LISTOWEL, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2012) - The Harper Government is strengthening the sheep and goat industry by helping to improve on-farm food safety practices. Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, today announced an investment of $289,000 to assist sheep and goat farmers to reduce the risk of food-borne illness.
"Our Government is committed to food safety and to creating a strong agriculture industry for the future," said Mr. Lemieux. "This investment will help strengthen on-farm food safety systems and give sheep and goat farmers the tools they need to continue to produce safe, high-quality food for Canadians."
The investment will be used for the following two projects:
- $202,505 to the Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF) to complete the development of a national goat on-farm food safety system. This includes developing training materials and manuals on the latest food safety production practices.
- $86,530 to the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) to update the food safety system for sheep, by ensuring it remains current with new on-farm food safety information and technology.
CSF and CNGF will also undergo a thorough review of their respective food safety systems by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's On-Farm Food Safety Recognition Program. This national program follows the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles to help ensure that potential food safety problems are identified and addressed before products leave the farm gate. A strong food safety system reassures Canadians that food products are handled safely, which in turn helps to boost the bottom line of farmers.
"The Canadian Sheep Federation appreciates the support by the Government of Canada to finalize the last step in the federation's On-Farm Food Safety system. This is an industry-led program designed to send a clear message to customers that they can count on Canadian quality lamb," said Andrew Gordanier, CSF Chairman.
"Food safety is becoming an issue of concern for consumers and this program is designed to address this at the farm level. We are asking goat producers to clearly say what they are doing in terms of management practices, do what they say, then demonstrate it with an audit," said Myrna Coombs, CNGF President.
This federal Growing Forward investment is being made through the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative (CIFSI). The Harper Government is helping organizations develop national, on-farm and/or post-farm HACCP or HACCP-based food safety systems. To find out more about this initiative, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/cifsi.