The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) launched the new Complaints and Appeals mechanism alongside a Statement of Rights and Service for Producers, Consumers and Other Stakeholders and six guides to inspection – designed for consumers, producers, processors, animal transporters, importers and exporters – which outline the CFIA’s roles and responsibilities and explain what businesses can expect from the CFIA’s service.
Canadian agriculture minister Gerry Ritz said: “We’re taking steps to strengthen communication and interaction between the Agency, consumers, producers, and the entire value chain, so that we can all better work together to ensure safe food and a strong agriculture industry.
“The statement, guides and complaints mechanism build a stronger foundation from which the CFIA, consumers, producers and all businesses can work together to improve Canada’s food, plant and animal safety.”
The statement, guides and appeals mechanism was developed in partnership with the Canadian meat industry, which has welcomed the new initiatives.
Canadian Meat Council executive director Jim Laws said: “We welcome [the] CFIA’s commitment to transparency, accessible and timely information, fair treatment, responsiveness and continual improvement.... Canada’s meat and egg processors have accumulated decades of experience working co-operatively with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Our organisations believe that the collaborative framework formalised today by Minister Ritz and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will provide a strong foundation for future consultations on the development of a modernised food safety system.”
Canadian Pork Council vice-chair Rick Bergmann added: “[The] CFIA’s Statement of Rights and Service and the associated Complaints and Appeals system will further strengthen the existing working relationship between the pork industry and [the] CFIA. These tools will clarify the roles of each participant in the value chain and will outline a process to follow up with, if further information on a decision or on a regulation is necessary.”