News Release – Canada and Manitoba
Working with Manitobans to ensure food is safe from farm to fork is the goal of the Growing Assurance – Food Safety initiatives being launched as part of the federal-provincial Growing Forward 2 agreement, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn and Member of Parliament James Bezan, Selkirk-Interlake, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today.
“The process of food safety begins on farms, then moves to include processors, the transportation industry and retailers, and ends on the consumer’s plate,” said Minister Kostyshyn. “Meeting high food safety standards will benefit the agri-food industry by maintaining consumer confidence, increasing market access, enhancing product quality and consistency, and reducing waste in a world where food is a valuable commodity.”
“Food safety is a priority for our government,” said Mr. Bezan. “These initiatives will provide farmers and processors with the resources they need to continue producing high quality food products.”
Growing Assurance – Food Safety initiativescontain two streams that address the safety of food through on-farm procedures and in the processing and distribution sectors.
The on-farm stream provides financial assistance to agricultural producers to adopt assurance systems and best management practices related to food safety issues like storage and sanitation, biosecurity, plant and animal health, traceability and animal welfare. Programming will also support surveillance and emergency preparedness systems.
The processing and distribution stream provides financial assistance to food processors, distributors, transporters and direct contact packaging manufacturers. The goal is to help implement food safety systems and best practices that reduce risk factors throughout the industry.
“It is essential that food safety practices be part of every step of the food chain,” said Minister Kostyshyn. “Building food safety procedures into production and processing will benefit producers by improving marketplace recognition for high standards at the local, national and international levels.”
Growing Assurance – Food Safety initiatives are initially being allocated over $2 million in 2013-14 under Growing Forward 2 for approved projects like preventative food safety programs, support programming for the Verified Beef Production program and a biosecurity program based on the Canadian Swine Health Board standards.
For more information on the Growing Assurance– Food Safety initiatives visit www.manitoba.ca/agriculture and click on Growing Assurance, or contact the nearest Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) GO office.
In Manitoba, federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million over five years to the Growing Forward 2 programs.
Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework, is investing $3 billion nationally to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets. For more information on the Growing Forward 2 agreement, visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2.
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