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Food safety and traceability support available for BC producers



British Columbia’s value-added food companies will increase their chances of having their products sold outside of Canada by participating in a Government of Canada- and British Columbia-funded program to help them meet international food safety and traceability requirements.

The approximately $2-million Post-Farm Food Safety and Traceability Program will offer participants up to $35,000 to:

· conduct food safety and traceability assessments to identify and document risks, issues and opportunities to improve food safety and traceability capacity, systems and practices;

· access training to increase the food safety and traceability expertise of their staff; and

· implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Best Practices (BPs) and recognized Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety practices and traceability systems in their operations.

The two-year program will improve agrifood businesses’ capacity to address current issues and to meet emerging national and international food safety and traceability requirements. It is being delivered by the Food Processing Human Resources Council and is cost-shared with participants. Application forms, guidelines and related documents are available at: http://postfarmfoodsafety.com/home/

The program targets B.C. food-processing businesses seeking first-time certification in internationally recognized HACCP-based food safety assurance programs. Additionally, the program targets B.C. companies that use recognized food safety and traceability standards, implement food safety and traceability systems, effectively manage food safety risk, and create opportunities to access new markets and increase sales.

2015 was a record year for B.C.’s agrifood industry with revenues topping $13 billion for the first time, and exports reaching $3.5 billion, the highest ever. The program is funded through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that provides a $3-billion investment over five years in innovation, competitiveness and market development.