Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Report

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Section II – Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

This section details the CFIA’s planned activities for its strategic outcome as informed by a number of factors, including Government and Agency priorities, the Agency’s Corporate Risk Profile, and the application of lessons learned. This section features key areas in which the CFIA will focus its efforts for the next three years.

2.1 Strategic Outcome: A Safe and Accessible Food Supply and Plant and Animal Resource Base

Mitigating risks to food safety is the CFIA’s highest priority, and the health and safety of Canadians is the driving force behind the design and development of CFIA programs. The CFIA, in collaboration and partnership with industry, consumers, and federal, provincial and municipal organizations, continues to work towards protecting Canadians from preventable health risks related to food and zoonotic diseases.

The current and future economic prosperity of the Canadian agriculture and forestry sectors relies on a healthy and sustainable animal and plant resource base. As such, the CFIA is continually improving its program design and delivery in the animal health and plant resource areas in order to minimize and manage risks. In an effort to protect the natural environment from invasive animal and plant diseases and plant pests, the CFIA also performs extensive work related to the protection of environmental biodiversity.

The CFIA supports Canadian agriculture and the ability of agri-food businesses to enter domestic and global markets and complete successfully therein. The Agency works to develop and implement regulatory frameworks that: address risks to consumers; enforce labelling information requirements (ensuring the information is not misleading); and ensure that imports and exports meet Canadian and international requirements. To support these objectives, the CFIA engages in outreach and consultation activities with key stakeholders and partners (including those in industry), consumers, and international trade and standards organizations so that its regulatory frameworks are based on the most current and relevant information, thereby remaining as up to date as possible within this rapidly evolving, global environment. In so doing, the CFIA is able to maintain open and transparent communication with its stakeholder and consumer base.

In the fall of 2011, the CFIA began a systematic review of its regulatory frameworks for food safety and plant and animal health. The regulatory review will allow the Agency to maintain a strong regulatory foundation and facilitate efficient and effective service delivery. Over the coming months, the CFIA plans to engage with Canadians, industry stakeholders and other government departments, including federal partners, through a series of discussions and electronic consultations to discuss its regulatory modernization strategy. Further information on the CFIA’s work in this area can be found in Sections,,, and

The table below describes the performance indicators used to measure the extent to which the CFIA is achieving its single strategic outcome. The indicators below are further supported by the indicators measuring the performance of the CFIA's Program Activities (see Tables 2-1, 2-2, 2-3 and 2-4).

Strategic Outcome: A safe and accessible food supply and plant and animal resource base
Strategic Outcome Performance Indicators Targets
Number of countries imposing justifiable standards-related restrictions on exports of Canadian commodities (food, animals, plants, and their products) 0 Countries
Canada is on the list of OIE countries that are free from stipulated reportable animal diseases Canada is on the list each year
Percentage of Canadians who have confidence in the Canadian food supply system Historical trend (Increasing)

To be successful in delivering on its strategic outcome, the CFIA has developed a robust risk management discipline, and it fosters its use throughout the Agency. As such, the CFIA continually monitors and assesses its operating environment in order to be aware of the threats to and opportunities concerning the achievement of its desired outcome. A cornerstone of its risk management process is the development of an Agency-wide Corporate Risk Profile (CRP). Key strategic risks, as identified in the Agency’s CRP, are:

  • Management information and IM/IT infrastructure
  • Inspection effectiveness
  • Scientific capability
  • Legislative, regulatory and program framework
  • Managing change
  • Transparency and leveraging relationships
  • Emergency Management

In order to mitigate these risks and achieve its strategic outcome, the Agency will, through the actions of its program activities (Food Safety, Animal Health and Zoonotics, Plant Resources, International Collaboration and Technical Agreements), concentrate its efforts for 2012–13 on the delivery of key initiatives supporting the following four priorities:

  • Building a stronger foundation to enable effective and efficient program delivery;
  • Working closely with partners to optimize health and safety outcomes and economic objectives across jurisdictions;
  • Enhancing service to improve results for regulated parties and consumers; and
  • Strengthening internal management to enhance effectiveness.

2.1.1 Program Activities Summary Food Safety Program

Food Safety Program

[text version]

The Food Safety Program aims to mitigate risks to public health associated with diseases and other health hazards in the food supply system and to manage food safety emergencies and incidents. The program achieves its objectives by promoting food safety awareness through public engagement and verification of compliance by industry with standards and science-based regulations. The program delivers initiatives to verify that consumers receive food safety and nutrition information and to mitigate unfair market practices targeting consumers and industry. Collaboration with other governments and stakeholders further enhances the Agency’s ability to track, detect and mitigate risks associated with food and the food supply system, including food-borne illness. This program supports public health and instils confidence in Canada’s food system.

Planning Highlights

In the coming year, the CFIA will continue to leverage the new funding announced in Budget 2011 to support the ongoing protection of Canadians and facilitate the continued growth of market opportunities for Canadian products. The new funding provides the CFIA with $100 million over five years to modernize its inspection system by moving away from independent commodity-specific inspection approaches to a single inspection approach consistent across the food safety program. This approach will be supported by standardized training, modernized technology for use by inspection staff, proactive science capacity and improved service to stakeholders. Under this initiative, the CFIA will work to improve its inspection delivery model, enhance its scientific capability, and improve information management and information technology systems.


The CFIA is responsible for the administration of food labelling policies related to misrepresentation and fraud with respect to food labelling (i.e. nutrition fact tables), packaging, and advertising.

The CFIA will draw on various approaches, processes and tools currently used across Agency food programs, as well as those used by international partners, to draft an improved inspection delivery model. As it does so, the Agency is ensuring the full engagement of key groups vital to its success. Building on successful stakeholder engagement, active support and comprehensive input will be sought from industry and consumer stakeholders and from employees and unions. In addition to utilizing existing consultation fora (e.g. industry and consumer roundtables, standing committees, federal/provincial/territorial working groups), customized approaches through focused working groups and advisory panels will be used to engage and capture ideas and best practices from key stakeholders.

To promote enhanced scientific capability in support of a modernized inspection delivery model, the CFIA will begin to work in collaboration with partners to establish support for the creation of a network of laboratories. The Agency will work with experts to explore the concepts, processes and mechanisms available to conduct a laboratory systems analysis.

Agency services are built on a foundation of sound science, an effective regulatory base, effective inspection programs, effective risk management, strong partnerships, and transparent timely communication. Keeping this foundation strong is key to effective and efficient service delivery. The authorities that the Food Safety Program relies upon to deliver its mandate must keep pace as its operating environment evolves. To that end, the Government has begun working to develop a new food safety bill and engage stakeholders on the elements of possible new food safety legal requirements.

In support of this work, the CFIA will continue to work with Health Canada to conduct a review of five Canadian food statutes: the food provisions of the Food and Drugs Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Meat Inspection Act, the Fish Inspection Act and the Canada Agricultural Products Act. Work continues on potential improvements such as enhanced protection against the adulteration of food and on updates that would further encourage innovation and improve the competitive position of food producers and processors while maintaining food safety.

The Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP) will continue to focus on active prevention, targeted oversight, and rapid response in an effort to further strengthen the Canadian food safety system. In 2012-13, the CFIA will:

  • under the Canada Agricultural Products Act, move forward with its regulatory proposal concerning Imported Food Sector Product Regulation;
  • engage with foreign counterparts in order to enhance food safety information exchanges and identify best practices to inform risk management approaches;
  • conduct baseline surveys to fill information gaps and carry out risk mapping;
  • evaluate and verify industry food safety control systems in both fresh fruit and vegetable sectors and in non-federally registered sectors with a focus on imported products;
  • enhance efforts to stop non-compliant imports from entering Canada; this will be achieved through improved border and import inspection programs and through the development of IM/IT business solutions for enhanced tracking of imported food products, including the licensing of importers; and
  • provide information to consumers and industry on the use of Product of Canada and Made in Canada claims on food products, increase human resource capacity to address identified food safety issues, and enhance food safety recall and investigation methodology.

As part of the Government’s continuing commitment to improve the safety of Canada’s food, Health Canada released a revised and strengthened policy on Listeria in April 2011. The CFIA will advance the implementation of Health Canada’s Listeria policy by hiring inspection staff to conduct inspections and verify the effectiveness of industry controls related to Listeria; conducting expanded environmental sampling for high-risk ready-to-eat (RTE) foods; validating rapid analytical test methods for the detection of Listeria; and evaluating industry studies validating safety measures taken to limit or prevent the growth of Listeria in RTE foods.

Federal and provincial governments are committed to working together to enhance the safety of meat products that Canadians eat and to help create market opportunities for food producers and processors. In 2012-13 the Meat Hygiene Pilot Project, which concludes in 2013, will continue to address the challenges that businesses face in meeting federal technological requirements concerning meat for inter-provincial trade; this will be achieved by working towards the implementation of revised regulatory requirements in participating target facilities.

With regards to the prevalence of pathogens in meat and poultry, the CFIA is working with provincial/territorial governments on the Pathogen Reduction Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to improve food safety by decreasing the number of food borne illnesses caused by the bacterial contamination of meat and poultry. Over the next two years, the CFIA will design and deliver a national baseline study for Salmonella and Campylobacter in chicken to establish scientific knowledge about pathogen levels, develop pathogen reduction targets and identify/improve strategies to monitor and reduce pathogen levels.

The CFIA is conducting a comprehensive food labelling review that will lead to the development of a more modern, risk- and outcome-based food labelling system. A modernized system will result in the development of tools and instruments for stakeholders in the area of food labelling; this will enable more effective management of resources in this area. In examining the drivers that affect this area, the Agency will develop an engagement plan and begin consultations with partners and stakeholders so that it may define a clear way to move forward with development of the modernized system.

Finally, as part of the CFIA’s agency-wide transparency agenda, the CFIA will expand its reporting on the outcomes of enforcement activities; this includes providing data on federally registered food establishments whose licenses have been suspended, cancelled or reinstated. To this end, and to improve communications with our industry partners, the CFIA will proactively consult and communicate with industry stakeholders on planned program changes.

Table 2-1: Planning Summary – Food Safety Program

Financial Resources ($ millions)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
340.3 339.0 337.5

Human Resources (FTEs)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
2,997 3,001 2,980

Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Risks to the Canadian public associated with the food supply system are mitigated Percentage of inspected federally registered establishments in compliance with federal regulations 98%
Percentage of Public Warnings for Class I food recalls that are issued within 24 hours of a recall decision 100 % of Class I recalls are issued within 24 hours of a recall decision
Percentage of all food recalls issued without an alert that are posted on the CFIA website within two working days 95%
Domestic and imported food products are compliant with Canadian regulations and international agreements Percentage of domestic food products in compliance with federal regulations 95%
Percentage of imported food products in compliance with federal regulations 95%
Additional information:
The CFIA's Food Safety Action Plan:
Listeria Policy update:
Compliance Verification System Procedures: Animal Health and Zoonotics Program

Animal Health and Zoonotics Program

[text version]

The Animal Health and Zoonotics Program aims to mitigate risks to Canada’s animal resource base, animal feeds and animal products, which are integral to a safe and accessible food supply system as well as to public health. The program achieves its objectives by mitigating risks to Canada’s animals (including livestock and aquatic animals) from regulated diseases, managing animal disease emergencies and incidents, mitigating and managing risks to livestock and derived food products associated with feed, promoting animal welfare and guarding against deliberate threats to the animal resource base. The program helps to mitigate risks associated with animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans by controlling diseases within animal populations. This program supports the health of Canada’s animal resources and instils confidence in the safety of Canada’s animals, animal products and by-products, and production systems.

Planning Highlights

Like all CFIA programs, the Animal Health and Zoonotics Program is built on a foundation of sound science, an effective regulatory base, effective inspection programs, effective risk management, strong partnerships, and transparent timely communications. Keeping this foundation strong is key to effective and efficient service delivery. In keeping with this, the Agency will modernize its overall program policy framework as it relates to animal health by:

  • working closely with partners to review regulated diseases against human and animal health impacts. A working group consisting of representatives from federal departments, provincial governments, and industry will develop criteria for categorizing animal disease in Canada by December 2012 so that the Agency may develop a system of optimal animal disease control and a seamless response to emerging zoonotic disease threats;
  • improving consistency (and reducing complexity) with regards to feed in order to continue protecting Canada’s resource base by identifying and engaging with stakeholders in an effort to align regulations with strategic objectives, reduce unnecessary burden on stakeholders, and support innovation by keeping pace with changes in science and technology;
  • promoting global harmonization and collaboration among animal health product regulatory agencies, with the objective of streamlining regulatory processes and facilitating timely access to veterinary biologics; and
  • developing a performance measurement framework of the animal health program by completing program profiles and a logic model.

Traceability systems allow organizations to track an item, such as an animal or plant, from one point in the supply chain to another. They are important tools that support the protection of animal health, public health and food safety. In an effort to ensure that regulated livestock sectors are in compliance with traceability requirements, regulated parties will be made aware of their obligations through communication products, with particular focus on the new pig traceability requirements. From an internal capacity perspective, the CFIA will ensure that all inspectors verifying compliance with traceability meet training requirements. The CFIA will also develop further traceability sharing agreements with the provinces in an effort to move to a single-window tool. This will improve our service focus and ensure that regulators at all levels can make informed decisions to effectively manage issues related to animal health. Additionally, the CFIA will solicit feedback from stakeholders on proposed changes to the Health of Animals Act intended to strengthen livestock and poultry traceability in Canada.

To support and maintain a modernized and efficient animal health surveillance system that supports animal health programs and facilitates market access, the CFIA will create an inventory of animal disease surveillance and testing activities within the Animal Disease Program. Based on this the Agency will create a prioritized Animal Disease Surveillance Plan through the utilization of an internationally recognized prioritization approach.

Regulations related to enhanced animal welfare controls will be revised to provide the CFIA with increased enforcement capacity to better protect the health and welfare of animals being transported. The CFIA will also provide operational training in order to strengthen awareness regarding the humane transport of animals.


The CFIA enforces regulation protecting all species of animals during transportation and verifies that humane slaughter requirements are respected in all federally registered establishments. If CFIA inspectors encounter suspected cases of animal abuse or neglect that fall outside the CFIA's jurisdiction, they forward the necessary information to the appropriate animal welfare authorities in Canada.

In 2012–13, as part of its ongoing commitment to maintaining the effectiveness and efficiency of its operational program delivery, the animal health program will update manuals of procedures and hazard specific plans. Results of the recent OAG report on Animal Health will assist in this matter. The report facilitates prioritization and focuses effort in the area of hazard-specific plans and procedures for higher risk diseases such as Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) and Avian Influenza.

Finally, to ensure that domestic aquatic animals and products are compliant with Canadian legal requirements and meet the standards of international agreements, the National Aquatic Animal Health Program (NAAHP) will continue to be developed. This includes the implementation of the import controls for aquatic animals under the Health of Animals Regulations, which came into force on December 10, 2011. As part of the Aquatic Animal Health Import Program, program efficiencies will be realized through various strategic approaches, which include the implementation of a compartmentalization program, biosecurity measures, regionalization, etc. These strategic approaches will help to reduce the costs of testing and inspection and the associated workload in relation with the implementation of the import controls for the federal government and the industry. Additionally, an information sharing and engagement process on the NAAHP for Aboriginal groups will be developed and implemented. Lastly, in order to get a more complete picture of the health profile of the salmon populations in British Columbia, the NAAHP, in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Province of British Columbia and industry, will implement a surveillance initiative targeting both cultured and wild salmon species for infectious salmon anaemia (ISA), infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) and infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN).

Table 2-2: Planning Summary – Animal Health and Zoonotics Program

Financial Resources ($ millions)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
132.5 132.5 95.7*

* Planned Spending for the Animal Health and Zoonotics Program is declining by approximately $37.0M from 2013–14 to 2014–15 as a result of the sunsetting of a portion of the resources for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). The CFIA plans to seek renewal of these resources.

Human Resources (FTEs)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
1,524 1,524 1,261

Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Risks to Canadians from the transmission of animal diseases to humans are minimized Percentage of reportable animal diseases that have entered into Canada via specified regulated pathways Historical Trend (Year over year)
Percentage of response to zoonotic diseases and epidemiological investigations that are completed within service standards 100%
Domestic and imported animals and animal products are compliant with Canadian regulations and international agreements Percentage of certified animal and animal products shipments that meet the receiving country’s import requirements 99%
Canada is on the list of OIE countries that are free from stipulated reportable animal diseases Canada is on the list each year
Risks to the Canadian animal resource base are mitigated Percentage of response to disease and epidemiological investigations that are completed within service standards 100%
Effective preparedness to prevent, control, and eradicate trans-boundary diseases and emerging diseases Systematic scheduled review, and update if necessary, of manuals for CFIA animal health officials and guidance documents for industry Once every two years
Number of emergency preparedness simulation exercises conducted versus planned Once every two years
Disease outbreaks in Canada are promptly and effectively responded to Percentage of suspected cases of transboundary diseases and significant emerging diseases in which investigation was commenced within 24 hours of identification 100%
Percentage of cases in which the CFIA communicated with key stakeholders within 24 hours of confirming cases of trans-boundary diseases and significant emerging diseases 100%
Additional information:
BSE Enhanced Surveillance Program:
Animal Diseases:
Aquatic Animal Health Export Program:
Livestock Traceability: Plant Resources Program

Plant Resources Program

[text version]

The Plant Resources Program aims to mitigate risks to Canada’s plant resource base, which is integral to a safe and accessible food supply, as well as to public health and environmental sustainability. The program achieves its objectives by regulating agricultural and forestry products; mitigating risks to the plant resource base (including crops and forests) from regulated pests and diseases; regulating the safety and integrity of seeds, fertilizers and plant products; and managing plant health emergencies and incidents. The program also guards against deliberate threats to the plant resource base, facilitates the introduction of emerging plant technologies and protects the rights of plant breeders. Achieving the objectives of the program instils confidence in Canada’s plants, plant production systems and plant products, and contributes to the health of Canada’s plant resources.

Planning Highlights

Prevention is the most effective way for the CFIA to protect the plant resource base. However should a pest become introduced in Canada, the Agency’s goal is to reduce its impact.

To achieve these objectives, the CFIA continues to deliver a range of core plant-related activities and services, including program design and policy development, risk assessment, surveillance, diagnostic testing, research, the issuance of phytosanitary documents, issuance of seed certificates, quality management, inspection, enforcement, and compliance with import and domestic standards.

In December 2011, the Government of Canada announced funding of $17 million over the next 5 years for the joint AAFC-CFIA-led Plum Pox Virus (PPV) Monitoring and Management Program – of which CFIA received $10.6 million. This program aims to contain and mitigate the spread of PPV to minimize the impact of this virus on Canada’s tender fruit industry, as well as to facilitate industry risk management of PPV. Activities under this program will include the development of regulatory controls and best management practices to reduce the impact of the virus.

The CFIA will continue to provide leadership under the national Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Strategy which includes the continued development and implementation of the invasive plants program. In 2012–13, CFIA will conduct import monitoring and domestic surveys for invasive plants and other plant pests in pathways such as wooden handicrafts/pet toys, ethnobotanical products (i.e. food and medicinal plants), and grain. In addition, the Agency will increase collaboration with international partners to develop common approaches to IAS issues of mutual concern.

As part of the Agency-wide Regulatory Modernization Plan, the Seeds and Fertilizers regulations are being updated by their respective programs. This is only one part of the overall modernization of the Seed and Fertilizer programs currently underway so that they can become more responsive to the evolving needs of their stakeholders; this involves for example, improving the timeliness of approvals and reducing regulatory burdens while maintaining domestic and international standards of safety and quality.

Through program modernization, the import programs for the agricultural, horticultural, and forestry sectors will be evolving to focus on preventative (not reactive) measures for pests such as Lobesia, Tuta, Asian Gypsy Moth, and Khapra Beetle; by adopting a more horizontal approach to risk management that engages science, policy and operational delivery elements including the updating of manuals and the redesign of import directives.


Tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) is a small moth that can be very damaging to tomato/pepper production. It has already impacted growers in other countries where this pest has rapidly spread. Since February 2010, the CFIA has instituted regulatory measures to reduce the risk of the tomato leafminer becoming established in Canadian greenhouses. However, this is just one part of the effort that it takes to keep new pests out of Canada.

What should importers do to help prevent entry of invasive pests like the tomato leafminer? The CFIA's Plant and Plant Products Import Primer provides guidance to importers about what they need to know and what they should do for the effective protection of our plant resource base.

Table 2-3: Planning Summary – Plant Resources Program

Financial Resources ($ millions)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
86.6 86.3 86.1

Human Resources (FTEs)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
830 827 825

Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Risks to the Canadian plant resource base from imported plants and plant products are mitigated Number of new foreign reportable plant diseases and pests that enter into Canada through regulated pathways and establish themselves Historical Trend (Year over year)
Domestic plants and plant products are compliant with Canadian regulations and international agreements Percentage of domestic plants and plant products in compliance with Canadian regulations and international agreements 99%
Confirmed new incidences of new quarantine pests in Canada are contained and risk-mitigated (eradicated/ controlled) through the issuance of Notices of Prohibition of Movement, Quarantine, up to and including the issuance of Ministerial Orders Percentage of confirmed cases of quarantine pest for which notices were issued 100%
Percentage of notices issued in a timely manner 90%
Canadian exports of plants and plant products meet the country of destination regulatory requirements and Canada’s reputation is maintained Percentage of certified plants and plant products shipment (lots) that meet the country of destination regulatory requirements 99%
Additional information:
December 2008 OAG report on "Managing Risks to Canada's Plant Resources":
Invasive Species:
Growing Forward initiative: International Collaboration and Technical Agreements

International Collaboration and Technical Agreements

[text version]

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s International Collaboration and Technical Agreements program contributes to a coherent, predictable, and science-based international regulatory framework that facilitates meeting regulatory requirements of importing countries’ food, animals and plants, and their products, resulting in the facilitation of multi-billion dollar trade for the Canadian economy. The program achieves its objectives through actively participating in international fora for the development of international science-based rules, standards, guidelines and policies and the management of sanitary and phytosanitary committees established under international agreements. The CFIA’s active promotion of the Canadian science-based regulatory system with foreign trading partners and negotiations to resolve scientific and technical issues contribute to market access.

Planning Highlights

International collaboration on multilateral and bilateral issues will continue to be a priority for the CFIA. The CFIA will continue to fulfill its food safety, plant, and animal health obligations and will support the government’s ambitious trade and market access agenda, with particular focus on the US in the next few years.

On December 7, 2011, the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States announced action plans for two initiatives designed to speed up legitimate trade and travel, improve security in North America, and align regulatory approaches between Canada and the United States.

With regards to perimeter security and economic competitiveness (Beyond the Border), the CFIA is partnering with other Canadian government departments and US counterparts in order to address offshore food safety, animal and plant health risks early, facilitate trade, and facilitate economic growth. The objective is to enhance security and economic competitiveness through measures taken at our shared perimeter and border. For example, in 2012–13, the CFIA will conduct a joint foreign assessment for plant (Asian Gypsy Moth) and animal health (Foot and Mouth Disease) with their US counterparts.

Under the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) initiative, the CFIA will work to deepen regulatory cooperation with the U.S. on a number of projects related to food safety, agricultural production and marketing. The RCC is expected to mutually strengthen the Canadian and U.S. regulatory systems for agriculture and food all the while streamlining and removing unnecessary differences in standards and duplicative requirements that slow down trade, limit timely access to products, and add cost to manufacturers and consumers. As an example of this, in 2012–13, the CFIA will work with its US partners to strengthen its perimeter approach to plant protection.

Under both the Beyond the Border and RCC initiatives, consumer protection, health, safety, security, and the environment will continue to be Government of Canada priorities and will not be compromised.


In 2010, with $33 billion in total bilateral trade in agricultral products between Canada and the United States, Canada purchased approximately 13% of U.S. exports, while nearly 20% of U.S. agricultural imports came from Canada.

Under the International Plant Protection Convention, international standards for phytosanitary measures (ISPMs) are developed and adopted by member countries. A new ISPM is envisioned for the international movement of grain. As a net exporter of grain commodities valued at $13-16B annually, Canada has the opportunity to influence international standard setting and discussions on this important topic.

As the Canadian forest industry diversifies beyond traditional markets and seeks new opportunities in China, India and other Asian countries, the CFIA will work closely with its partner, the Canadian Forestry Service, to develop sound scientific and technical justification that supports bilateral market access discussions.

Table 2-4: Planning Summary – International Collaboration and Technical Agreements

Financial Resources ($ millions)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
45.4 45.4 40.7

Human Resources (FTEs)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
363 363 337

Program Activity Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Canadian interests are reflected in science-based international rules, standards, and technical arrangements Number of Canadian positions on key rules and standards affecting trade in food, animal, plant, and their products that are effectively promoted 10/Year
Effective participation in sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) negotiations and International Standards Setting Bodies (ISSB) such as Codex, OIE, and IPPC Number of CFIA representations made to promote Canada's interests at SPS and ISSB meetings attended 10/Year
International markets are accessible to Canadian food, animal, plant, and their products Number of actions taken to resolve issues identified through the Market Access Secretariat 5/Year
Bilateral technical arrangements relating to food, animal and plant programs Number of technical arrangements negotiated 10/Year
Advice on technical feasibility and contribution to interdepartmental plans in support of market access Number of action plans to which CFIA contributed 10/3 Years
Number of issues on which the CFIA provided advice 10/Year
International regulatory cooperation to support CFIA's mandate Number of cooperation initiatives achieved 3/Year
Establishment of relationships with key regulatory organizations Number of committees and working groups in which the CFIA participated 5/year
Additional information:
AAFC's Market Access Secretariat (MAS): Internal Services

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Planning Highlights

As part of the Government of Canada's Transparency and Open Government Agenda and in an effort to mitigate against risks associated with transparency and leveraging partnerships, the CFIA is committed to open and transparent communications. The CFIA will continue to improve transparency by making information more widely accessible to its stakeholders and the public via the Internet and other tools, technologies and social media. The CFIA will also continue to enhance the nature and pace of its engagement with stakeholders and Canadians. Key cornerstones to this priority include:

  • the development of a CFIA Service Commitment initiative, designed to communicate the standards of service to which the Agency is committed. As part of this service commitment, the CFIA will be launching a complaints and appeals mechanism to allow for a more transparent and accessible way to register complaints and appeals related to service delivery and administrative and regulatory decisions;
  • ensuring that fees reflect the cost of delivery of the Agency's service to industry and that service standards are clearly articulated;
  • the implementation of its Web Communications Strategy, which takes a strategic approach to managing the CFIA web presence. This commitment will result in a coherent, useful, usable and trusted web presence, compliant with Government of Canada policies and standards. In addition, the CFIA will enhance its Social Media Strategy and the development of key deliverables including social media research and evaluation recommendations, a Social Media Directive, an Online Channel Performance Measurement Strategy, and implementing social media monitoring and analysis software;
  • continuing implementation of its Consultation Policy and Framework, to build on existing consultation and engagement mechanisms and continue to foster open and transparent communication with its internal and external partners, stakeholders and the public. The Consumer Association Roundtable is one way the CFIA continues to improve transparency, consultations and communications with Canadians; and
  • continuing to work towards completing a series of improvements outlined in is multi-year ATIP Modernization Action Plan, focusing on existing work related to the protection of Canadians' privacy rights and an examination of new processes put in place. In this regard, the Agency plans to promote greater oversight, coordination, accountability and transparency regarding the processing of requests for information.

As part of its ongoing commitment to focus on its people and their workplace contributions, productivity and satisfaction, the CFIA will continue to implement its 2008–2013 Renewal Plan and act on its human resources priorities. In support of its Human Resource Modernization Strategy efforts, the CFIA will continue to implement alternate ways to recruit, retain and train its workforce, building on existing innovative approaches such as the national resourcing strategy for inspector hiring. The CFIA will align internal support resources where they are most needed, resulting in more efficient and effective processes that make better use of HR specialists and free up managers’ time to focus on the business.

In terms of advancing its training and development strategy, the Agency will continue with a prioritized approach to scientific and technical training, and ensure it is consistently delivered across the country. At the same time, innovative training approaches for new recruits will be piloted in 2012-13 in support of the Inspection Modernization initiative (as referenced in section 2.1.1). Other top priorities in the area of training for the CFIA include Leadership Development and Mandatory and Developmental Language Training. Improved talent management tools will be implemented for the Agency’s executive community, and emphasis will be placed on developing its future leaders through various types of training such as the “Essentials for Supervision Training”. Finally, results of the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey will act as a tool for positive change at the CFIA – it will help shape a better workplace and workforce through direct feedback received from employees and managers.

The Agency’s Occupational Health and Safety program (OHS) will focus on the modernization of the OHS framework which will strengthen accountability and awareness at all levels of the organization. Engaging the bargaining agents within the current internal OHS Governance at the National, Area, Regional, and Local levels will be a step forward.

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve its internal management, the CFIA will continue to strengthen its management systems and governance in order to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible and maintain long-term, responsible fiscal management. This will involve risk-based and outcome-focused planning and allocation of resources, coordinated operational direction and clear performance management. Long-term planning and expenditure reviews will support efforts to direct Agency resources in support of the highest priorities. To achieve this, a number of concrete deliverables are in line in 2012–13.

These include:

  • the Long-Term Strategic Plan, currently under development and targeted to be completed by spring 2012;
  • evaluating its spending, as part of the government-wide exercise to find efficiencies;
  • an analysis of relevant data to improve the alignment of program design to operational delivery capacity across programs and of science capability as it relates to inspection delivery;
  • conducting an analysis of its internal reporting capabilities to improve performance monitoring against plans; and
  • contributing to the continuous improvement of internal planning processes and practices through the implementation of lessons learned from the 2012-13 planning cycle.

In 2012–13, the CFIA will continue to implement its four year project management improvement agenda, launched in 2010. Focus for 2012–13 will continue to be the implementation of the project management policy framework and the enhancement of project management across the Agency. Given the development and establishment of many project management tools in previous stages of the project, the main goal at this stage is to mature project management as a discipline across the CFIA and ultimately increase project management capacity in the Agency. This will be achieved by continued project management training, direct coaching and mentoring of CFIA project staff by seasoned project management individuals. These activities will be further bolstered through the application of lessons learned which are now collected and managed in a central repository. Moreover, with the establishment of a project management presence on CFIA’s internal website (Merlin), CFIA staff are being trained and encouraged to regularly utilize this automated project management resource.

Also key for 2012–13 will be the development of the IM/IT Campaign Plan and the creation of the Centre for Business Information Management. These multi-year priorities will focus on defining the information needs of the Agency and leveraging and investing in new technologies for business intelligence and reporting so that the Agency can provide an information environment conducive to achieving excellence in decision making. The CFIA will review and modernize its business applications to create a one-stop shop that drives information management and to ensure economic value, a secure, integrated information environment and an enhanced IT infrastructure.

Finally, the CFIA will implement its approved Agency Security Plan (ASP) to effectively manage security risks and improve the overall security of its employees, the control and protection of CFIA information, physical infrastructures, and other valuable assets. This builds upon work conducted in 2011–12 as per the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) requirements under the Government Security.

Table 2-5: Planning Summary – Internal Services

Financial Resources ($ millions)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
119.1 118.4 117.3

Human Resources (FTEs)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
1,015 1,015 1,012

Additional information:
CFIA Renewal Plan:
CFIA Management Accountability Framework assessment: