Statement of Rights and Service for Producers, Consumers and Other Stakeholders

A message from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) uses the following principles to govern our interaction with producers, consumers, industry and other stakeholders

  • transparency
  • accountability
  • service

This statement of rights and service was developed to formally establish those principles.

Our statement of rights and service is a complement to our values and ethics brochure, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Its Regulated Parties, Stakeholders and Partners: An Ethical Relationship, which has more information about working with us.

We provide services that are consistent with our regulatory obligations. As such, we must also maintain our regulatory independence.

We are committed to excellence in our processes and practices, and we strive for continuous improvement in our dealings with you. In return, we ask that you provide us with complete information in your dealings with us.

In this statement of rights and service, stakeholders will find information on the following:

  • who we are, what we do, and who we serve
  • your rights
  • our commitment to you
  • how you can help us
  • our service standards
  • how to reach us
  • how to comment

We all have a role to play in food safety, animal health and plant health. By working together, we can achieve a more effective and efficient system that contributes to the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment and economy.

Who we are, what we do and who we serve

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is dedicated to safeguarding Canada's food supply and protecting animal health and plant health. Through our core functions, we work with consumers, industry, government and public partners to

  • protect Canadians from preventable health risks;
  • implement food safety measures;
  • manage risks and emergencies regarding food, animals and plants; and
  • promote food safety and systems to maintain the safety and security of Canada's agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries sector.

The Agency has dedicated and highly trained professionals working in a wide range of scientific, technical, operational and administrative positions.

  • Our inspection staff verify industry compliance with the legislation for which the CFIA is responsible and may take enforcement action where they identify non-compliance.
  • Our inspectors, veterinarians, scientists, laboratory technicians and managers deliver a broad range of activities in the areas of risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.
  • We also develop inspection programs and conduct disease surveillance, laboratory testing and analysis.

Maintaining strong relationships is key to delivering the CFIA's mission. Our mission affects the following groups:

  • consumers
  • producers
  • industry
  • federal government departments and agencies
  • provincial and territorial governments
  • international organizations
  • other countries

The CFIA has developed a set of values to support our employees when they make decisions and interact with these various groups.

Your rights

When dealing with us, you will be treated with respect, professionalism, fairness, and impartiality. You have the right to

  • require that our staff identify themselves;
  • discuss and seek clarification concerning your responsibilities;
  • be advised of the reasons for our decisions in writing, where practical or legally required;
  • have your privacy protected, as set out by the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act;
  • obtain information on our programs and services and our regulatory requirements;
  • receive information in the official language of your choice (English or French);
  • contact your inspector or local CFIA office to understand our regulatory decision or discuss the service you have received; and
  • contact the Complaints and Appeals Office to submit a formal complaint.

In addition to this statement of rights and service, a compendium of audience-specific guides to CFIA inspection is available to provide stakeholders with a better understanding of the following:

  • their rights when interacting with the CFIA
  • how the CFIA works with its stakeholders
  • the standards of behaviour by which CFIA employees abide
  • how the CFIA reports on its inspection results
  • how to reach the CFIA

These audience-specific guides to inspection are available on our website.

Our commitment to you

The CFIA is committed to service excellence. The following principles identify our dedication to quality service through consistent, professional, timely and fair practices.


We are transparent and open in our regulatory decision making. Our commitment to accountability in our inspection system includes clearly outlining regulatory requirements and consequences of non-compliance. We explain to our regulated parties (such as producers, processors, animal transporters, importers, exporters) the reasons for our inspection decisions with respect to applicable laws. The outcomes of our regulatory activities, including compliance verification and enforcement actions, are publicly reported.

Accessible and timely information

Our employees are knowledgeable and helpful, and our information tools are available to assist you. We make it easy for you to contact us and to receive information in a timely manner, whether you are a regulated party who needs to understand legislative obligations or a consumer who wants to take measures to protect yourself against food safety risks. The information we provide is clearly worded, concise and easily understood by non-experts. We will also assist in directing you to information from other organizations.

Fair treatment

We treat you fairly, respectfully and courteously. We are dedicated to the consistent and impartial application of the legislation for which we are responsible. Our activities are carried out by trained and authorized personnel in accordance with the CFIA's corporate values and ethics. Our reputation and credibility are vital to our ability to deliver our mandate. As such, we conduct ourselves in a way that preserves trust.

Responsiveness and continual improvement

We are responsive to the needs of consumers and regulated parties. Your comments and suggestions represent an opportunity for us to improve our policies, programs and services. We are committed to consulting Canadians to understand your perspectives on significant policy and program issues that impact you. When establishing legislative requirements, we consider the impact on our regulated parties, including small businesses, while maintaining our legislative obligations.

How you can help us

The CFIA is committed to providing consistent and professional service in fulfilling our legislative mandate. In return, we ask that you do the following.

  • If you are a regulated party, be knowledgeable of, and comply with, legislative requirements relevant to you.
  • Provide complete, accurate and timely information.
  • Treat our employees in a courteous and respectful manner.
  • Understand the role our employees perform.
  • Be aware of the ethical obligations that govern the actions of CFIA officials.

Our service standards

Service standards illustrate the CFIA's commitment to a level of performance that tells stakeholders what to expect.

There are standards for

  • required services provided by the CFIA, found in legislation, such as facility inspections
  • additional services provided by the CFIA, such as fresh produce inspection at destination

The CFIA reports annually on its expected results, performance indicators and targets for its various program activities. It does this through its reports to Parliament.

Establishing service standards is an integral part of setting user fees, as outlined in our Cost Recovery Policy and Framework.

Service standards must be objective, reasonable, measurable, published, and comparable to those established by other jurisdictions with which a comparison is relevant.

Complaints, comments and compliments

We welcome your feedback on how we are serving you so please pass along your compliments and comments. Such feedback provides us with an opportunity to recognize excellence and to make improvements.

We encourage you to resolve any issue you may encounter directly with front-line inspection staff or your local CFIA office. If it cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, you can submit your comments directly to the CFIA.

For more information on how to submit a formal complaint or to share a comment or compliment, please visit our website or refer to one of the audience specific guides to CFIA inspection.

How to reach us

The CFIA website is an important source for information related to food safety, animal health and plant health. If you cannot find the web resources to answer your questions, please contact us using one of the methods outlined below.

By phone

Our phone lines are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday to Friday.

Toll-free: 1-800-442-2342
Local: 613-773-2342
TTY: 1-800-465-7735

We will respond to you or arrange for the appropriate person to contact you within two business days, under normal operating circumstances.

By email

You can email us at

You will receive an immediate acknowledgement that your feedback has been received and we will contact you within two business days, under normal operating circumstances.

To learn more about the CFIA's Statement of Rights and Service, visit our website.

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