Improvements needed to agency's customer service, communication
REGINA, Jan. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - For the first time, the cost of complying
with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) regulations has been
calculated, totaling $657 million each year for Canada's farmers and
agriculture industry. As part of Red Tape Awareness WeekTM, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) presents these
findings in its second CFIA Report Card.
The report is based on a survey of CFIB agri-business members and
provides a comprehensive review of how the CFIA interacts with farmers,
as well as its impact on the agriculture sector. Agriculture is an
important part of the Canadian economy - employing 2 million people and
contributing 8.1 per cent of Canada's GDP.
"Farmers support rules necessary to ensure safe food and are tired of
getting the runaround from the CFIA," says Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB's
vice-president, agri-business. "Spending thousands of dollars and
countless hours navigating through confusing forms and contradictory
information leaves farmers feeling completely frustrated. And this does
nothing to promote food safety."
Key findings on the CFIA:
Since 2006, the annual average cost of complying with the agency's rules
and paperwork has increased from $19,000 to $20,396 per agri-business
Only one-in-five agri-business owners believe the CFIA provides good
'overall service', the same as previous findings in 2006, indicating
there is no improvement in overall service.
60 per cent of agri-business owners say CFIA regulations add significant
stress to their lives; and
46 per cent report that the agency's regulations significantly reduce
productivity in their business, up from previous findings (40 per cent)
While the report shows improvements to accessibility and to the attitude
of agency staff, CFIA clearly still has a lot more work to do when it
comes to communications and overall service.
"As CFIA modernizes Canada's food regulatory system through the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan, we hope they make concrete and practical changes to address farmers'
concerns, as things really do need to change," concluded Braun-Pollon.
Canadians are encouraged to show their support for CFIB's Red Tape Revolution by signing the on-line petition (www.cfib.ca/rtaw) that will be delivered to governments.
CFIB is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized
businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region (7,200
independently owned and operated agri-businesses in the country, the
majority of which are primary producers).
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Independent Business
For further information:
To arrange an interview with Marilyn Braun-Pollon, please call 1-888-234-2232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To read a copy of the second CFIA Report Card, please visit www.cfib.ca.