The Canadian Pork Council says the amalgamation its on-farm food safety and animal care assessment programs will streamline the validation process for Canadian pork producers.
The Animal Care Assessment program was launched in the 2005 to address a growing public interest in how pork producers raise food.
Effective January 1, 2012 the Animal Care Assessment program and the Canadian Quality Assurance program, the Canadian pork industry's on-farm food safety program, will be merged into one.
Canadian Pork Council associate executive director Catherine Scovil explains the ACA was introduced to address a growing public interest in how food is raised and the growing scrutiny that surrounds the raising of animals for food.
Clip-Catherine Scovil-Canadian Pork Council:
We actually launched the program back in the summer of 2005.
We've had fairly limited uptake and that's because, as you know, the hog industry has faced some very difficult financial conditions since 2006 so producers had really been thinking about other things other than signing up to a new program.
The conditions for use then as they are now is that the producer needs to get a hold of the manual and read it through and understand what's being asked.
We've actually set the program up very similar to our CQA program, our on-farm food safety program, where the manual outlines a set of questions.
Ones that are shaded are program requirements so they have to be met satisfactorily.
Others are voluntary but it's to give an indication of things that producers should be thinking about.
Scovil says it's not every day that someone gets to visit a hog farm so the Animal Care Assessment gives pork producers the opportunity to show the good care they provide their animals.
She says we know producers are doing this already but this approach helps them demonstrate this and tell their story in a very credible way and be able to respond to the tough questions.