Published 14 April 2020
In an attempt to ensure food is kept safe for purchase and consumption in Canada, the Canadian government announced funding support for an essential food safety regulatory agency.
April 14, 2020 — The Canadian Food Inspection agency has announced that the Government of Canada will be providing $20 million in funding to the CFIA in order to protect food inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $20 million from the Canadian government is being provided so that the CFIA can surpass some key challenges due to COVID-19. First, the funding will allow the agency to enhance its inspections and adapt them to the current COVID-19 environment. This will include using new technologies, like tablets, to conduct inspections.
Secondly, the funding will allow the CFIA to hire and train more provincial food inspectors along with reallocating particular staff to other critical areas of the agency. More hands on deck will allow for more flexibility and adaptability while ensuring that critical inspections are being conducted.
Lastly, the funding will provide the agency with the ability to collaborate closely with industry and trading partners on supply disruptions. These disruptions in the supply chain are having detrimental effects on the economy and the food industry, and the agency aims to minimize these disruptions during this crisis.
In response to the funding, Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, said “I thank the whole team at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency who are adjusting rapidly in spite of all the challenges presented by COVID-19. With these additional resources, and thanks to the valued collaboration between inspectors, business leaders and the provinces, CFIA is ensuring their critical services are available to the food sector.“
Food inspections are essential to ensuring that people are supplied with food that is safe for consumption. During normal operations in the food industry, food-borne illnesses are a threat to the health and safety of the public. With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting many organizations from operating properly or at full-capacity, the food safety risks have the potential to increase greatly. By providing funding to regulatory agencies like the CFIA, food safety standards can be achieved and maintained.