Canada’s largest science-based regulator marks 25 years of protecting food, plants and animals

Canada’s largest science-based regulator marks 25 years of protecting food, plants and animals

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is celebrating 25 years of safeguarding Canada’s food supply—but the Agency is about much more than just food.

Safe food starts with healthy plants and animals. That’s why the CFIA also works to prevent the spread of invasive plants, plant pests and animal diseases. In fact, Canada is the only jurisdiction in the world bringing the whole food chain together under one roof.

The CFIA’s work touches all Canadians, whether it is a potato farmer who wants to sell products in Canada and abroad, seed producers who want to develop new ways to breed plants, a cattle rancher, a person transporting livestock in their truck, a consumer at the grocery store, a gardener at the garden centre, or a traveller coming into Canada.

The CFIA is powered by its people—including inspectors, veterinarians and scientists—who work tirelessly to make sure Canadians can trust that the food on their plates is safe, protect Canada’s plant and animal resource base from diseases and pests, facilitate trade and market access for Canadian-made products, and conduct innovative research.

Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, the CFIA has played a critical role in keeping international markets open to Canadian agricultural products. Through science, innovation and evidence-based decision-making, the Agency has a solid foundation to continue responding to challenges of the modern world, including a global food supply chain, climate change and emerging diseases.

Inspect. Protect. Connect. Everyone in Canada can join the CFIA in celebrating its 25th anniversary by learning more about the Agency’s role, diverse workforce, and the actions we can all take to help protect our precious food, plant and animal resources.

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“This year, the CFIA celebrates 25 years of scientific, inspection and enforcement innovations, and both operational and regulatory excellence. Safeguarding food safety and plant and animal health as well as supporting market access is a mandate of critical importance to all of us here at the CFIA, and to Canadians. I am immensely proud and deeply honoured to work alongside so many passionate and committed CFIA employees who are dedicated to delivering on that promise each and every day.”

– Dr. Siddika Mithani, President of the CFIA

“I would like to recognize the thousands of CFIA staff who have achieved so many important milestones over the past quarter century to protect and safeguard our food supply. Thanks to their efforts, the food we eat in Canada is among the safest in the world. As we recover from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to ongoing economic, environmental and global changes, the CFIA will continue to be there for Canadians as a trusted science-based regulator.”

– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health

“With production methods that meet the highest standards and the scientific rigour that forms the basis of its trade, Canada enjoys an excellent international reputation as a supplier of high-quality food. The CFIA helps maintain this reputation, which makes exporting easier for all Canadian agri-food producers and processors. On the occasion of the Agency’s 25th anniversary, I would like to thank all of the employees who work every day to ensure the safety of our food and enable our agri-food industry to be an important economic driver.”

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • In April 1997, the CFIA was created by an Act of Parliament, amalgamating all federally mandated food inspection and animal and plant health activities into one organization. This also provided consumers and industry with a single point of contact.
  • With more than 6,000 employees and 13 laboratories across Canada, the CFIA is Canada’s largest science-based regulatory agency.
  • In 2020-2021, the CFIA supported the following activities with staff and laboratories across Canada:
    • 1.1M inspections completed for plant, food and animal products;
    • $74B in agricultural exports;
    • 223 food recall warnings and allergy alerts; and
    • 8,082 electronic export certificates issued.
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