it appears that if private certification schemes are
credible in meeting federal legislated food safety requirements,
compliance with such schemes will be factored into CFIA
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