Canadian Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz, announced January 7 that the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA) will be creating sixteen targeted Centres of Expertise across Canada to provide industry and CFIA inspectors with better, more consistent access to information and advice. “These Centres of Expertise will pool expertise and make it available through a single window, making the
CFIA more efficient and giving industry, CFIA inspectors and Canadians better, more consistent service,” said Minister Ritz. “In addition, locations will be near both academic and provincial experts in a particular field to leverage expertise and collaboration among organizations.” The sixteen Centres, expected to be implemented over the next few years, will consolidate and co-locate expertise for specific programs. Not only will this create a more efficient system for providing guidance and expert advice, it will also provide a stronger link between the people in the Agency who design policy and programs and the staff who deliver them. This builds on the CFIA’s efforts to improve how it interacts with stakeholders and ultimately improve industry’s understanding and compliance with federal regulations. In February 2012, the CFIA announced its Statement of Rights and Service and guides to inspection, and the establishment of the Complaints and Appeals Office.
The CFIA’s efforts to improve communication with stakeholders and overall industry compliance was further enhanced with the recent passage of the Safe Food for Canadians Act which consolidated various Acts and will make regulations more consistent and clear.
The Centres will be located across Canada. Several factors were considered when selecting these,
_ Current concentration of related industries
_ Proximity to industry organizations
_ Proximity to provincial experts in that field
_ Proximity to academic experts in that field
_ Current concentration of staff involved in the