New Initiatives Aim to Ensure Safety of Food from Farm to Fork10 October 2013
CANADA - As part of the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 agreement, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn and Member of Parliament James Bezan (Selkirk-Interlake), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced that the goal of the Growing Assurance – Food Safety initiatives is to work with Manitobans to ensure food is safe from farm to fork.
"The process of food safety begins on farms, then moves to include processors, the transportation industry and retailers, and ends on the consumer’s plate," said Minister Kostyshyn. "Meeting high food safety standards will benefit the agri-food industry by maintaining consumer confidence, increasing market access, enhancing product quality and consistency and reducing waste in a world where food is a valuable commodity."
"Food safety is a priority for our government," said Mr Bezan. "These initiatives will provide farmers and processors with the resources they need to continue producing high quality food products." Growing Assurance – Food Safety initiatives contain two streams that address the safety of food through on-farm procedures and in the processing and distribution sectors.
The on-farm stream provides financial assistance to agricultural producers to adopt assurance systems and best management practices related to: food safety issues like storage and sanitation; biosecurity; plant and animal health; traceability, and animal welfare. Programming will also support surveillance and emergency preparedness systems.
The processing and distribution stream provides financial assistance to food processors, distributors, transporters and direct contact packaging manufacturers. The goal is to help implement food safety systems and best practices that reduce risk factors throughout the industry.
"It is essential that food safety practices be part of every step of the food chain," said Kostyshyn. "Building food safety procedures into production and processing will benefit producers by improving marketplace recognition for high standards at the local, national and international levels."
Growing Assurance – Food Safety initiatives are initially being allocated over $2 million in 2013-14 under Growing Forward 2 for approved projects like preventative food safety programmes, support programming for the Verified Beef Production programme and a biosecurity programme based on the Canadian Swine Health Board standards.
For more information on the Growing Assurance – Food Safety initiatives visit www.manitoba.ca/agriculture and click on Growing Assurance, or contact the nearest Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) GO office.
In Manitoba, federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million over five years to the Growing Forward 2 programmes.
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