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CFIA rules cost Canadian farmers $657 million a year

THE COST OF COMPLYING WITH THE CANADIAN FOOD INSPECTION AGENCY’S (CFIA) REGULATIONS IS $657 MILLION EACH YEAR FOR CANADA’S FARMERS AND THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY.

A Canadian Federation of Business report based on a survey of its agri-business members provides a review of how the CFIA interacts with farmers, as well as its impact on the agriculture sector.

The report highlighted the cost of CFIA regulations:

• Since 2006, the annual average cost of complying with the agency’s rules and paperwork has increased from $19,000 to $20,396 per agri-business owner;

• Only one-in-five agri-business owners believe the CFIA provides good overall service, the same as previous findings in 2006, indicating there is no improvement in overall service.

• 60 per cent of agri-business owners say CFIA regulations add significant stress to their lives; and

• 46 per cent report that the agency’s regulations significantly reduce productivity in their business, up from previous findings (40 per cent) in 2006.

“As CFIA modernizes Canada’s food regulatory system through the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan, we hope they make concrete and practical changes to address farmers’ concerns, as things really do need to change,” concludes Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president, agri-business.

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