Feds invest in Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Feds invest in Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Jan 26, 2021

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The CFIA will receive $162.6 million over five years

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The federal government is investing in Canada’s food safety system.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will receive $162.6 million of federal funding over five years (about $32.52 million per year), Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced on Jan. 22.

The funds will support the CFIA in four areas:

  • Export certification to support market access
  • Oversight of imports
  • Domestic oversight and surveillance
  • Digitization

In terms of imports, for example, the increased funding will help CFIA employees conduct more inspections.

In 2019, the CFIA inspected $53.9 billion of agri-food products coming into Canada and issued 127 public warnings for high risk food recalls.

Altogether, these supports will better position the CFIA to operate efficiently and keep Canada’s food system safe.

The investment “will help CFIA digitize their services and issue export certificates in a timely manner,” Bibeau said in the statement. “It also means CFIA will have the tools necessary to guard our natural resources and agriculture sector from the threat of foreign pests and diseases.”

Ag industry groups support the government’s investment into the CFIA.

Agriculture will be called upon to help the country come out of COVID-19, so having a safe food system is important in that recovery.

“Agriculture is playing an important role in the economic recovery of Canada,” the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said on Twitter. “Investing in services that enable the growth of Canadian agriculture and agri-food businesses is timely and a good investment.”

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture also welcomed the announcement.

“This will assist in bolstering core business lines and increasing our food security systems,” the organization said on Twitter. “Investing in (Canadian agriculture) at all levels is critical to the (Canadian) economy.”

Farms.com has contacted food industry groups for comment.

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