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Toronto, November 27th 2015 – During its official launch event held today, Safe Food Canada – The Learning Partnership (SFC), a not-for-profit organization focussed on modernizing the way industry and regulatory professionals learn about food safety, featured a panel discussion. The panelists were Dr. Bruce Archibald, President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Ted Bilyea, Chair of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI), Michael Burrows, Chief Executive Officer of Maple Lodge Farms, and Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Professor at the University of Guelph’s Food Institute. SFC brought these leaders together to address the topic of food safety in today’s complex global food system.
SFC announced its initial strategy and founding partnerships for what it deems as the most compelling issue in Canada’s food system: the modernization of food safety training and education. Brian Sterling, President and Chief Executive Officer of SFC explained: “Because of rapidly changing consumer demands and with the Safe Food for Canadians Act, both the Canadian food industry and regulators are now at a tipping point and must shift to more consistent, competency-based food safety training. Our mandate is to modernize the design and development of food safety and food protection training; we must bring together food professionals from industry and government and help them do that.”
“The CFIA recognizes the important role that Safe Food Canada can play in reinforcing Canada’s reputation as a world leader in food safety training by enhancing compliance with regulations and reducing duplicated efforts and training costs for all parties”, said Dr. Bruce Archibald, President at CFIA.
SFC recently completed an exploratory study of industry spending and return on investment on food safety training in Canada. The company expects to publish the results early in the new year. SFC is already seeking participants across North America to conduct a more comprehensive benchmark study in 2016 so that food companies can compare their performance to the rest of the industry and understand the relationship between excellence in food safety training and its financial payoffs.
As part of its work to bring uniformity and quality discipline into food safety training, SFC is collaborating with the International Food Protection Training Institute and other businesses to create a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) for training design and content. The eventual result will be a training quality standard so that more consistent and comprehensive education can be delivered to industry and regulatory professionals.
SFC also announced its first Founding Sponsors and Contributing Partners that will serve as the basis of an Advisory Council to the company. These leading organizations include, the Canadian Meat Council, the US Grocers Manufacturers Association Science & Education Foundation, Maple Leaf Foods, the University of Guelph’s Department of Food Science, and the World Bank’s Global Food Safety Partnership.
Michael Burrows, one of the panelists speaking at the launch is CEO at Maple Lodge Farms. He said, “Safe Food Canada is taking a national and standardized approach to food safety and food protection training – a matter that is critical to the health and prosperity of our industry at home and abroad. With Safe Food Canada, industry and government have partnered to modernize food safety training frameworks and strengthen Canada’s position as a global leader in safe, high quality food production.”
The official launch event concluded with the panel and respected guests around the table to savour a gourmet tasting prepared by the renowned Chef Jamie Kennedy.
Safe Food Canada’s mission is to serve all food system stakeholders by strengthening food safety and protection excellence through learning partnerships. Its business is to develop research and knowledge and provide a focus on education and training that addresses gaps in performance and delivers practical expertise on food safety and protection for both private and public good. Visit safefoodcanada.com for more details.
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