As we work toward our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and begin to build back better, it is more important than ever that the Government of Canada invests in services that are essential to the security and growth of Canadian agriculture and agri-food businesses.
The Government of Canada is investing $162.6 million in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) over the next five years and $40 million per year on an ongoing basis to maintain the integrity of Canada’s food safety system, protect the health of plants and animals to safeguard the food supply, and provide ongoing support to Canadian businesses in their export and import activities to overcome pandemic interruptions and global trade volatility.
This investment in the CFIA will bolster an already robust and effective regulatory system allowing the Agency to continue to respond effectively and quickly to import and export activities, perform surveillance and digitize forms and documents.
This funding will increase the CFIA’s inspection, surveillance and oversight programs within Canada to respond to the detection of new food pathogens, invasive species and animal diseases that threaten Canada’s agricultural and natural resources. CFIA digital services will also be expanded so that more Canadian exporters and importers can benefit from efficient and automated tools for risk management and inspection.
This investment ensures that Canada will have one of the most modern and effective food safety and plant and animal protection systems in the world, further enhancing Canada’s reputation as a trusted trading partner.
“Our Government is investing in the CFIA so that Canada continues to have the best food safety system in the world, with the best science to protect our natural resources and tools that help businesses keep up with the pace of trade. It will help CFIA digitize their services and issue export certificates in a timely manner. It also means CFIA will have the tools necessary to guard our natural resources and agriculture sector from the threat of foreign pests and diseases.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“The CFIA does important work to keep Canadians, our food supply, animals and plants healthy and safe. Today’s announcement will ensure that the Agency can continue this work, and will maximize its positive impact on Canadians.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health
“The CFIA is committed to developing a modern, agile, inclusive and digitally equipped workforce to meet the current and future challenges and opportunities of the federal public service.”
– Siddika Mithani, President of the CFIA
This investment represents approximately a 5% increase to CFIA’s annual budget, and builds on a number of other investments the Government of Canada has made in the CFIA over the past years (see links below).
For the first eleven months of 2020, Canadian agri-food and seafood exports increased by 10.1%, reaching $67.5 billion compared to $61.4 billion at the same time last year. Exports have already surpassed last year’s record of $67 billion.
Total Canadian agri-food imports reached $53.9 billion in 2019.
Over the last seven years, the number of export certificates for food, plant and animal products issued by the CFIA has increased by an average of 6% per year, going from close to 384,000 certificates in 2014 to approximately 545,000 certificates in 2020.
This funding supports the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food’s mandate of “maximizing the Government’s policy and financial tools to support the sector, particularly its global export growth potential.”
The agriculture and agri-food industry alone contributes over $110B annually to Canada’s gross domestic product.
Canada has 14 Free Trade Agreements, covering 51 countries, giving Canadian agri-food industry a competitive edge in 2/3 of the global market.