The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has welcomed the new Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), published Wednesday by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Designed to protect consumers from unsafe food and to keep pace with the rapid changes occurring in the food industry, these regulations will play an important role in maintaining Canada's reputation as a world leader in food safety and preserving public confidence in Canada’s food supply chain, RCC.
The Safe Food for Canadians Act was originally drafted in 2012 and went through years of industry consultation and review before being finalized Wednesday. The regulations will come into effect January 15, 2019. They address all food and govern safety; labelling, packaging and advertising; import, export and interprovincial trade; the establishment of standards; and the licensing of persons performing certain activities.
“These regulations are the biggest change to the food industry in the past 25 years and they will have a positive and lasting impact,” said Diane J. Brisebois, president and CEO, Retail Council of Canada. “Our members strongly support the objectives of the new regulations and it is our common goal to ensure Canadian consumers have access to safe, high-quality food at affordable prices.”
Now that the regulations have been passed into law, the work begins to ensure that implementation goes as smoothly as possible for retailers. Speaking to Grocery Business, Brisebois commended the government and the CFIA for getting the new regulations passed, and said that the months ahead will require continued collaboration among all stakeholders until the rules come into effect.
“The devil’s in the details. It’s important to continue working with all stakeholders to ensure that implementation costs don’t become a barrier. Grocers spend so much time complying with different regulations at the federal and provincial level, so to go from 14 different food regulations to a single more detailed, up-to-date and in-depth regulation is good news for industry.”
The Canadian produce Marketing Association (CPMA) also applauded the advent of the new regulations. CPMA worked closely with industry and government during the consultation process.
"The federal government has shown tremendous leadership in developing these new food safety regulations,” said CPMA president Ron Lemaire. "The new SFCR present Canada's most significant overhaul of food safety regulations in its history. This was achieved through close collaboration between government and the entire agri-food supply chain to ensure that Canadians enjoy one of the safest food supplies in the world.”