The Raised by a Canadian Farmer Animal Care and On-Farm Food Safety programs are concrete, accountable means of demonstrating the pride and commitment of farmers in raising the quality chicken Canadians can trust. How this is done is summarized here.
Our programs offer a national set of standards to ensure consistency from coast to coast. Both programs are managed under one system and that system has various elements which make the programs effective and credible. The Raised by a Canadian Farmer On-Farm Food Safety Program has received full Federal-Provincial-Territorial government recognition for effective and consistent implementation of the management system.
To ensure participation and compliance, farmers are audited annually and the programs have been made mandatory across the country. The number of certified farmers has now reached 100% for both programs.
Third party audits
The implementation of the programs by farmers and the effectiveness of Chicken Farmers of Canada’s audit team are subject to an annual third-party audit. NSF International 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.
Strict enforcement measures are in place to offer additional assurance. Provincial boards may use monetary penalties, reductions in allocation, or license suspension as measures of enforcement. The need for enforcement measures has decreased over time.
The Raised by a Canadian Farmer programs are audited by qualified auditors. More information on the process auditors must go through to become qualified can be found on this page.
Keeping Stakeholders Informed
Although it is rare, if a farmers’ certification is removed this is communicated to hatcheries and processors so that the whole industry is informed and involved.
We evolve as we learn. Program material and procedures are reviewed yearly and updates are made when required. As an example, in May of 2017 the chicken industry revised its AMU strategy and decided to eliminate the preventative use of Category II antibiotics by the end of 2018 and set a goal of eliminating the preventative use of Category III antibiotics by the end of 2020. This is enforced through the On-Farm Food Safety Program. The Raised by a Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program is currently being updated using the National Farm Animal Care Council’s (NFACC) Animal Care Assessment Framework (ACAF), which is a credible process to follow when revising and animal care assessment program based on the codes. It is anticipated that the ACAF will be finalized by the end of the first quarter in 2018. Chicken Farmers of Canada also funds research through the Canadian Poultry Research Council to continually look for new ways to improve the health and welfare of our birds.