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Canadian Farmers at Risk as African Swine Fever Spreads

Recently, African Swine Fever (ASF) has become a rising issue in Asia and Europe, with China, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, as well as Belgium now reporting cases of infected pigs. ASF is a contagious viral disease which affects pigs of all ages, causing high mortality within the animals. Though humans are not susceptible to the disease, it can be spread through our contaminated clothing, equipment, or feed, potentially expanding the outbreak to Canada through imports from these infected countries.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has already arranged some preventative measures to avoid the outbreak of the disease within Canada, including the following measures:

  • Import restrictions and border control of products brought into the country by international travelers
  • Coordination with the Canadian Border Services Agency for border inspections
  • Continuous risk assessment of countries from which Canada imports
  • Working with the EU to monitor the situation in affected countries and update import controls as needed
  • Work to establish harmonized diagnostic testing for ASF with the US and Mexico
  • Encourage enhanced biosecurity measures including recommendations for travelers
  • On-going discussions with the provincial Chief Veterinary Officers and CFIA’s American counterparts

 

The risk assessment for the issue is still in progress, and the CFIA is currently working on a list of products that could potentially infect the feed. Aside from this, the CFIA is working on possible scenarios on current or new zoning of ASF should cases arise in Canada.

As there is currently no effective vaccine or treatment for ASF, the best strategy for the time being is to prevent entry of the virus into Canada. In order to avoid entry, it is best for Canadian producers to follow precautionary measures. When visiting other countries, do not bring back any meat products into Canada, wash all clothing and footwear immediately after use in other countries, do not feed swine any human food waste, and routinely evaluate biosecurity protocols with farm staff and visitors.

More information regarding updates on Canada’s measures against this virus will be released later in the month.

 

Source: Canadian Pork Council

Maple Leaf Foods Buys Organic Poultry Plants

From: Food in Canada

Maple Leaf Foods is purchasing a pair of poultry plants and associated supply from privately-owned Cericola Farms.

The Cericola plants, at Bradford, Ont. and Drummondville, Que., together process about 32 million kg of chicken per year.

Maple Leaf has also entered into an agreement to secure 100 per cent of the processed chicken volume from Cericola’s primary processing plant located in Schomberg, Ont., and holds an option to acquire this asset and associated plant supply in three years.

“Cericola is a leader in raised without antibiotics and organic chicken. This acquisition will build Maple Leaf’s market leadership in these value-added categories and enable us to meet growing consumer demand,” Maple Leaf CEO Michael McCain said in a release.

Cericola Farms’ founder Mary Cericola said the company’s vision over the past 60 years “has been to provide wholesome and natural poultry products to our customers. It is this tradition of excellence that aligns Maple Leaf and Cericola.”

Maple Leaf said the acquisition provides the company with additional supply and value-added processing capability to advance its leadership in higher value categories.

Maple Leaf Foods has transitioned most of its flagship Maple Leaf Prime chicken brand to Prime RWA, where the Canadian market is growing at about 25 per cent annually.

Chicken is the most consumed and fastest growing meat protein segment in North America. Cericola specializes in air-chilled processing of antibiotic-free and animal byproduct-free (“AABF”) and organic poultry products.

The deal is to be financed through a combination of cash-on-hand and drawings under the existing credit facility. The deal is expected to close in August, subject to normal closing requirements including Competition Bureau review.

Final Safe Food for Canadians Regulations are published: CFIA

From: Food in Canada

Ottawa – The final Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) can now be found in Canada Gazette Part II (CGII).

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) made the announcement in a statement, adding that the regulations “will provide clear and consistent rules for food commodities so consumers can be confident that food on grocery shelves is safer to eat, whether it is produced in Canada or abroad.”

The statement explains that the new regulations were created after listening to stakeholders and consumers in in-depth consultations. This has been ongoing since the Safe Food for Canadians Act was passed in 2012.

The new regulations take effect on Jan. 15, 2019.

The CFIA says the period from the publication in CGII until they take effect in 2019 should give food and beverage businesses “time to familiarize themselves with and prepare for the new requirements, including licensing, traceability and preventive controls.”

The statement adds that the new rules meet international food safety standards and will “create greater market access opportunities for Canadian food products exported abroad.”

The federal government also notes that the U.S. has already adopted similar regulations. “Once the SFCR are fully in force, Canadian food businesses exporting foods that are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can leverage their SFCR licence to demonstrate that their food safety controls meet their U.S. importers’ requirements under the U.S. Foreign Supplier Verification Program.”

Businesses will “now need licences as well as preventive controls that address potential risks to food safety” if they import, export or send food across provincial or territorial borders. To expedite the movement of food, businesses should also maintain simple traceability records. “Retailers will only be required to trace their food back to their supplier, not forward to consumers to whom they sold their products,” says the statement.

For more, click here.

Tri-Mach Group CEO now part of CMC Board of Directors

June 22, 2018

As of yesterday, Tri-Mach Group’s CEO, Krystal Darling, has been selected to be part of the Canadian Meat Council (CMC) Board of Directors. As a new member of the CMC Board of Directors, Krystal will take part in advocating for Canada’s high-quality meat products with a continued focus on improving the Canadian global meat market.

With Tri-Mach Group’s new seat on the CMC Board of Directors, we can proudly represent our Canadian meat packers, processors and fellow equipment suppliers in the largest sector of Canada’s food processing industry.

For more information on the Canadian Meat Council, visit: www.cmc-cvc.com

 

Premium Brands acquires Ontario protein manufacturer

From: Food in Canada

Vancouver – Premium Brands Holdings Corporation has added a new protein solutions company to its family.

Premium Brands has acquired a 100 per cent interest in Concord Premium Meats, an Ontario company that manufactures products under the MarcAngelo, Skoulakis, Central Park Deli, Black River Angus and Connie’s Kitchen brands.

Premium Brands owns a range of specialty food manufacturing and food distribution businesses with operations in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and locations in the U.S.

George Paleologou, president and CEO of Premium Brands, says in a statement that the culture at Concord Premium Meats fits in well at Premium Brands and the company’s “focus on products that are benefitting from a variety of long-term consumer trends, combined with its product innovation abilities and production capacities will help to further accelerate the growth of our Protein Group.”

Tri-Mach Goes RED

June 8, 2018

Today, Tri-Mach Group wears RED to show support and participate in RED Day.

What is RED Day?

St. Mary’s Red DAY fundraiser is an opportunity to come together as a community to raise awareness of heart disease as a serious health risk and how it can be prevented. According to the Regional Cardiac Centre, heart disease is the leading cause of death among Canadian women. Every year, heart disease claims the lives of roughly 25,000 women. This is more than the five most prevalent cancers combined. Tri-Mach Group is proud to be part of the RED Day community and is thrilled in the increased RED Day investment for the St. Mary’s Regional Cardiac Care Centre.

Show your support today and wear RED for the heart of the women you love! #RedDayFriday

For more information on RED Day or to donate to this cause, go to: www.supportstmarys.akaraisin.com

Quebec Meat Companies Look to Expand

From: Food in Canada

Saint-Bruno-Lac-Saint-Jean, Que. – Two businesses in the agri-food sector in Quebec have received repayable loans to help them expand their operations.

In a statement, Canada Economic Development (CED) for Quebec Regions says the two businesses, Boucherie Charcuterie Perron Inc. and Charcuterie L. Fortin Ltée, will share $1,850,000.

That financial support, says CED, “will generate an estimated $6,569,768 in total investments in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.”

Boucherie Charcuterie Perron will receive $1,000,000, and Charcuterie L. Fortin will receive $850,000.

Both companies will use the assistance to “upgrade their equipment and facilities, shifting to Industry 4.0 by automating part of their production,” says the statement.

Boucherie Charcuterie produces hams, sausages, and specialty pork products, while Charcuterie L. Fortin produces deli meats, smoked ham, bacon and specialty pork products.

Both companies are also part of the Nutrinor cooperative and employ nearly 125 people from the region. Nutrinor has 936 farmer members and has a presence in food, agriculture, energy and hardware.

 

PEI – Cavendish Farms Officially Opened its New Potato Storage Facility

From: Food in Canada

New Annan, PEI – Cavendish Farms has officially opened its new potato storage facility, which will mean the company can supply potatoes year round.

The new facility, says a statement, is 88,000 sq. ft. and has a refrigerated potato storage capacity of 48 million pounds. The facility is split into two separate buildings with each building being 44,000 sq. ft.

Cavendish Farms is using the Tolsma System, which will allow the company to maintain consistent quality potatoes all year for use at its two processing plants on the island.

Robert Irving, president of Cavendish Farms, says in the statement that the state-of-the-art storage “will allow us to continue providing the best quality frozen potato products to our customers.”

A story on CBC.ca (“Cavendish Farms getting major storage upgrades,” by Noah Richardson on July 24, 2017) reports that the new facility will “replace six outdated ones, which are 50 to 60 years old and poorly insulated. They also don’t have refrigeration and lack airflow.” The new facility “will use 35 per cent less fossil fuel than the ones they’re replacing.”

The statement says about 60 people have been working on the site every day since construction began this past May. The majority of the workers are from PEI. The company estimates that just the construction “took 120,000 person hours of work.”

“Our government has set an ambitious target to export $75 billion of agri-food products by 2025,” says Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“Here on the Island, our potato farmers will play a key role in achieving this target. With this innovative potato storage facility, our farmers will have more opportunities to sell their products year round, while helping to grow our middle class through good jobs and long-term employment. The impact of this new facility I’m sure will be felt across the Island.”

Canada’s CFIA and USA’s FDA Have Signed a Memorandum of Understanding

From: Food in Canada

College Park, Md. – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have agreed to collaborate.

The two agencies announced in a press release that they “have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will facilitate the sharing of food safety information and data, and enable collaborative research projects.”

For a look at the MOU, click here.

Paul Mayers, vice-president of the Science Branch of the CFIA, says in the statement that the two countries already share a strong tie, which “allows us to work together to find innovative and cooperative ways to share information and data in respect to food safety. This collaborative approach to information sharing builds on our individual strengths while expanding our combined knowledge.”

The purpose of the MOU, which was signed at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition campus, is to help both countries collaborate on food safety science.

The MOU is expected to give scientists on both sides of the border access to greater food safety information and data, which will bolster innovation and advance research.

Federal Government Invests in Canadian Livestock Health

From: Food in Canada

Guelph, Ont. – Canada’s federal government is supporting livestock health with an investment of $1.31 million.

In a statement, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) says the investment was made to the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC) “to help ensure the safe transportation of livestock, develop emergency management tools for the livestock industry and improve animal care assessments.”

Jennifer MacTavish, the chair of the CAHC, says in the statement that the organization appreciates the support. She adds that the funding will help “develop Canada’s Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals and affiliated animal care assurance programs.”

The CAHC is a non-profit organization serving Canada’s farmed animal industry. The organization is a partnership of cross-sectorial organizations, all recognizing a shared responsibility for an effective animal health system.

The investment will be divided between four projects, as noted in the statement, including:

  • Up to $223,929 to develop a new livestock transport on-line certification program that will simplify, standardize and provide an opportunity for truckers, shippers and receivers to more easily access the training necessary to improve handling practices.
  • Up to $160,713 to update the Transportation Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals during transport.
  • Up to $813,200 to develop an emergency management plan for the Canadian livestock industry to help mitigate, to respond to, and to recover from major hazard emergencies.
  • Up to $112,180 to revise the Chicken Farmers of Canada’s animal care assessment program to meet the new Code of Practice for hatching eggs, breeders, chickens and turkeys. The project will strengthen the poultry industry’s capacity to respond to ever increasing demand by markets to demonstrate effective animal care standards.