What is the Canadian On-Farm Food Safety Program?
Canadian On-Farm Food Safety Program (COFFS) is a producer-driven partnership
between industry and government that helps national commodity organizations
develop and implement on-farm food safety programs based on the Hazard
Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) definitions and principles.
What is HACCP?
HACCP is an internationally recognized system of quality assurance endorsed
by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The HACCP system is effective mainly
because it is a scientific, "preventative approach [which] focuses
first on identifying and then on reducing or eliminating potential food
safety hazards" (An introduction to On-Farm Food Safety Practices,
Why was the COFFS Program established?
The COFFS Program was established in May 1997 to respond to increasing
consumer concerns about the safety of their food. Now, through the success
of the COFFS program, Canada is becoming recognized as a leader in food
safety. The program demonstrates to consumers and processors, both nationally
and internationally that Canadian farmers produce food that is among the
safest in the world.
How is the COFFS Program funded?
The COFFS Program is a cost-shared program between industry and Agriculture
and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). AAFC has been contributing funds for the
program through its Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development Fund. Beginning
in April 2003 this funding will continue under the Food Safety and Quality
Chapter of the new Agricultural Policy Framework (APF). National commodity
groups also support the program by contributing staff time, volunteer
hours spent by producers, and other administrative resources. The COFFS
Program is administered by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA).
is the COFFS program run?
A national Working Group comprised of representatives from seventeen national
commodity organizations meets regularly in Ottawa to develop generic tools
and strategies for the design, delivery and implementation of on-farm
food safety programs. Representatives from the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada attend these meetings
to provide technical advice and support. Through the leadership and guidance
of this group, national commodity organizations are creating affordable,
sustainable and credible on-farm food safety programs. Activities of the
Working Group include:
developing and delivering training courses for on-farm food safety auditors;
encouraging CFIA to establish an official recognition program;
developing a system for certifying producers in cooperation
with the Standards Council of Canada and CFIA;
creating a risk management program to address liability issues
of producers, organizations and auditors.
developing communication materials to educate producers and
consumers, nationally and internationally about the value of the COFFS
here for more information on The Canadian On-Farm Food Safety Program.
here to visit the Food Safety Network's Website.
Sources: Canadian Federation of Agriculture. An Introduction
to on-farm food safety practice. Canadian Federation of Agriculture.
The Canadian On-Farm Food Safety Program.