Mississauga – Ontario's Government for the People is taking action to cut red tape and reduce the regulatory burden for all businesses. The province is targeting costly and burdensome agri-food sector regulations – while keeping Ontarians safe and healthy.
"Farmers and food processors have told us too many of Ontario's regulatory requirements are out of date, unnecessary or heavy-handed," said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). "They say the process costs them time, money and a lot of frustration, and it doesn't provide any real added protections for people. These proposed changes will make it easier and faster for agri-food companies to do business in Ontario."
"This is a great step towards removing costly and burdensome regulations within the agri-food sector," said Todd Smith, Ontario's Minister Responsible for Red Tape and Regulatory Burden Reduction. "Our government is committed to reducing red tape so our job creators can thrive, grow and create good jobs for the people."
The proposed changes under the Food Safety and Quality Act will reduce paperwork and fees and encourage additional business opportunities for provincially-licensed meat processors. Meat-plant licences would no longer need to be renewed, saving operators up to $300 every three years, and eliminating time consuming paperwork. The process will also be simplified for owners who no longer want to operate meat plants and voluntarily give up their licences, reducing confusion and aggravation for processors.
The government is also proposing to reduce the regulatory burden under the Milk Act, with support from the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission to promote growth, innovation and job creation in the dairy sector. Under current regulations, small dairy processors, such as artisan cheese makers, can spend up to one-third of their construction budget on outdated building requirements. The proposed amendments will reduce costs and allow processors to use existing buildings. In another proposed change, revised licensing criteria will eliminate overlapping oversight between OMAFRA and Public Health Units.
Source : OMAFRA