by BETTER FARMING STAFF
Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) and the 10 provincial chicken marketing boards signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this week allowing for the implementation and certification of their Animal Care Program. Two provinces, Alberta and Prince Edward Island, have already achieved 100 per cent certification and several other provinces are expected to reach that level of compliance within months.
Speaking from the organization’s summer meeting in Winnipeg, Steve Leech, national program manager for the CFC, said 65 per cent of CFC farms across Canada are certified in the Animal Care Program now.
“The signing of the MOU is really a commitment of the CFC and the 10 provincial boards to implement this program and make sure there are consistent auditing and certification services,” Leech said. Certified farmers are audited for a minimum set of standards including feed, water, ventilation and “everything associated with animal care.” Leech said record keeping is required on a flock-by-flock basis and there is an annual audit and recertification process.
Earlier in the week, the federal government gave the CFC $72,500 which will be used to finance an audit of its on-farm food safety program. This will be the first third-party audit of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s On-Farm Food Safety Recognition Program which follows the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles to make sure potential food safety problems are caught before products leave the farm.
Leech said 96 per cent of CFC farms are already compliant with the program. The On-Farm Food Safety Recognition Program has been implemented in steps over a number of years. One of the first steps was developing a producer standard according to HACCP rules. That was accomplished in 2002. A producer manual was developed in 2006 along with a management review process.
“The final step,” Leech said, “is the third-party audit of the program.” He expects the audit to be completed this year. BF