Chicken Farmers of Canada’s strong commitment to animal care has been confirmed with the completion of an inaugural comprehensive third-party audit. NSF International’s report concluded that “The national Animal Care Program has been implemented effectively and maintained on an on-going basis. Animal care measures have been consistently applied.”
Chicken Farmers of Canada has been administering a national Raised by a Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program on all 2,800 broiler chicken farms across Canada since 2009. Since 2016, the implementation of the program by farmers and the effectiveness of Chicken Farmers of Canada’s audit team are subject to an annual third-party audit. NSF performs the third-party audits using PAACO (Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization) certified auditors to ensure the effective and consistent implementation of the Raised by a Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program.
NSF is an internationally-recognized, third-party certification body, accredited by the American National Standards Institute to ISO 17065. Their auditors are professionals with years of experience performing animal care and food safety audits for the agricultural sector. Third-party audits were conducted in all provinces and over 90% of Chicken Farmers of Canada’s on-farm auditors were evaluated.
Auditors are a crucial component of the Raised by a Canadian Farmer Animal Care program. Chicken Farmers of Canada’s auditors are qualified individuals who perform annual audits by evaluating producers’ implementation of the program requirements. To be considered, all potential auditors must first meet qualifications for both education and experience in agriculture. They must then successfully complete:
- A HACCP training course (HACCP is a systematic and internationally recognized approach to food safety).
- An external auditor training course
- The Chicken Specific Auditor Training Course (a two-day, in person course providing participants with full knowledge of the requirements of the Raised by a Canadian Farmer On-Farm Food safety and Animal Care program manuals, the ability to properly use audit checklists and reports, and the ability to successfully complete all steps of an audit
- Witness audits from a fully qualified and experienced auditor (to assess the new auditor’s capabilities during a real audit, and to provide an opportunity for on-going training and education).
Auditors are required to participate in continuing education. Auditors attend Chicken Farmers of Canada’s annual auditor training course and undergo witness audits on a regular basis.