Canada: a world leader in on-farm food safety

News Release
January 13, 2003

(OTTAWA, MISSISSAUGA) - Canada has taken another step towards establishing a world benchmark for food safety. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), the Canadian On-Farm Food Safety Working Group and SGS Canada Inc. today announced the launch of a new national training module for on-farm food safety auditors. The first course will be held in Edmonton between February 3rd and 7th, 2003.

"Consumers want safe food, and we believe food safety begins at the farm gate. Implementing this Canadian approach to food safety takes a major step forward with the launch of this national, bilingual course for on-farm auditors," said CFA President Bob Friesen. "Having a consistent training program for this important new occupation is essential to establishing the credibility of the seventeen (17) national commodity-specific, HACCP-based on-farm food safety programs currently under development".

The training module focuses on food safety issues and auditing practices. It is based on the curriculum guidelines for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) training developed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and on the ISO audit training requirements. The course involves 35 hours of in-class time and an additional 15 hours of assignments prior to the examination. Course participants are required to have at least two years of post-secondary studies in an agriculture-related field and at least two years work experience related to primary production.

SGS Canada Inc., through a competitive process, was awarded a license to deliver the training in Canada for a three-year period beginning in early 2003. SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) is a global organization established in 1878, based in Geneva, with a network of over 800 offices, 300 laboratories and 37,000 staff members in 140 countries, including offices and laboratories across Canada. SGS currently runs one of the world's largest independent programs, performing training, auditing and certification of hygiene and food safety standards in over 50 countries.

The national module was developed for the Canadian On-Farm Food Safety Working Group by the Insitut de technologie agroalimentaire de Saint-Hyacinthe with funding from the Canadian On-Farm Food Safety (COFFS) Program. The COFFS Program is funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development Fund. CFA holds the copyright to the module on behalf of the COFFS Working Group.

To be eligible to audit within one of the national on-farm food safety programs, auditors will also be required to successfully complete a training module related to the specific commodity program. These courses are being developed and offered by the national commodity groups.

Information about the national on-farm food safety auditor training module can be obtained from SGS Canada Inc. head office in Mississauga, Ontario, by calling (905) 676-9595 or on the Internet: or



Kieran Green, CFA Communications Coordinator (613) 236-3633,

Victor Muliyil HACCP Specialist/Technical Program Manager, North American Food Safety Services, SGS Canada Inc. (905) 676-9595

Founded in 1935 to provide Canada's farmers with a single voice in Ottawa, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is the country's largest farmers' organization. Its members include provincial general farm organizations as well as national and inter-provincial commodity organizations from every province. Through its members, CFA represents over 200,000 Canadian farmers and farm families.

The Canadian On-Farm Food Safety Working Group

The Canadian On-Farm Food Safety Working Group is open to all organizations participating in the Canadian On-Farm Food Safety Program and to other organizations interested in the evolution of the Canadian Approach to On-Farm Food Safety. Government officials participate as observers. The current membership includes:

COFFS Program Participants:

  • Canadian Broiler Hatching Egg Producers Association/Canadian Broiler Hatching Egg Marketing Agency
  • Canadian Hatchery Federation
  • Canadian Egg Producers' Council/Canadian Egg Marketing Agency
  • Canadian Broiler Council/Chicken Farmers of Canada
  • Turkey Research and Resource Bureau/Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency
  • Canadian Pork Council
  • Canadian Bison Association
  • Dairy Farmers of Canada
  • Canadian Sheep Federation
  • Canadian Cattlemen's Association
  • Canadian Cervid Council
  • Canadian Mushroom Growers' Association
  • Canadian Horticultural Council Canada Grains Council
  • Canadian Honey Council
  • Canadian Herb & Spice Coalition

General Farm Organizations:

  • Canadian Federation of Agriculture
  • Ontario Federation of Agriculture
  • Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture
  • L'Union des producteurs agricole

Related Industry Associations:

  • Animal Nutrition Association of Canada
  • Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance.
  • Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

Government Agencies and Departments (Observer status):

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada -Adaptation Division
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Strategic Policy Branch
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency







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