The CFIA Chronicle

Edition 3 – October 2017

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Responding to Emerging Risks, Exploring New Opportunities

Photo - B.A. (Bruce) Archibald, Carolina Giliberti

Many of our readers know that over the past few years the CFIA has been working to respond to ever-changing risks to food, animal health and plants. At the same time, it is necessary for our Agency to be more efficient and innovative to support Canada's ability to compete in a global economy.

Our staff has been developing new tools, improving processes, enhancing approaches to managing inspections and risk and strengthening regulations.

Along the way, we met with stakeholders to update them on developments, and held consultations on several of our key initiatives. The feedback we have received helps position our work for the challenges ahead and is captured in our new framework, "Responding to Today, Building for the Future."

At the heart of the framework are five key strategic priorities:

1. A Modern Regulatory Toolkit

The Agency has a greater focus on developing outcome-based regulations which specify the required outcome that regulated parties must meet, while providing more flexibility in how they choose to achieve it.

Some examples of outcome-based regulations include:

This type of regulation will be accompanied by compliance promotion tools and up-to-date guidance like model systems. Access to support services such as Ask CFIA will also be available.

2. Integrated Risk Management

We are gathering risk intelligence in modern tools to better and more effectively inform risk decisions.

These tools are fed by data from many sources, including surveillance, environmental scans, new science, and inspections. This week, we feature a story of how we are looking at the use of drones to obtain data on invasive species.

The Agency has always focused on managing risk. Nowhere is this more evident than in our response to disease outbreaks. Read about our response to Bovine Tuberculosis in this issue and how producers can help mitigate the impact of such outbreaks.

3. Consistent and Efficient Inspections

The Agency has begun using a standard and consistent inspection approach for food. The integrated Agency Inspection Model (iAIM) will apply globally recognized risk management concepts based on prevention. It focuses on verifying regulatory outcomes and reflects the full Agency mandate.

To develop this approach, the CFIA held extensive consultations with front-line inspectors, consumer associations, industry and government stakeholders. The Agency wants to continue to hear from all its stakeholders and encourages everyone to visit the current consultation page on our website.

4. Digital-First Tools and Services

We are embracing technology and moving toward digital as the first choice for businesses and consumers to get the information and services they need. One of the ways the Agency supports this effort is through My CFIA which provides convenient and secure online access for requesting services for some:

  • Licences
  • Permits
  • Registrations
  • Export certificates

We're building on existing online tools. For example, importers searching for the import requirements they need may be interested to know about the support available from the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS). For more information about My CFIA and AIRS, read the article in this edition about our online services.

5. Global Leadership

In order to maintain our reputation as a global leader, we are working to influence international standards to improve safety and environmental outcomes and support market access for Canadian products.

This means pursuing improved international standards, fairness in trade practices, enhanced use of technology and regulatory cooperation. We are proud of our involvement in addressing international issues such as food fraud, featured in this edition. We are also proud of Canada's industry members who demonstrate a strong commitment to protecting the health of Canada's plants, animals and food and acknowledge them through programs such as the Food Safety Recognition Program.

Responding to Today, Building for the Future is about building on the work accomplished over the past few years, making the best use of today's tools while creating new ones, and becoming more flexible to adapt to the demands of tomorrow.

As we pursue these priorities, we remain committed to maintaining and strengthening relationships. What are your thoughts about Responding to Today, Building for the Future, and the other work featured here? Get in touch and stay connected.

Paul Glover

Carolina Giliberti
Executive Vice-President

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Did You Know?

Ask CFIA is your single point of entry for questions about current regulatory requirements. Since June 2016, over 1500 regulatory questions have been answered. Ask CFIA is available to most food businesses including those in the following sectors: fish and seafood, dairy, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, maple, honey and egg and egg products. Have a regulatory question? Ask CFIA.

Consultation and Engagement Opportunities

Consultation is a key activity of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). It supports open and transparent government. We encourage you to have a look at the complete list of consultation and engagement opportunities, become informed and have your say.

Questions or Suggestions

If you have questions about regulatory requirements or other technical questions regarding your business, visit Ask CFIA.

If you have questions about one of the articles in The CFIA Chronicle or would like to suggest an article for futures editions, email:

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