Canadian Food Inspection Agency Plans to Privatize Seed Crop Inspection
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that they will be moving towards ‘alternative delivery’ for seed protection starting in April 2014. The CFIA budget-driven agenda is forcing the agency to refocus their core priorities relating to food safety.
The announcement was made public to stakeholders on Monday, stating that the CFIA "will be working with industry to transfer seed crop inspection services to an alternative delivery mechanisms beginning April 1, 2014."
The Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA), Canadian Seed Trade Association, Canadian Seed Institute will be working alongside the CFIA to develop a framework for the next two years to ensure a smooth transition to a new inspection system. Part of the framework will be providing training for private crop inspectors.
"This means that in the future there will be less emphasis on activities such as the direct delivery of seed crop inspection that could be provided more efficiently and effectively by the private sector," CFIA said.
While seed crop protection will become privatized, the CFIA will still be responsible for seed certification licencing, auditing of seed crop inspectors and developing performance standers for licenced inspectors. The move towards efficiency will free-up more resources so that CFIA can focus on their core mandate on consumer protection, food safety and animal and plant health.