Positioning Canada's food exporters for increased market opportunities
Canada is the world's fifth largest exporter of agriculture and agri-food products. Maintaining and enhancing the strength of our export markets is vital to achieving the Government of Canada's trade target of growing agriculture and agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.
The Safe Food for Canadian Regulations (SFCR) further enhance Canada's international reputation as a global leader, help maintain access to the United States and other key markets, as well as potentially open up new trade opportunities.
The regulations are based on international food safety standards. These food safety standards are also the basis for modernized food safety regulations that have been, or are being, adopted by Canada's key trading partners, including the United States, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand.
Under the SFCR, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) also has broader authority to certify that Canadian food products are manufactured safely. Previously, some export markets have not been accessible for certain types of processed and manufactured foods because CFIA did not have the authority to issue export certificates for certain products, including manufactured products such as cookies and potato chips.
Now that the regulations are in force, CFIA has published a list of SFCR-licensed food manufacturers to confirm that they are operating in good standing. To be considered in good standing under the SFCR, food businesses need to have an acceptable preventive control plan and traceability records.
Being included on this list will help food businesses maintain access to key markets, including the United States.
Canadian food businesses exporting foods that are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can leverage their SFCR licence to demonstrate that their food safety controls meet their U.S. importers' requirements under the U.S. Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). Under the U.S. Foreign Supplier Verification Program, the U.S. importer can refer to the list of SFCR licenced Canadian food businesses to meet the U.S. FSVP rules.
Canada and the U.S. have a Food Safety Systems Recognition Arrangement (FSSRA), which recognizes that the two countries have comparable food safety control measures. Canadian food that can be qualified under the FSVP through the FSSRA includes:
- fruit and vegetables
- shelled eggs
- dairy (except Grade "A" milk and Grade "A" milk products)
- fish (except farmed catfish, catfish products and molluscan shellfish)
- foods (such as snacks, cereals, and bakery products)
Visit CFIA's SFCR food exports page to learn more about how the SFCR apply to Canadian exporters.
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