Federal government to crack down on food fraud
EDMONTON – The Canadian government invested $24.4 million through the recently launched Food Policy for Canada to help the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) eliminate food fraud.
The funding will help the CFIA tackle the mislabeling and misrepresentation of food products in order to protect consumers from deception and companies from unfair competition. This investment includes the revamping of the current food fraud program, conducting more inspections and collecting more samples to uncover sources of food fraud, and gathering surveillance data for additional intelligence. The funding will also support the development of new detection methods and tools to help identify food fraud and enhance efforts to bring awareness to partners to improve food authenticity.
By tackling food fraud, the government is also protecting domestic producers, such as honey producers, from unfair competition. On July 9, the government released a report announcing that surveillance and enforcement actions by the CFIA prevented nearly 12,000 kg of adulterated honey, valued at close to $77,000, from entering the Canadian market.
The Food Policy for Canada is the product of consultation and collaboration with Canadians across the country. The government heard from more than 45,000 Canadians, including food producers and processors, experts in environment, health and food security, Indigenous groups, non-government organizations, and community advocates.
The vision for the Food Policy for Canada developed through these consultations is: All people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious and culturally diverse food. Canada’s food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment, and supports our economy.
To realize this vision, the Government of Canada is investing $134 million, to support new initiatives in key action areas, including:
- A Local Food Infrastructure Fund designed to support a community-led project that improves access to safe, healthy and culturally diverse food;
- A new Canada Brand and Buy Canadian promotional campaigns that will aim to increase pride and consumer confidence in Canadian food;
- Support for community-led projects like greenhouses, community freezers, and skills training that address food challenges and food insecurity in Northern and isolated communities;
- A challenge fund to support the most innovative food waste reduction ideas in food processing, grocery retail, and food service;
- Taking the first steps to work alongside provinces, territories, and not-for-profit organizations towards the creation of a National School Food Program; and
- The creation of a Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council to bring together the expertise and diversity needed beyond government to address the food challenges of today, as well as challenges in Canada’s food system in the future.
The Food Policy for Canada aligns with the objectives of initiatives across the Federal Government, such as the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Healthy Eating Strategy, and the Poverty Reduction Strategy, among others.