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ARCHIVED - RPP 2007-2008
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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Section I:Agency Overview

1.1 Minister's Message

I am pleased to present the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Report on Plans and Priorities for 2007-2008. This plan details how the Agency intends to use its resources to deliver its mandate of safeguarding Canada's food supply and protecting the animals and plants upon which safe and high quality food depends.

As Minister of Agriculture and Agri Food, I am proud of our efforts to work together with all stakeholders to secure a bright future for Canada's farm families, the agri-food sector, and to contribute to the health and safety of Canadians. In fact, collaboration is the hallmark of this Portfolio. By our concerted action, we are making great strides in supporting Canada's farmers, while putting the sector on a solid foundation for the long term.

The Agriculture Portfolio includes Agriculture and Agri Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the National Farm Products Council, the Canadian Dairy Commission, the Canadian Grain Commission and Farm Credit Canada. While the organizations within the Portfolio have different mandates, they share a common purpose: to make our agriculture and agri food sector stronger, more competitive and sustainable into the future.

Over the next years, the development and implementation of the next generation of agriculture and agri-food policy will be key to the sector's success. Our producers need continuously updated policies and programs from governments to help them thrive in the rapidly-evolving economy and manage the inherent risks of the business. I am counting on the energy and expertise of the agriculture and agri-food portfolio to translate these new policy directions into a prosperous reality in Canadian agriculture.

This year will mark a milestone for the Agency — it will be one of reflection as the Agency celebrates its tenth anniversary and ten years of accomplishments. It will also be a year in which the future is the focus as a new Corporate Business Plan is developed to replace the current one which covers the period 2003-2008.

As we focus on the future and plan ahead, we continue to support, through our actions and priorities, the Government of Canada's agenda. The health of Canadians is a top priority for the government. The CFIA will work collaboratively with its portfolio partners to ensure the health, safety and security of Canadians. The Agency will continue to play a significant role in maintaining the safety of Canada's food supply by improving regulatory compliance and reaching out to Canadians to communicate about food safety risks. In addition, the CFIA will continue to demonstrate excellence in its work aimed at safeguarding Canada's animal and plant resource base — its crops, forests and livestock — from pests and diseases.

Innovation, competitiveness and productivity form a cornerstone for improving the economic well being of Canada's agri-food sector. The Agency will continue to implement and maintain programs, regulations and policies aimed at providing opportunities for economic development, effectively responding to threats in our environment, and ensuring that regulations are fair and applied consistently.

The CFIA remains committed to working with stakeholders to adopt risk-based control measures using sound science and considering socio-economic realities, and to provide effective, rapid emergency response.

The CFIA will report on the progress against this plan in the Agency's 2007-2008 Departmental Performance Report.

The Honourable Chuck Strahl
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board


1.2 Management Representation Statement

I submit for tabling in Parliament, the 2007-2008 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2007-2008 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidance;
  • It is based on the Agency's Strategic Outcomes and Program Activity Architecture that were approved by the Treasury Board;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it; and
  • It reports finances based on approved planned spending numbers from the Treasury Board Secretariat.

François Guimont
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

March 2007


1.3 Plans and Priorities Overview 2007-2008


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is mandated to safeguard Canada's food supply and the plants and animals upon which safe and high-quality food depends.


Healthy Canadians

A fair and secure marketplace

Strong economic growth

A strong mutually beneficial North American Partnership



Protection from preventable health risks related to food safety or the transmission of animal diseases to humans

Protection of consumers through a fair and effective food, animal and plant regulatory regime that supports competitive domestic and international markets

A sustainable plant and animal resource base

Security from deliberate threats to Canada's food supply and agricultural resource base


Food Safety and Public Health

Science and Regulation

Animal and Plant Resource Protection

Public Security

Governance and Management


• Managing food safety risks

• Controlling the transmission of animal diseases to humans

• Regulatory research — Food safety, nutrition and public health

• Promoting science-based regulation

• Maintaining an effective regulatory framework

• Protecting consumers and the marketplace from unfair practices

• Certifying exports

• Regulatory research — Exports and unfair practices

• Protecting Canada's crops and forests

• Protecting Canada's livestock and aquatic animals

• Assessing agricultural products

• Regulatory research — Animal and plant resource protection

• Preparing for emergencies

• Enhancing capacity to respond to emergencies

• Regulatory research — Public security

• Finance and administration

• Human resource management

• Information management

• Corporate communication

• Corporate governance, planning, accountability and stewardship

• Legal services








Sound science • An effective regulatory base • Effective inspection delivery • Strong partnerships

* Resources attributable to "Governance and Management" have been allocated to the four Strategic Outcomes that comprise the CFIA's Program Activity Architecture on a pro-rata basis.

Agency Budget

Financial and Human Resources

Financial Resources
($ millions)




Gross Planned Spending




Less: Respendable Revenue




Net Planned Spending




Human Resources (FTEs)




1 Changes in resource levels from 2007-2008 to 2008-2009: The decrease in financial resources of approximately $30.9 million is primarily related to the sunsetting of funding for both Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) ($23.3 million) as it relates to "Specified Risk Materials Removal from Food and Re-Entering Export Markets" and "Ensuring the future of the Canadian Beef Industry", and the Agricultural Policy Framework ($5.3 million).

2 Changes in resource levels from 2008-2009 to 2009-2010: The decrease in financial resources of approximately $42.9 million is primarily related to the sunsetting of funding for BSE ($16.7 million) as it relates to "Repositioning the Canadian Beef and Cattle Industry" and "Measures to address the BSE Recovery Program by Facilitating the Transition for the Cattle and other Ruminant Industries", and the Organic Agriculture Products Regime ($2.6 million), which was implemented to maintain the credibility of the Canadian organic industry and to achieve an equivalency status to maintain European Union market access. It is also related to the sunsetting of Major Capital resources for Avian and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness ($20.0 million) which were received for 2008-2009 only, and to decreased funding for the Plum Pox Eradication efforts ($2.0 million).

Agency Priorities



1. Improving regulatory compliance


2. Supporting the agenda for innovation competitiveness and productivity


3. Moving forward on major regulatory initiatives


4. Continuing with the CFIA's high state of preparedness and response for avian influenza (AI) and other zoonotic and plant diseases and pests


5. Continued management of the CFIA corporate agenda


Summary of Priorities by Strategic Outcome 2007-2008







Strategic outcome: Protection from preventable health risks related to food safety or the transmission of animal diseases to humans

Program Activity: Food Safety and Public Health

Expected results:
• Food leaving federally registered establishments for inter-provincial and export trade or being imported into Canada is safe and wholesome.
• Food safety incidents in non-federally registered facilities and food products produced in them are addressed.
• Food safety recalls and incidents are contained in a timely and appropriate manner.
• Animal diseases that are transmissible to humans are effectively controlled within animal populations.
• Decision making related to food safety, nutrition and public health is supported by sound, sufficient and current Agency regulatory research.




Improving regulatory compliance


Continuing with the CFIA's high state of preparedness and response for avian influenza (AI) and other zoonotic and plant diseases and pests

Strategic Outcome: Protection of consumers through a fair and effective food, animal, and plant regulatory regime that supports competitive domestic and international markets

Program Activity: Science and Regulation

Expected results:
• The Agency contributes to the development and implementation of international rules, standards and agreements through international negotiations.
• The Agency applies sound and current science to the development of national standards, operational methods and procedures.
• Transparent, outcome-based and science-based domestic regulatory framework is maintained.
• Deceptive and unfair market practices are deterred.
• Other governments' import requirements are met.
• Decision making related to regulatory development and review, deterring unfair practices, and export is supported by sound, sufficient and current Agency regulatory research.




Supporting the Agenda for innovation competitiveness and productivity


Moving forward on major regulatory initiatives

Strategic Outcome: A sustainable plant and animal resource base

Program Activity: Animal and Plant Resource Protection

Expected results:
• Entry and domestic spread of regulated plant diseases and pests are controlled.
• Industry complies with federal acts and regulations concerning Canada's crops and forests.
• Entry and domestic spread of regulated animal diseases are controlled.
• Industry complies with federal acts and regulations for livestock.
• Agricultural products meet the requirements of federal acts and regulations.
• Decision making (including regulation) in regards to animal and plant health is supported by sound, sufficient and current Agency regulatory research.




Improving regulatory compliance


Supporting the Agenda for innovation competitiveness and productivity


Continuing with the CFIA's high state of preparedness and response for avian influenza (AI) and other zoonotic and plant diseases and pests.

Strategic Outcome: Security from deliberate threats to Canada's food supply and agricultural resource base

Program Activity: Public Security

Expected Results:
• The Agency is in a state of readiness for an effective rapid response to emergencies.
• The Agency has the capacity to respond to emergencies.
• Decision making related to public security is supported by sound, sufficient and current Agency regulatory research.




Continuing with the CFIA's high state of preparedness and response for avian influenza (AI) and other zoonotic and plant diseases and pests.

Outcome: Sound Agency Management

Program Activity: Governance and Management

Expected Results: Based on assessment against management accountability framework (MAF) indicators and measures of management practice.




Continued management of the CFIA Corporate agenda

* Resources attributable to "Governance and Management" have been allocated to the four Strategic Outcomes that comprise the CFIA's Program Activity Architecture on a pro-rata basis.


1.4 Introduction to the Agency

The CFIA is the largest science-based regulatory agency in Canada responsible for delivery of all federally mandated food inspection, plant protection and animal health programs, and consumer protection as it relates to food. More than 6 100 professionals are working across Canada in the National Capital Region and in the four operational areas representing the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and the West. Four interrelated components or elements are key to the CFIA's success — sound science, an effective regulatory base, effective inspections and strong partnerships.

Sound science

The CFIA relies on science as the basis for designing and delivering its programs and as an essential component of its regulatory decision making. Scientific research contributes to the sound science foundation that underpins the Agency's policy development and decision-making processes. Science is an important tool for dealing with emerging issues such as the safety assessment of new biotechnology-derived products and issues related to avian influenza and BSE. The specific activities for which the CFIA needs and uses science to support its daily work include laboratory science, risk assessment, surveillance, research and technology development. The Agency also analyses scientific research data and other information in order to provide scientific advice and intelligence that enables the CFIA officials to identify and prepare for emerging issues. The CFIA's scientific expertise makes an integral contribution to regulatory policy development not only in Canada, but worldwide, and provides the foundation through safe food, healthy plants and animals for the economic opportunities derived from domestic and international market confidence.

An effective regulatory base

For a regulatory regime to be effective, the legislative authorities must be consistent with the organization's mandate and sufficiently comprehensive to enable the full suite of responsibilities that the mandate represents. In addition, regulations must be clear, enforceable, fair and consistently applied. The CFIA is continually reviewing its legislative authorities and updating its regulatory base in order to strengthen its capacity to contribute to public policy objectives, taking into account the domestic and international environment in which the Agency undertakes its responsibilities. Consistent with this, the CFIA supports the government-wide smart regulation initiative aimed at improving Canada's regulatory system.

The CFIA represents Canada at international standard-setting bodies for food safety, animal health and plant health issues. The Agency is responsible for regulating both imported and exported products, and our actions are disciplined by international obligations, primarily through the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO). CFIA will update the International Plan to better promote Agency/Canadian priorities through the development and operation of the International Regulatory Framework; Bilateral Relations and Agreements; Technical Assistance, and Foreign Doctors of Veterinary Medicine postings.

Effective inspections

The CFIA is responsible for administrating and/or enforcing 13 federal statutes and their respective regulations. Sectors that the Agency regulates include agriculture, agri-food, fish, seafood, horticulture and forestry. Products that may be subject to inspection or certification by the CFIA range from agricultural inputs, such as seeds, feeds and fertilizers, to fresh foods — including meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, fruit and vegetables — and prepared and packaged foods. The Agency establishes compliance and enforcement priorities based on scientifically established risk-based strategies. Compliance with applicable acts and regulations is assessed through inspections, audits, product sampling and verifications. To facilitate compliance, the CFIA carries out education and awareness activities that are intended to clarify and increase regulated parties' understanding of statutory requirements and standards. Where significant non-compliance is identified, the CFIA uses a broad range of enforcement approaches from verbal and written warnings to Administrative Monetary Penalties and prosecution. Critical to effectively fulfilling the CFIA's mandate is the ongoing design, development and review of inspection-related tools and processes.

Strong Partnerships

The CFIA delivers its mandate mostly in areas of shared jurisdiction and responsibility. Strong partnerships with other federal government departments, as well as provincial, territorial and municipal governments are imperative to the Agency's success. Since 2005, the CFIA, through the Federal/Provincial/Territorial (F/P/T) Regulatory Committee of Assistant Deputy Ministers has provided the leadership and strategic advice required to develop and implement coordinated F/P/T regulatory and program initiatives. The F/P/T Committee will focus on issues related to: food (such as meat inspection reform), animals (such as avian influenza preparedness and an integrated national animal health strategy), plant (such as an integrated national plant biosecurity strategy), as well as, other issues which may impact on the Canadian food inspection system.


  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Administration Monetary Penalties Act
  • Canada Agricultural Products Act
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act
  • Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (as it relates to food)
  • Feeds Act
  • Fertilizers Act
  • Fish Inspection Act
  • Food and Drugs Act (as it relates to food)
  • Health of Animals Act
  • Meat Inspection Act
  • Plant Breeders' Rights Act
  • Plant Protection Act
  • Seeds Act

Within the agriculture portfolio, the CFIA has significant bilateral relationships with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). One key area of partnership with AAFC is the implementation of the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF). Initiatives funded under the APF, and which the CFIA is implementing, include developing and implementing regulations to control the manufacture of medicated feeds, and, with the provinces, implementing the On-Farm Food Safety Recognition Program. As the current APF agreements will expire in 2008, F/P/T ministers of agriculture have committed to work towards the next generation of agriculture and agri-food policy to ensure a more stable, predictable and profitable sector. The CFIA is contributing, along with Agriculture and Agri-food Portfolio partners, to the development of the next generation of agriculture and agri-food policy.

With regard to the safety of Canada's food supply, federal legislative responsibility is shared. Health Canada is responsible for establishing policies and standards relating to the safety and nutritional quality of food sold in Canada and for the assessment of the effectiveness of the CFIA's programs in achieving compliance with prescribed standards. The CFIA is responsible for the design and delivery of food inspection compliance and enforcement activities. The CFIA is also responsible for developing regulations and policies related to non-health and safety-related food labelling and compositional standards. With respect to animal health, plant health and food safety activity at Canada's borders and other points of entry, the CFIA establishes policies and standards and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) enforces them. The CFIA's relationship with the CBSA is key to the effort to keep invasive species out of Canada. Finally, and in light of the threat to human health from zoonotic diseases and the need to protect Canadians from threats to our security, both deliberate and unintentional, the CFIA has developed strong collaborative relationships with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC).


  • Health Canada
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Canadian Grain Commission
  • Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada, including Canadian Forest Service
  • Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
  • Environment Canada, including Canadian Wildlife Service

Scientific research is complex and requires strong linkages with other organizations with similar interests and responsibilities in order to maximize benefits. The Agency maintains research linkages with other federal organizations such as Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Forest Service and where appropriate, collaborations extend to provinces, universities and the private sector. Due to the global nature of the many issues within its mandate, the Agency also maintains links with the international research community. Extending and enhancing these collaborations is a priority for the Agency. The Agency regularly obtains input from scientific experts when developing regulations and policies, designing programs, methods and procedures for inspections, and testing and responding to emergencies. In doing so, the CFIA also recognizes the critical importance of working closely with its broad range of stakeholders. These stakeholders include those whom the CFIA regulates, such as registered establishments and importers, farmers, as well as associations representing consumers, public health, animal welfare and environmental interests.

In the global context, the CFIA strives to promote an international regulatory framework, as it relates to the Agency's mandate that is transparent, rules and science-based. The CFIA also leads or participates in a number of international and bilateral agreements and arrangements, in support of Canada's regulatory objectives. Consistent with its international regulatory cooperation framework, the CFIA maintains close relations with key foreign regulatory counterparts.


1.5 Key Strategic Challenges and Risks

The Agency's capacity to achieve its strategic outcomes is influenced by its ability to recognize, assess and manage risk.

In accordance with the Agency's commitment to risk-based planning and the integration of risk management into decision-making processes, the Agency completed an intensive process of risk identification and assessment which identified ten key strategic challenges and risks. Each requires management on a priority basis. Accordingly, included in the plans for each of the CFIA's priorities for 2007-2008 are specific activities directly aimed at mitigating these challenges and risks. The CFIA will conduct an in depth review of its key strategic risks and challenges in 2007-2008, in conjunction with the development of the CFIA's long-term strategic plan.

The following provides a description of each of the CFIA's strategic challenges and risks and identifies the 2007-2008 priority that will address the risk. The detailed risk mitigation strategies can be found in Section II of this document.



Foodborne illness

Canadians have access to a food supply that is safe and nutritious. The CFIA and its regulatory partners, industry and consumer groups have worked to significantly reduce the threat of foodborne illness in Canada; however, the risk that such illness will arise always remains. The Agency has two specific concerns. The first relates to the non-federally registered sector — a sector that encompasses a large number of food manufacturing and distributing establishments. While the products of the sector are subject to regulation, non-federally registered establishments are not subject to federal registration requirements which include more comprehensive, preventative approaches to food safety issues. The second concern relates to the increasing volume and diversity of imported food products. Changing consumption and trade patterns have the potential to introduce new risks related to foodborne illness. Responsibility for this sector is shared with the provinces.

Improving Regulatory Compliance

For detailed plan see section: 2.1a

Emergence and/or spread of animal diseases that affect humans (zoonoses)

Animals, both domestic and wild, can transmit disease-causing agents to humans. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), avian influenza, the spread of West Nile virus and the detection of new strains of rabies are examples of the potential for diseases of animal origin to affect public health. Incomplete scientific knowledge around the nature and transmission of new and emerging diseases and inadequate animal and veterinary public health infrastructure in many countries adds to the complexity of managing them. The CFIA protects Canadians from these types of diseases by working in close partnership with the animal health community, livestock producers, provinces, and the international community in promoting early detection, reporting, and control of disease.

Continuing with the CFIA's high state of Preparedness and response for Avian Influenza (AI) and other zoonotic and plant diseases and pests

For detailed plan see section: 2.1b, 2.4a

International regulatory framework

Retaining, strengthening and reinforcing rules- and science-based approaches within the international regulatory framework will help to achieve Canada's regulatory objectives and security and protect Canadian exporters from discriminatory and unnecessary barriers. The Agency must continue to work through international institutions to help develop and operationalize international rules and in other international fora to promote the development of international standards and policies that are based on sound science to ensure that human, animal, ecosystem or plant life or health are protected in a world where trade is expanding.

Supporting the Agenda for innovation competitiveness and productivity

Moving forward on major regulatory initiatives

For detailed plan see sections: 2.2a, 2.2b, 3.3

Domestic legislative framework

Outdated statutes and/or insufficient authority could impede the CFIA's ability to fully and effectively carry out its mandate. The CFIA will continue to pursue mechanisms to update and modernize its legislative framework.

Supporting the Agenda for innovation competitiveness and productivity

Moving forward on major regulatory initiatives

For detailed plan see sections: 2.2b, 3.3

Entry and/or spread of regulated plant and animal pests and diseases that affect the resource base

A healthy and sustainable plant and animal resource base in Canada is critical to the environment, social objectives and the economy. The CFIA, along with its partners, utilizes numerous measures to identify and reduce threats to the animal and plant resource base, ranging from surveys and movement control to eradication and emergency response. The numerous possible pathways for entry of plant and animal diseases into Canada, together with the potential environmental impact, and to some degree social and/or economic impact of a major animal disease outbreak or the spread of a plant pest, make this a significant challenge that must continue to be actively addressed by the CFIA.

Continuing with the CFIA's high state of Preparedness and response for Avian Influenza (AI) and other zoonotic and plant diseases and pests

For detailed plan see sections: 2.3a, 2.3b

Emergency preparedness and response

An effective emergency management system and the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond are crucial to maintaining Canada's public safety and security in the face of increasing threat pressure. The challenge is to maintain well-planned and exercised emergency response procedures to protect food, animals and plants from accidental or intentional events. The CFIA must also be able to act rapidly and effectively in response to civil or national emergencies. The CFIA recognizes that strong cooperative relationships with its regulatory partners, including other countries, are critical to the success of its security measures.

Continuing with the CFIA's high state of Preparedness and response for Avian Influenza (AI) and other zoonotic and plant diseases and pests

For detailed plan see sections: 2.4a, 2.4b

Demand for new/enhanced services

Increased demand from producers and consumers for new or enhanced services are expected to place additional pressure on resources. For example, the CFIA must be able to respond to the growth in domestic industries, such as the opening of new meat establishments and more requests for inspection and certification of products. The CFIA must also be able to respond to increasing consumer concerns and needs, such as demands for better information on nutrient content and methods of production (e.g., organic, grain-fed) for food products.

Continued management of the CFIA corporate agenda

Supporting agenda for innovation, competitiveness and productivity

For detailed plan see sections: 2.2b, 2.5, 3.3

Performance information

Improved performance information is needed to better support day-to-day and strategic decision-making and the ability to report results to the Canadian public. Additionally, the potential for losing electronic data that forms the basis for developing performance information must be addressed.

Continued management of the CFIA corporate agenda

For detailed plan see section: 2.5

Financial and human resources

The CFIA constantly faces the challenge of managing resources so that it can meet ongoing activities, make strategic investments in program redesign and cope with animal and plant health emergencies. With specific regard to human resources, staff with appropriate skills, knowledge and abilities must be developed and be available to manage and fully carry out regulatory duties in the face of new risks and technologies. This requires appropriate and effective recruitment, retention and training.

Continued management of the CFIA corporate agenda

For detailed plan see sections: 2.5

Program design

Technological and scientific advancements result in the creation of products that are new to the Canadian environment and agricultural systems. In addition, advancements in science often bring with them a requirement for new methods of detection, testing and surveillance. The CFIA recognizes the need for ongoing review of program design in light of technological and scientific advancements.

Moving forward on major regulatory initiatives

For detailed plan see sections: 2.2b, 3.3

The CFIA recognizes that some of these risks, such as foodborne illness, zoonoses, and the entry and spread of plant and animal diseases will likely always exist. Accordingly, the Agency's goal is to reduce both the likelihood that these hazards will occur and the consequences should they occur by improving our capacity to manage them. The remaining risks should be fully managed over time with careful planning and implementation of the plans that follow. Key risk mitigation strategies have been identified throughout this document with the following symbol "maple leaf symbol."


1.6 CFIA's Priorities 2007-2008

Improving regulatory compliance

Link to Government of Canada Outcomes:

  • Healthy Canadians
  • Strong economic growth

The Agency strives to protect Canadians from preventable health risks related to food as well as those associated with animal diseases that are transmissible to humans. Threats to the food supply reflect a number of factors such as consumer and demographic trends, evolving food processing and industrial practice and evolving farming practices. More and more consumers are choosing more varied foods, and healthier foods such as more fruits and vegetables. Convenience remains a high priority with consumers as products such as bagged salads are becoming increasingly popular. In addition, an increased sensitivity to allergens and an aging population create an environment where threats related to food are on the rise.

As a regulatory agency, the principal means by which the CFIA carries out its mandate is assessing industry compliance with Canadian food, animal and plant regulatory requirements. Compliance rates, are a measure of industry conformity to standards and regulations as well as indicators of the extent to which the CFIA's program design and inspection activities have contributed to improving industry compliance with acts and regulations. This year, the CFIA will focus on areas of past lower compliance, as well as maintaining good performance on well performing areas.

Reporting against specific targets was an enhanced feature of the Agency's 2005-2006 Performance Report (DPR) and represented a transition from previous approaches to performance reporting. The Agency strives to promote improved industry compliance on a year-to-year basis and has a compliance and enforcement strategy to appropriately address instances of non-compliance. In 2006, the Agency created an action plan to address the variance between targets and results achieved and reported in its 2005-2006 DPR and to facilitate the promotion of improved compliance. The plan is currently being implemented and will continue in 2007.

Food safety inspection is a shared jurisdiction in Canada. The sector that falls solely under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) — with provisions that apply to all foods sold in Canada — is often referred to as the "non-federally registered" sector. This sector covers a wide range of products (domestic and imported), including infant formula, bread, snack foods and alcoholic beverages. It represents a significant portion of retail spending on food and has a history of non-compliance. A number of food recalls are attributed to this sector. Recent incidents of foodborne illness from products in this sector include botulism in refrigerated U.S. carrot juice (fall 2006), E-coli in U.S. spinach (fall 2006) and salmonella entritidis associated with sprouts (winter 2005).

The CFIA recognizes the challenges associated with managing this sector, and is currently developing multi-year strategies for a more comprehensive and risk-based approach to addressing these challenges. The CFIA will develop a tiered approach in cooperation with federal, provincial and territorial partners to enhance inspection coverage and compliance in this sector beginning with:

  • Augmenting front-line capacity (for food safety, investigation and recall, import inspection, domestic high risk establishments)
  • Initiation of baseline data gathering (hazards, food types, establishment types, countries, etc.)
  • Development of tools (import tracking system, risk pathway model) and;
  • Strategic engagement of Provinces, Territories and leaders from industry and consumer groups.

Enhancing inspection strategies in this area of shared jurisdiction demonstrates the CFIA's pro-active commitment to food safety, and partnerships that will maintain critical consumer confidence both in Canada and abroad.

The CFIA recognizes the importance of strong risk communication and consumer education in addressing the challenges of food-borne illness. The Agency will increase public outreach regarding Canada's food safety system in order to raise awareness of the roles and responsibilities of governments, retailers and consumers for food safety.

Continuing with the CFIA's high state of preparedness and response for avian influenza (AI) and other zoonotic and plant diseases and pests

Link to Government of Canada Outcomes:

  • Healthy Canadians
  • Strong economic growth
  • A strong and mutually beneficial North American Partnership

The CFIA's state of preparedness to address animals diseases with potential to affect humans (such as avian influenza) and plant health diseases (such as plum pox virus), is key to the ability to deliver its mandate. The Agency strives to continuously improve and enhance its state of preparedness and ability to respond to outbreaks and cases of animal and plant health issues.

Avian influenza poses a threat not only to industry but also potentially to human health. Given the potential threat, the Government of Canada has committed $195 million to advance the CFIA's AI strategy based on five pillars: prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and communication.

The CFIA will continue to focus on avian influenza preparedness with the implementation of the Comprehensive AI Preparedness and Response Strategy. The AI preparedness strategy includes an on-farm bio-security initiative, on-going surveillance of commercial and wild bird populations, enhanced capacity for critical science, laboratory and research activities and enhanced response plans which will continue to be exercised across the country together with the establishment of a national veterinary reserve to assist in the event of an animal health emergency. Work will continue with domestic and international partners to enhance communications, and our collective state of preparedness.

The CFIA is continuing its work to enhance and revise BSE program elements to meet domestic and international expectations. This will include continued surveillance testing for BSE, addressing risks in animal feed, enhancing export certification and implementing revised import requirements.

Working with partners, the CFIA is advancing its objectives in support of the National Traceability System. Traceability is built on the three core elements of product/animal identification, premises identification and product/animal movement and is an important information tool in support of emergency planning, response and recovery. Federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture recognize the significant input industry has provided for a national traceability system. They committed to further industry consultation as part of the implementation process.

Plant pests and diseases have the potential to pose a significant threat to Canada's environmental as well as economic and social values. The CFIA is leading the development of a National Plant Health Strategy intended to deal with increasing pressure on Canada's plant health status from technical phytosanitary requirements and from a rapidly expanding trade pattern. This strategy will be based on a national vision for plant health and will ensure a coordinated approach to protecting Canada's resource base and the environment from the impact of new plant pests and new invasive species.

The government has committed $303 million over the next two years to provide secure and efficient border crossing for low-risk travellers. Internationally, Canada is working with the United States and Mexico on the regulatory aspects of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America to eliminate redundant testing and certification requirements when it is beneficial to Canada. The CFIA co-leads with Health Canada, Canada's participation in the SPP initiatives for food and agriculture regulation and protection. Through the SPP, the CFIA is pursuing common approaches to better protect North America from offshore and domestic risks to food safety and animal and plant health. Under the SPP's Bio-Protection Agenda, the CFIA will work with the US and Mexico to share threat and vulnerability assessment information and develop a coordinated approach to identify and manage threats to animals, plants and humans. Canada is writing the animal health chapter of the SPP AI Preparedness Manual.

Supporting the agenda for innovation, competitiveness and productivity

Link to Government of Canada Outcomes:

  • A fair and secure marketplace
  • Strong economic growth

Working to achieve a better life for Canadians is the highest priority of the government. Long-term prosperity requires increased productivity and competitiveness which means making sure Canadians can compete in a global economy by creating a stronger economic union, reducing red tape and making sure borders stay open for business.

The CFIA's Meat Inspection Reform will aim to reform Canada's meat inspection system in order to have clearer industry accountability through HACCP, more objective science-based performance measures, and redesigned government oversight/inspection procedures. The key objectives of the reform include: enhancing the safety and sustainability of Canadian meat and meat products, sustaining consumer confidence and market access (internal trade and exports), providing a sound regulatory base for industry, and delivering meat inspection programs in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

One facet of this reform is the implementation of the Canada-Ontario agreement that includes the agreement on a Canada-Ontario integrated meat inspection system. Under this agreement, the Governments of Ontario and Canada are collaborating to explore joint public service delivery with respect to meat inspection, with the objective of improving provincial slaughterhouse inspection and infrastructure, harmonizing federal and provincial inspection regimes and allowing expanded inter-provincial trade. As a part of this effort, the CFIA working with Ontario is drafting a new Canadian Meat Hygiene Standard. This standard will serve as a framework for government to more effectively verify that safe meat products are produced while allowing industry to do this in more outcome based, flexible and efficient ways.

The maintenance of the health of aquatic animals is important to national and provincial economies. Canada exports over 75 per cent of its fish and seafood products, which amounted to $4.3 billion in 2005. The National Aquatic Animal Health Program (NAAHP) is a science-based regulatory program for reportable aquatic animal diseases such as viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) a disease of fish which has potential to impact on trade and the health of fish stocks. Led jointly by the CFIA and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the NAAHP will safeguard this important resource and provide economic development through the maintenance and expansion of export markets abroad.

The CFIA has initiated the elaboration of a National Animal Health Strategy in order to face the global animal health challenges. Threats arise from the convergence of a number of factors, including globalization, animal production and husbandry practices, microbial adaptation, climate change, social value changes, and changes to human and animal population demographics. Increasing transboundary movement of people and trade contributes to disease emergencies and movement around the world. Canada needs a new framework to face the global animal health challenges that will integrate and align principles and policies, and guide governments and industry's decisions as they relate to animal health risk management activities. The strategy is intended to optimize animal and public health protection from preventable risks; maintain confidence in the integrity of Canada's inspection system; reduce economic and social consequences of disease detection; and provide industry with greater market access security, predictability and competitiveness. The strategy will focus on inclusive approaches to governance, accountability and investment on the part of federal, provincial and private sector stakeholders. Animal welfare, biosecurity and traceability are all components of this strategy.

Moving forward on key regulatory initiatives

Link to Government of Canada Outcome:

  • A fair and secure marketplace

Safeguarding Canada's food supply, and the plant and animals on which safe and high-quality food depends, requires clear, effective and enforceable regulations that are fair and applied consistently. The CFIA works to continually improve regulation and at the international level, to promote science-based standards for world trade in food, animals and plants.

Regulation is an important tool for protecting the health and safety of Canadians, preserving the environment and securing conditions for an innovative and prosperous economy. Strong and effective regulations protect people and enhance our quality of life, while minimizing regulations that are unnecessary or that put Canada at a significant disadvantage. In support of the government-wide Smart Regulation initiative aimed at improving the Government of Canada's regulatory system, the CFIA continues its work on three pilot projects and is revising its own regulatory development process to keep pace with today's realities and evolving needs.

Canada's Organic Regime is a key regulatory initiative for the CFIA. This initiative, responds to consumer and industry concerns and international trade requirements for trade in organic products, including negotiations with the European Union (EU) for equivalency. The CFIA is working with industry stakeholders and provincial partners towards the implementation of a fair and effective organic regime with the key objectives of consumer protection, and establishing a framework to permit industry to respond to new and niche markets.

The CFIA will move forward on a priority basis on several key regulatory initiatives in support of key policy directions. These include amendments to the Health of Animals Act and Regulations to enhance the humane transport of animals, support the aquatic animal health program by including fish, and control the manufacture of medicated feeds; amendments to the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations in support of the National Meat Inspection System; and several amendments to the Canada Agricultural Products Act, Seeds Regulations and Fertilizer Regulations, which can be found in Section 3.3 of this report.

Continued management of the CFIA corporate agenda

Link to Government of Canada Outcome:

  • Government Affairs/Accountability

Accountability remains a key priority for government. The Treasury Board Secretariats' Management Accountability Framework (MAF) continues to evolve as an instrument of accountability and a tool for analysis and will provide continuing support to the government's management improvement agenda. The CFIA will continue to focus on improving the management of its corporate agenda by demonstrating a strong commitment to accountability. Effective, cost efficient and risk-based management is key to effective program delivery and a well-managed administration. Over the next 12 months, the CFIA's priorities which are consistent with the Government of Canada's MAF, will focus on enhanced reporting to Canadians and supporting key objectives such as employment equity, official languages, information management and technology, external service delivery, internal audit function, and a sustainable workforce, including succession planning and stewardship of financial and human resources. As well, given that the CFIA Corporate Business Plan will be updated in 2008, the Agency will initiate discussions with key stakeholders on issues related to the plan.