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CFIA Restructuring to a Single Food ProgramTuesday, April 29, 2014 > 08:37:48
April 1, 2014 was a significant milestone for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) food directorates. As of this day, the CFIA has taken initial steps in a year-long transition towards implementing a single food program.
Until recently, the CFIA operated eight separate food programs: dairy, egg, fish and seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, imported and manufactured food, maple, meat, and processed products such as honey. This structure presented challenges in:
• managing risks consistently across different types of establishments and different foods.
• creating situations in which foods of similar risks may be inspected at different frequencies or in different ways; and
• causing industry to meet multiple and different requirements that can be difficult to address.
As part of the CFIA’s modernization agenda to enhance its business functions and services and inspired by the more horizontal focus of the Safe Food for Canadians Act, we are transitioning away from commodity-based approaches toward a horizontal, single food program design. The CFIA is establishing a common vision for food programs in order to begin implementing the new food inspection model (developed in consultation with industry over the past two years), and to prepare for new food regulations that will bring the Safe Food for Canadians Act into force.
The move to implement a single food program does not change what the Agency does – we are still performing the same work. However, the transition may affect the Agency’s stakeholders in two ways:
• your CFIA program and policy contacts may change; and
• the way that the CFIA currently consults with you may change.
As of April 1, certain CFIA staff working on food-related files began to transition to a new reporting structure, with many reporting to new managers and directors. Although your regular CFIA contacts should continue to be used for information and enquiries, the CFIA will advise stakeholders shortly about new points of interaction. We request your patience as we implement our new processes and identify opportunities to better serve you in a complex and changing environment. Our aim is to minimize any impacts or disruption in your interactions with us.
For more information about the single food program, or to share your ideas, issues or concerns, please feel free to send an email to CFIA-Modernisation-ACIA@inspection.gc.ca.