Canada's Meat, Poultry & Egg Processors Welcome Govt. Commitment To Transform CFIA Service Delivery
Canada's meat and egg processing industry welcomes the commitment by the Government of Canada in the March 29 budget to transform and improve Canadian Food Inspection (CFIA) service delivery, including a promise to "change how the CFIA monitors and enforces non-health and food safety regulations."
"Food safety is the number one priority of Canada's meat, poultry and egg processors" emphasized Canadian Meat Council Executive Director Jim Laws, Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council President Robin Horel and Further Poultry Processors Association of Canada General Manager Robert DeValk. "Our organizations and member companies work in close collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to ensure Canadian consumers enjoy safe and high quality processed meat and egg products. We are pleased that the government has chosen to focus on health and safety while increasing the responsibility of the food supply chain, including processors and consumers, for monitoring of non-health and safety considerations."
One example of a non-health and safety regulation is the CFIA requirement that packaging material which may come into direct or indirect contact with meat products be submitted for evaluation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency prior to the sale of domestically-produced meat products. Although Canadian processors must wait months for the approval of meat and fish packaging materials, innovative new materials (which may provide not only a superior level of food safety, but also other consumer benefits) can be used in the meantime for imported products originating from countries such as the United States or Europe. If a U.S. or E.U. government approved packing material is recognized by the government as safe for imported meat and fish products, it should be equally safe for use by Canadian companies.
Canada's meat and egg processing organizations appreciate the Government's commitment to an enhanced focus on ensuring health and food safety. While the budget commitment to transformed and improved service delivery is a promising first step, the industry looks forward to the release of additional details and opportunities to comment on individual components of the new service model.
Canada's meat and egg processing industry includes some 400 federally registered establishments, providing not only safe, high quality protein for Canadian consumers, but also adding jobs and making a significant contribution to local economic activity in both rural and urban Canada. With some 67,500 employees and annual sales exceeding $ 21.3B, the industry is the largest segment of Canada's food processing sector.
SOURCE: Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council