2017-18 Departmental Plan
Plans at a Glance
Every day, more than six thousand CFIA professionals work to support the government's goals to protect Canadians across the country and instill confidence in our food safety system and our plant, animal and food products and support market access for them. They help protect plant and animal health. They prevent food safety hazards and manage food safety investigations and recalls. They also promote and verify improved packaging and labelling to help consumers make better informed decisions.
The CFIA is committed to continuously improve its programs and activities in order to better meet the needs of consumers, industry and international trading partners. In 2017-18 the CFIA will continue to, modernize and consult with Canadians on new regulations or proposed amendments, update various programs and infrastructure, foster collaboration with national and international partners, and improve the services it delivers for Canadians.
To deliver on its commitments, the Agency seeks to achieve better results by placing a high priority on strengthening food safety, supporting market access, and enhancing service delivery. The Agency will track its progress towards these priorities and will report back to Canadians and Parliament through the Departmental Results.
The CFIA has an ambitious year ahead which includes the development of a new Departmental Results Framework and a number of consultations with Canadians which will help influence our agenda going forward. These initiatives will support our communication with Canadians about our core responsibilities and how we plan to measure our results starting in 2018-19. Highlighted below is a summary of our plans for 2017-18.
Strengthening Food Safety and Protecting Animal and Plant Health
The CFIA continues to enhance its rules, programs and partnerships to support the prevention of food safety and plant or animal health events and maintain confidence for Canadians in our food, plant and animal products and system.
In 2017-18 the CFIA expects to:
- Bring into force new and stronger food safety regulations by publishing the proposed Safe Food for Canadians regulations in Canada Gazette, Part II, after consultation with and feedback from Canadians through the Canada Gazette, Part I process. Under the proposed regulations food businesses would be required to have preventive controls in place to identify and manage food safety risks before products are sold to consumers. This would also reduce the time it takes to remove unsafe foods from the marketplace. Strong preventive systems, such as traceability and food safety controls, would boost the competitiveness of food businesses across the supply chain, from farm to retail, at home and on the world stage. These proposed regulations are just one way the CFIA is modernizing to better meet the needs of consumers and industry.
- Help regulated parties understand the updated regulatory requirements for food by preparing and distributing plain language guidance. The proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) would better protect Canadian families by putting a greater emphasis on preventing food safety risks for all foods imported into Canada or sold across provinces. The regulations would also apply to foods prepared for export.
- Improve food labels, based on consultation conducted in 2016-17, by preparing the instructions it needs for drafting new food labelling regulations in 2017-18, that will provide more detail and useful information for Canadians. This information will let Canadians make better informed purchasing decisions and will promote public health.
- Improve methods for sharing food safety data with partners by planning the technical infrastructure for the Canadian Food Safety Information Network. The CFIA is partnering with Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and with interested provinces and territories in this initiative. The network will share urgently needed surveillance information and food safety data to help reduce food safety incidents in Canada and to safeguard the health of Canadians.
- Conduct surveillance activities and program updates in the Food Safety, Animal Health and Zoonotic and Plant Resource Protection programs that support strengthening food safety.
- Enhance requirements regarding feed, water and rest, and require improved record-keeping and training of commercial carriers by modernizing the animal transport regulations.
- Strengthen existing livestock identification traceability requirements in Canada to enable effective and timely disease control investigations by publishing amendments to the Traceability section of the Health of Animals Regulations in Canada Gazette, Part I.
- Ensure Canada is best positioned to safeguard its plant and animal resources by developing a national plant and animal health strategy in collaboration with federal, provincial and industry partners.
Supporting Market Access
Access to markets, both existing and new, is critical to Canada's economy. The CFIA will continue to safeguard Canada's animal and plant resource base and food safety system. The Agency will continue to support efforts to maintain and expand market access for Canadian plants, animals, food and their products.
In 2017-18 the CFIA will:
- Renew the existing arrangement on zoning with the United States Department of Agriculture, which is scheduled to expire in 2017. Trade restrictions resulting from an animal disease outbreak can have devastating economic effects. Zoning limits trade disruptions to the affected zone. This allows the rest of Canada to continue to trade which has an impact on Canada's economy. In collaboration with the North American Virtual Animal Disease Modelling Centre, we will develop tools that will help to plan zoning.
- Continue to work with its international regulatory counterparts in likeminded countries and in emerging economies to actively promote the Canadian science-based regulatory system. The Agency will also negotiate to resolve scientific and technical issues and to support greater market access for the Canadian agriculture industry.
- Work with international partners on advancing Regulatory Cooperation Council and Beyond the Border initiatives.
- Redesign its grain export certification program to provide industry with more service choices, so as to expedite and improve the speed and efficiency of weed seed examinations. This will help with the timely export of Canadian grain.
Enhancing Service Delivery
CFIA continues to enhance service delivery as a regulator for its clients. Canadians look to the CFIA as a regulator to ensure our rules are followed but also to provide clients with effective tools to communicate with the CFIA, apply for services and understand what is included in a service.
In 2017-18 the CFIA intends to:
- Continue to make services more accessible online by rolling out new features for MyCFIA – the new online point of access for clients. This tool will expand in 2017-18 and host electronic services that will allow clients to request licences and permissions online and track the status of their service requests in a secure environment. CFIA staff members who are involved in providing these services will begin using the electronic tool in their daily work, and clients will be able to access and retrieve their export certifications electronically.
- Provide straight forward access to consistent and easy to understand information by adding new sectors to the AskCFIA service implemented in 2016-17. AskCFIA provides regulated parties with one point of entry to ask questions that help them understand and comply with CFIA regulatory requirements. Increased regulatory understanding and compliance will provide Canadians with a safer and stronger food system, and plant and animal resource base.
- Conduct stakeholder consultations on a proposal to streamline and update the CFIA's cost recovery regime, including revised fees. The CFIA was created in 1997 and retained the cost recovery approaches of its parent organizations. These approaches are now out of date. The CFIA will engage stakeholder organizations across a range of sectors and commodities as part of these consultations.
For more information on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's plans, priorities and the planned results, see the "Planned results" section of this report.
- Date modified: