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2016-2017 Departmental Results Report
Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d'être

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is a large science-based regulatory agency with 6,927 employees working across Canada in the National Capital Region and in four operational regions: Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and Western Canada.

The CFIA is dedicated to safeguarding food safety and animal and plant health, which enhances Canada's environment, economy, and the health and well-being of its residents. To support market access, the CFIA works with Canada's trading partners to verify that Canadian products meet importing countries' technical requirements, thus expanding, gaining, restoring or maintaining access to markets.

Mandate and role

CFIA's Key Federal Partners

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Canada Border Services Agency
  • Canadian Grain Commission
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada, including the Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada, including the Canadian Forest Service
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Public Safety Canada

The CFIA develops program requirements, conducts laboratory testing, and delivers inspections and other services in order to:

  • Prevent and manage food safety risks;
  • Protect plant resources from regulated pests, diseases and invasive species;
  • Prevent and manage animal and zoonotic diseases;
  • Contribute to consumer protection; and
  • Contribute to market access for Canada's food, plants, animals and their products.

The CFIA bases its activities on science, effective risk management, a commitment to service and efficiency, and collaboration with domestic and international organizations that share its objectives.

The CFIA shares its responsibilities with various levels of government, with which it implements food safety, plant and animal health measures, and manages risks, incidents, and emergencies.

The CFIA administers and enforces 14 federal statutes and 34 sets of regulations. In addition to supporting a sustainable plant and animal resource base, these statutes and regulations regulate the safety and quality of food and agricultural inputs sold in Canada, such as feed, seed, fertilizers and veterinary biologics.

For more general information about the agency, please refer to the "Supplementary information" section of this report.

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