Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pilot Project on Food Traceability Proves Successful

(Food in Canada)

17 participants in an Ontario-based pilot project meet all the criteria

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has deemed a pilot project on facility level traceability a highly successful endeavour. The Food Safety Initiative (FSI) – Traceability Pilot Project, which included 20 small to medium size operations, began in June 2007. The Agriculture Policy Framework, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, provided the funding.

The aim of the pilot project, says OMAFRA, was to:

• Demonstrate implementation of facility level traceability in a variety of agri-food operations across the province (one-step-forward, one-step-back traceability);

• Increase the provincial agri-food industry’s understanding and adoption of traceability;

• Collect data on the operational and economic costs and benefits of facility level traceability; and

• Use learnings to develop educational materials on facility level traceability and provide training opportunities to stakeholders .

The 20 operations included nine on-farm operations (from cattle to greenhouse vegetables) and 11 food-processing operations (from cheese manufacturing and meat processing to wineries). The pilot facilities did also receive some help. OMAFRA says they received 75 per cent of eligible costs up to a maximum of $20,000. Read more here.