Canadian Produce Marketing Association Launches Canadian Food Safety Fund
OTTAWA, ON - Speaking up for Canada’s produce industry in need, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) is taking charge and tackling food safety as a top priority, hoping to ensure the ongoing viability and growth of the country’s fresh produce sector. Launching the Canadian Food Safety Fund (CFSF), CPMA hopes to reinforce the idea that a food safety incident in one commodity group or segment could have devastating repercussions throughout the entire industry.
“We actively recognized the need for ongoing Canadian-focused research and education in the areas of pathogens, regulatory changes and best practices so members can stay at the forefront of food safety in Canada,” shared Ron Lemaire, President. “We saw a unique opportunity to help support research projects that would typically be cost-prohibitive to many of the smaller companies that make up our membership. The Fund will therefore facilitate and disseminate the important work, current and future, occurring in the produce industry.”
According to a press release, CPMA outlined the main goals of the CFSF as the following:
- Support vital, Canadian-focused, food safety research
- Develop educational programs and key information for members on existing and emerging food safety challenges
- Increase government outreach, including in the U.S. and Mexico, to address food safety issues for members
Through the CFSF, CPMA said it hopes to instill confidence in its members that it will continue improving the Canadian food safety system. Members of the association will also be able to suggest or initiate commodity specific projects to address opportunities or challenges faced by their businesses, contribute to the overall body of scientific knowledge, and seek out the advice of CPMA’s new food safety expert, Jeff Hall.
“CPMA is already working with academia, governments, and other associations to move these goals forward,” said Hall. “A part of our mandate is to provide members with information, through education, research, or other projects, on food safety and related issues. We’re committed to partnering with a broad base to ensure that we create a body of research that will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the industry.”
In tandem with its current food safety focus, CPMA will be hosting a series of information sessions on the upcoming Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) and the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). These sessions are available free to CPMA members and media, and will take place in January and February 2018 in select Canadian and U.S. locations.
For more information on the CFSF and the ongoing initiatives to strengthen Canadian knowledge in food safety, please visit www.cpma.ca/foodsafety.