Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

August 18, 2005 13:43 ET

AAFC: Canadian Quality Milk Program to Benefit Dairy Farmers and Consumers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 18, 2005) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has signed a contribution agreement with Dairy Farmers of Canada to help implement the organization's Canadian Quality Milk program.

The Canadian Quality Milk program builds on Canada's excellent reputation for safe and high-quality milk by helping dairy farmers set up standardized food safety systems on their farms.

AAFC is contributing $2.6 million to this initiative under the On-Farm Implementation component of the Canadian Food Safety and Quality Program.

"We're committed to working with all provinces and industry groups to put systems in place that will raise consumer confidence in the safety and high-quality of food produced in Canada," said Minister Andy Mitchell. "I'm pleased that Dairy Farmers of Canada is taking advantage of the opportunity to promote safe and high quality milk through this important initiative."

The Canadian Quality Milk program is based on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, which is recognized internationally as an effective method for identifying and minimizing safety risks in food production. Under the program, producers can access up to $850 worth of benefits for workshops and on-farm support. On-farm support includes one-on-one technical advice at the farm level and/or the purchase of specialized equipment required by the producer to implement HACCP-based safety systems.

"Canadian milk is already known to be extremely safe and of high quality," said Dairy Farmers of Canada President Jacques Laforge. "We are committed to maintaining this high standard and demonstrating this to our consumers. We're very pleased that AAFC is supporting the implementation of this important program, which benefits all Canadians."

Dairy Farmers of Canada applied to AAFC for funding on behalf all provincial dairy organizations. Producers are able to access these funds and participate in workshops through these provincial organizations.

Those wishing further information should visit Dairy Farmers of Canada's website at http://www.dairyfarmers.org/.



BACKGROUNDER

Canadian Quality Milk, brought to you by Canada's dairy farmers and
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


Dairy Farmers of Canada designed the Canadian Quality Milk (CQM) program to help dairy farmers reduce hazards in their production processes and demonstrate they are committed to ensuring a safe and high-quality supply of milk in Canada. The program is based on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, an internationally recognized system for identifying and minimizing safety risks in food production.

Dairy Farmers of Canada, a farm group representing producers on 17,000 dairy farms across the country, applied to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) on behalf of all provincial dairy organizations for support in implementing the CQM program. AAFC agreed to provide more than $2.6 million in funding. This funding is being made available as part of the On-Farm Implementation component of the Canadian Food Safety and Quality Program.

The participating provincial dairy associations can now be reimbursed by Dairy Farmers of Canada for money they provide to producers under the CQM program. This funding can help farmers attend workshops, access technical support, or purchase specialized equipment needed to set-up HACCP-based food safety systems in their operations. Each producer can access up to $850 worth of benefits, including $50 per producer per workshop (up to $100 per producer), and up to $750 per producer for on-farm support. On-farm support includes one-on-one technical advice at the farm level to implement the CQM. Federal funding covers 70% of the costs, and the producer or farm organization pays the remaining 30%. On-farm support also includes the purchase of specialized equipment required by the producer to implement the CQM. In this case, federal funding covers 50% of the purchase price, while the producer pays the other 50%.

Food Safety and Quality is one pillar of the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF). The APF is a joint initiative between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments - a five year plan aimed at helping the agricultural sector manage its risks better and meet the demands of the marketplace in order to be profitable and competitive internationally. As part of the APF, fostering confidence in the safety and quality of Canadian food is recognized as critical in ensuring the strength of the agriculture and agri-food sector over the long term. AAFC is committed to continuing to work with all provinces, territories, and industry groups to establish programs aimed at helping Canadian farmers maintain their high standards and demonstrate that they produce some of the safest and highest-quality food in the world.


Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972 or 1 (866) 345-7972
    or
    Minister's Office, Ottawa
    Matt Tolley
    (613) 759-1059
    or
    Dairy Farmers of Canada
    Therese Beaulieu
    Assistant Director, Communications & Policy
    (613) 236-9997
    tbeaulieu@dfc-plc.ca