After holding two online consultations with stakeholders in 2012 and 2015, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on Sept. 15 announced its Alternative Service Delivery Policy, which according to the agency’s website went into effect July 13, 2016.

When this was announced, Germination contacted CFIA to better understand what this means for the seed industry and seed growers, as the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) began handling the Alternative Service Delivery of seed crop inspection in 2014. According to a government spokesperson, the policy has been developed “to provide a consistent agency-wide approach to establishing, maintaining and strengthening Alternative Service Delivery arrangements.

“To improve internal efficiency in managing existing Alternative Service Delivery arrangements, the CFIA will conduct a review, as part of each arrangement’s regular review cycle, to determine if any changes are needed to improve performance, oversight or to manage risk.”

CFIA will work closely with CSGA during this review, using the policy to identify potential areas of improvement. However, the spokesperson said since this Alternative Service Delivery arrangement was in place prior to the development of the policy, changes to the Authorized Seed Crop Inspection Program are not expected.

As a longstanding partner of CFIA in the delivery of the seed program, CSGA welcomes the additional clarity that the publication of this policy brings to our working relationship, said Glyn Chancey, CSGA chief executive officer. In particular, Chancey said the clear commitment to collaboration that is embodied in the policy augurs well for the association’s already strong and productive working relationship with CFIA.

“CFIA’s commitment to the effective use of government and stakeholder resources, maintaining or increasing accessibility to service delivery, and performance measurement are all welcome contributions to our ongoing joint efforts to deliver the seed certification program,” he added.

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