Archived - 2021 to 2022 Departmental Results Report

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From the Minister

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, PC, MP, Minister of Health

As the Minister responsible for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), I am pleased to present the CFIA's Departmental Results Report for 2021 to 2022.

The CFIA celebrates its silver anniversary in 2022. As it has done for 25 years, the agency continues to provide essential public services that benefit all Canadians, safeguarding food, preventing the introduction of pests, disease, and invasive species into plant and animal resources, supporting and securing market access opportunities, while contributing to consumer protection and food security.

This report shows how, in collaboration with its many stakeholders and partners, including academia, consumers, federal partners, industry, and provincial, territorial, and municipal organizations, the CFIA leads programs to protect Canadians from preventable health risks related to food and zoonotic diseases that affect both animals and humans.

In 2021 to 2022, the CFIA laid the groundwork for developing a comprehensive CFIA One Health Strategy and Action Plan, a program that brings light to the intersectionality of the health of humans, animals, and plants. Simultaneously, the Agency works with industry and international partners as a global leader to improve international standards, fairness in trade practices, and regulatory cooperation to increase market access for Canadian products.

To keep Canadians safe, the CFIA continues to work on wide-ranging challenges and accomplishments, including managing numerous food safety recalls of various food products, such as mushrooms, kimchi, oysters, frozen corn, and infant formula. In addition, in the area of plant health, the CFIA works to keep plant pests at bay while supporting market access.

The CFIA also works diligently in the area of animal health. This year, the agency activated its National Emergency Operations Centre and mobilized inspectors and veterinarians to respond to multiple outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) across the country in poultry farms and small flocks in order to mitigate the impact of this disease on our industry and protect the health of animals.

The agency also continues to embrace the vision of the Government of Canada's Beyond2020 public service renewal initiative in delivering on its mandate: demonstrating adaptability, resourcefulness, and resilience in its day-to-day operations to deliver results for Canadians.

I would like to recognize the thousands of CFIA employees who have achieved so many important milestones over the past 25 years to protect and safeguard our food supply. Thanks to their efforts, the food we eat in Canada is among the safest in the world. As we recover from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to ongoing economic, environmental, and global changes, I know that the CFIA will continue to be there for Canadians as a trusted science-based regulator.

I invite Canadians to read the CFIA's 2021 to 2022 Departmental Results Report to learn more about the work the CFIA does to protect the health and safety of our food, animals, and plants to enhance the well-being of Canada's people, environment, and economy.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, PC, MP
Minister of Health

Results at a glance

CFIA resources used in 2021 to 2022 to achieve results for Canadians
CFIA total spending for 2021 to 2022 $824,448,834
CFIA total actual full-time equivalents for 2021 to 2022 6,546

The CFIA is celebrating 25 years of safeguarding Canada's food supply and preventing the spread of invasive species, plant pests, and animal diseases. From coast to coast to coast, CFIA employees, including inspectors, veterinarians, scientists, policy analysts, administrative professionals, and many others, play a vital role in protecting Canadians, the environment, and our economy.

CFIA 2025: Building for the future

Adapting and responding to changes and evolving risks is crucial to the future success of CFIA. The CFIA 2025: Building for the future framework guides how CFIA delivers its mandate. The 2 guiding principles, trusted partnerships and serving as a global leader, envision a future of open and transparent scientific information sharing that pushes the frontiers of food safety and plant and animal health in a way that encourages a science-based, globally competitive industry and removes roadblocks to market innovation. The 4 areas of focus are:

  • agile regulations: Creating an environment where regulations remain dynamic, transparent, and responsive will allow businesses to act on new opportunities and increase competitiveness.
  • intelligent oversight: Identifying risks based on the latest science and dynamic intelligence will allow CFIA to better plan when and where its human resources and investments in tools can best be utilized.
  • enabled workforce: An enabled workforce has the modern, secure, and reliable digital work tools, equipment, and training that it needs to conduct its work effectively and efficiently. It is diverse and inclusive, which is central to removing barriers, improving efficiency, enhancing teamwork, and encouraging creativity.
  • stakeholder empowerment: With access to information and tools such as MyCFIA, Canadians and industry will be empowered to make informed choices, which will facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements.

For more information on CFIA's plans, priorities and results achieved, see the "Results: what we achieved" section of this report.

In addition to the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chain and changing consumer behaviours, extreme weather events and animal and plant disease outbreaks posed increased threats to food production and the economy. With support from the Government of Canada to bolster frontline capacity and deal with the most urgent pressures, the agency was challenged to work in new and different ways to achieve significant results in 2021 to 2022 for Canadians and our economy.

CFIA at a glance. Description follows.
Description for image: CFIA at a glance:
  • Safety of Canadians:
    • 73% of Canadians agree that CFIA helps ensure that food sold in Canada is safe
    • Registered users of the Canadian Food Safety Information System increased by 61% over the course of the year
    • 248 food recalls related to microbiological hazards, undeclared allergens, extraneous material, and
    • 21 Plant Health surveys completed by CFIA inspection staff, with improved efficiencies over previous methods through the use of digital applications
  • Resources:
    • Total actual full time equivalents: 6,546
    • Resources used to achieve results for Canadians: $824 million
  • Asset base:
    • historical acquisition cost: $754.3 million
    • net book value: $167.5 million
    • replacement value: $1 billion
    • CFIA's custodial holdings consist of:
      • 22 properties
      • 129 buildings
      • these include 9 laboratories and 13 quarantine and inspection stations
    • The agency owns, manages and maintains approximately 7,500 pieces of scientific equipment
    • CFIA operates a fleet of approximately 1,200 vehicles
CFIA Results: Economy. Description follows.
Description for image: Results at a glance:
  • Economy:
    • 74 international markets were opened or maintained in 2021 to 2022
    • In 2021, Canadian agri-food and seafood exports increased 10.9% / $82.2 billion compared to $74.1 billion for the same period in 2020
  • Compliance and enforcement:
    • 94% of plant inputs, products, and by-products comply with Canadian regulations and relevant international agreements
    • 98.5% of animal inputs, products, and by-products comply with Canadian regulations and relevant international agreements
    • 95.8% of Canadian producers have maintained or improved their status in programs designed to protect the health of animals
  • Communications:
    • 336,000+ people follow CFIA on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube
    • The agency's website received over 17 million views and 7 million visits
    • 14 advertising campaigns ran by the CFIA in support of the agency's mandate and emerging issues
  • CFIA issued:
    • 141 notices of violation with penalty. The total penalty amount was $1,283,100
    • 130 notices of violation with warning
    • 271 Administrative Monetary Penalties

Results: what we achieved

CFIA employees work every day to maintain the highest oversight standards while promoting an environment where regulations are dynamic and transparent, allowing stakeholders to engage in new opportunities and become more competitive.

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA achieved the following key results that contributed to the health and prosperity of Canadians and supported the achievement of Government of Canada priorities.

Canada's food system is resilient and innovative, sustains our environment and supports our economy. In 2021, the whole agriculture and agri-food system:

  • employed 2.1 million people
  • provided 1 out of 9 jobs in Canada
  • generated $134.9 billion (around 6.8%) of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP)

Source: AAFC Overview of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector

Core responsibility

Safe food and healthy plants and animals


CFIA is dedicated to protecting Canada's people by safeguarding Canada's food system and the plant and animal resources on which we depend, and by supporting the Canadian economy through the trade of Canadian goods.

CFIA's Departmental Results Framework outlines the agency's core responsibility: Safe food and healthy plants and animals. It is the corporate framework used to demonstrate plans, achievements, expenditures, and performance results.

Under the safe food and healthy plants and animals core responsibility, CFIA is focused on:

  • verifying that food sold in Canada is safe and protecting Canadians from preventable food safety hazards, managing food safety investigations and recalls, and promoting consumer protection by verifying the information provided to Canadian consumers through labelling and advertising
  • protecting Canada's animal resource base by managing animal disease incidents and emergencies (like avian influenza), promoting and regulating animal welfare in transportation and in federally regulated slaughter facilities, and verifying that animal feeds and veterinary biologics (including vaccines, therapeutics used to prevent or treat veterinary diseases, and veterinary diagnostic kits) are safe and effective
  • protecting Canada's plant resource base, environment, and plant-related industries by preventing the introduction and spread of pests, verifying that farmers have access to safe and innovative agricultural inputs (like seed and fertilizer) that support environmental sustainability, and maintaining the reputation of Canadian agricultural products in the global marketplace
  • facilitating market access for Canada's plants, animals, and food by contributing to the development of international rules and standards through international standard-setting bodies, engaging trading partners, and negotiating import/export conditions and technical agreements and standards

The Government of Canada invested $906.6 million in 2021 to 2022 to enable CFIA to fulfil its mandate and core responsibility. The report that follows highlights the context of and outcomes achieved by these investments in 2021 to 2022, starting with outcomes that span all 3 departmental results; these include: preparing for, monitoring, and responding to Canadian and global emergencies; prevention, inspection, and enforcement; strengthening the regulatory framework; and using science and risk management to achieve meaningful outcomes.

CFIA's response to Canadian and global emergencies

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA faced a number of significant incidents and emergencies, including the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of climate change, and the spread of plant pests and animal diseases, such as potato wart and highly pathogenic avian influenza.

CFIA Results: Emergency response. Description follows.
Description for image: Emergency response
  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza:
    • Effects on production, on the movement of animals, as well as on the import and export of their products and by products
  • Climate change-related emergencies:
    • Forest fires, floods, higher prevalence of pests, diseases and toxins
  • Border blockades:
    • The safe movement of livestock, feed, and goods between Canada and the US was disrupted in Windsor (ON), Emerson (BC), Coutts (AB), and Surrey (BC)
  • Potato wart:
    • Potato wart impacts the economic return for potato growers by reducing yield and making seed potatoes unmarketable.
  • Potato industry:
    • Contributes over $1.3 billion annually to PEI's economy
    • Directly employs 5,000 full-time workers in the province
  • COVID-19:
    • To aid in the response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, specialized CFIA laboratories tested over 185,000 human clinical samples to help clear testing backlogs

CFIA has played a critical role in keeping international markets open to Canadian agricultural products and helping ensure that Canadians continued to have access to safe food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Government of Canada provided CFIA with $20 million in 2021 to 2022 to address emerging vulnerabilities in inspection capacity caused by COVID-19 to help ensure an adequate, safe, and reliable food supply for Canadians. This funding allowed CFIA to continue carrying out critical activities by maintaining inspection capacity and investing in equipment and technology to facilitate the delivery of inspection services despite the many challenges of the pandemic. Through innovation and digitization, the agency also adapted some traditional approaches, such as the use of virtual inspections both domestically and internationally where warranted, as well as the development of import certification and tracking applications to better serve regulated parties and other stakeholders.

Along with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and other government departments, CFIA supported the federal COVID-19 surge capacity testing network to provide COVID-19 testing of clinical samples to provinces when needed. Specialized CFIA laboratories tested over 185,000 human clinical samples to help clear testing backlogs, thereby enabling well informed and timely public health interventions during the pandemic.

There were a number of climate change-related emergencies across Canada in 2021 to 2022, ranging from forest fires to floods and other extreme weather events. These events affected all aspects of CFIA's mandate—from helping food manufacturers maintain required safety standards to ensuring that animals could continue to be safely and humanely transported out of flooded areas. Farmers were impacted in devastating ways; power outages and system failures affected all stakeholders including the agency, all regulated parties, and consumers. In response, CFIA worked swiftly to assess and mitigate any potential impact on food safety as well as plant and animal health. These actions were enabled by amendments to the emergency transit regulations in the Canada Gazette Part II (CG-II), that were published in June 2021, and endorsed from the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) in both Canada and the United States (U.S.). During the floods in British Columbia in November 2021, this allowed the transit of animals through the United States to be facilitated with a simplified procedure as opposed to traditional import transit permits. CFIA provided Canadians with the information they needed when they needed it.

In October 2021, 2 detections of potato wart in Prince Edward Island (PEI) potato fields were confirmed in CFIA's Charlottetown laboratory. To prevent the spread of potato wart to the rest of the country and beyond, a Ministerial Order was made under the authority of the Plant Protection Act, designed to proactively restrict the movement of regulated products such as seed potatoes contaminated with soil from restricted areas in PEI. CFIA completed a national survey for potato wart and drone-assisted Geographic Information Mapping System (GIS) mapping of potato fields, an important step in the Government of Canada's action plan to reassure international trading partners and Canadians that Canadian seed potatoes were free from federally regulated pests. The science-based mitigation measures undertaken by CFIA enabled PEI to move hundreds of millions of dollars worth of potatoes off the island sooner than would have been the case otherwise. Despite the temporary closure of the U.S. market, CFIA successfully maintained access for PEI potatoes in the following international markets:

  • Barbados
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Jamaica
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Uruguay

Potatoes are PEI's primary crop of commercial value, with PEI growing approximately one-quarter of the potatoes in the country. The industry contributes over $1.3 billion annually to PEI's economy and directly employs 5,000 full-time workers in the province.

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA responded to the outbreak of an unprecedented number of cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Canada. Avian influenza (AI), also called "bird flu" is a deadly viral infection that spreads rapidly among birds and directly threatens the Canadian poultry and egg industry, which contributed $5.5 billion to the Gross Domestic Product in 2021. On rare occasions, some subtypes of the virus can cause illness in humans. Many parts of North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa began experiencing HPAI outbreaks in the winter that have been continuing, impacting several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quail, guinea fowl, and so forth) as well as wild birds.

In 2021 to 2022, the agency reported cases in poultry and non-poultry flocks in most provinces at both commercial and private premises, with the greatest number of affected sites in the Atlantic provinces and Ontario. In support of the Government of Canada's response to HPAI and to help prevent its spread, CFIA has:

  • established surge capacity testing at laboratories in Alberta and Ontario
  • established quarantines, ordered the humane destruction of poultry, traced the potential source and spread of the disease, oversaw the cleaning and disinfection of premises, and continued to verify that the affected farms remain free of AI according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) standards
  • developed genetic-based tools to rapidly detect and characterize the virus for commercial and backyard poultry and wild birds

The CFIA jointly oversaw a "One Health" AI initiative, bringing together various partners in animal, public, and environmental health to discuss the management of AI in wildlife.

The collaborative work resulted in:

  • a pan-Canadian plan for surveillance of wildlife and enhanced reporting and communication of AI cases in wildlife; and
  • collaboration with provincial and territorial governments (for example the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network), poultry farmers, and other industry representatives to continue AI surveillance for commercial poultry flocks using the Canadian Notifiable Avian Influenza Surveillance System (CanNAISS).

CFIA's emergency preparedness and response activities in 2021 to 2022 have underscored that the most critical challenge for the agency when dealing with large-scale, simultaneous emergencies is having the human resources, including trained inspectors, veterinarians, scientists, and GIS mapping experts to maintain core mandate activities while large numbers of resources are mobilized to manage emergencies. To address this challenge, the agency further developed operational prioritization models and guidance to support risk-based operational delivery decisions in the face of more limited capacity, suspended work on some planned initiatives, and requested and received targeted government funding to deal with the emergencies. Successful management of these emergencies has highlighted the value of strong partnerships, information-sharing, and the development of innovative ways to tackle challenges.

Inspecting and protecting

CFIA inspectors, laboratory scientists, and technicians carry out the agency's mandate through their delivery of frontline services. When employing systems based preventive control inspections, sample collection, and commodity inspections, inspectors assess whether regulated parties are in compliance with regulatory requirements, including permission conditions. This work is supported by scientists and technicians in CFIA laboratories who test collected samples, interpret results, and transmit findings back to inspectors. Managing multiple, simultaneous emergencies has had a profound impact on day-to-day inspection and laboratory activities in 2021 to 2022

As a regulator, CFIA uses inspection and testing to verify compliance with acts and regulations under its authority. The agency also uses surveying techniques to monitor animal and plant health.

Food safety investigations are undertaken to determine whether the potential for illness or injury exists or to determine the potential health hazard and the scope of that hazard. In 2021 to 2022, the majority of CFIA's food investigations were related to extraneous materials (such as bone or shell fragments, hair or feathers from animal products, stones, rocks, dirt, and metal).

Food safety investigations by area of concern:

  • Allergen: 330
  • Chemical: 165
  • Extraneous material: 1223
  • Microbiological: 699
  • Other: 108

Note that some food safety investigations may involve more than 1 area of concern category (like microbiological and extraneous material), therefore the total number of food safety investigations would not be the sum of all the categories listed above.

CFIA issues recall warnings to protect Canadians from unsafe food. In 2021 to 2022, there were a total of 248 food recalls related to microbiological hazards, undeclared allergens, extraneous material, and chemical and other hazards.

CFIA has continued to prioritize promoting the awareness of and compliance with regulations, while also monitoring progress towards compliance and taking enforcement action as necessary.

CFIA's enforcement approach balances the need to protect Canada's food safety system, as well as animal and plant health, while supporting businesses in complying with the regulations. For licence holders in violation of the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), licences may be suspended or cancelled under prescribed conditions including where corrective measures have not been implemented within required time periods, and monetary penalties may be issued.

  • The CFIA issued 271 Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) in 2021 to 2022, including 130 notices of violation with warning and 141 notices of violation with penalty. Close to $1.3 million in penalties were issued by CFIA enforcement officials
  • In 2021 to 2022, 2 notifications of charges laid bulletins were published by the CFIA to notify the public of charges laid against several companies and individuals, that stemmed from investigations for food related offences of the SFCA, SFCR, and the Food and Drugs Act (FDA)
  • 4 companies were convicted and fined a total of $1.15 million in relation to food or humane transport of animals offences
    • 1 company was convicted of SFCA offences and ordered to pay a fine of $400,000 for labelling and selling previously frozen fish as fresh
    • 1 company was convicted of a FDA offence and ordered to pay a fine of $150,000 for selling beef labelled as "certified organic" when it was not
    • 2 companies were convicted of Health of Animals Regulations offences and each were fined $300,000 and sentenced to 3 years' probation to increase employee training and third-party audits
      • the convictions under the Health of Animals Regulations were related to animal transport offences
  • Certification bodies are accredited by CFIA to certify agricultural products as organic in accordance with the requirements of the Canada Organic Regime
    • CFIA suspended 4 accredited bodies in 2021 to 2022
      • 3 of those bodies were reinstated in the same fiscal year after corrective measures were implemented and verified
      • CFIA cancelled the accreditation of 1 body
  • In 2021 to 2022, close to 650 organic certification holders had their organic certifications cancelled or withdrew their certification voluntarily

Did you know that the CFIA's inspection activities have a surprising connection with the annual Canadian Tulip Festival?

Every year, CFIA inspectors fly 6,500 kilometres to the Netherlands to inspect 250 million bulbs and perennials to ensure soil and plants are free of pests before entering Canada.

To enhance overall inspection practices, CFIA continued the shift to a Standard Inspection Process (SIP), a common approach for conducting inspections across CFIA's 3 business lines (food, plant, and animal health). In 2021 to 2022, CFIA also successfully expanded the Modernized Slaughter Inspection Program (MSIP) pilot project in federally regulated hog slaughter establishments. 16 out of the 20 federal establishments that slaughter pork are operating under MSIP. This initiative allows establishment operators to proactively screen hog carcasses for defects before CFIA inspection and gives CFIA inspectors more time to focus on detecting food safety concerns. Data from the pilot project demonstrated that the MSIP is effective in achieving desired food safety outcomes.

Applying science

As one of Canada's largest science-based regulatory agencies, CFIA researchers and scientists play a critical role in assessing and informing risk intelligence, contribute to the development of policies and programs, give scientific advice, and conductinspection activities.

CFIA's scientists provide the expertise and scientific knowledge needed to inform the agency's regulatory and risk-based approach to keeping Canada's food safe and plants and animals healthy. The Establishment-based Risk Assessment (ERA) model and the Importer Risk Assessment (IRA) model were developed by CFIA to help prioritize the agency's inspection activities in federally regulated establishments and with food importers. These models are designed to be easily adapted to reflect emerging global and scientific trends, new risks, and changes within the industry, and allow the agency to target inspection resources at areas of highest risk.

CFIA maintains a network of 13 laboratories across the country, all of which are internationally recognized for their expertise in food, plant, and animal regulatory diagnostics. 4 of these laboratories are further recognized by the WOAH for their expertise in 10 specific animal diseases, including anthrax and rabies, or for their expertise in a specific scientific area of research, such as foodborne zoonotic parasites. These laboratories are "best in class" and lead the provision of scientific and technical assistance, expert advice, and research for the international community.

CFIA laboratory network map

CFIA laboratory network map. Description follows.
Description for image: CFIA laboratory network map
Western laboratory network

Laboratory and expertise:

  • Sydney (plant health)
  • Burnaby (food safety)
  • Calgary (food safety)
  • Saskatoon (animal health, food safety, and plant health)
National centres for animal diseases

Laboratory and expertise:

  • Lethbridge (animal health)
  • Winnipeg (animal health)
Ontario laboratory network

Laboratory and expertise:

  • Greater Toronto Area (food safety)
  • Ottawa (Fallowfield) (animal health, food safety, and plant health)
  • Ottawa (Carling) (animal health, food safety, and plant health)
Eastern laboratory network

Laboratory and expertise:

  • Longueuil (food safety)
  • Saint-Hyacinthe (animal health and food safety)
  • Charlottetown (plant health)
  • Dartmouth (food safety)

CFIA has made progress in implementing recommendations set out in Canada's Roadmap for Open Science by publishing the agency's first Open Science Action Plan (OSAP) for 2021 to 2026. It established the strategic direction for making CFIA scientific outputs and processes more open and accessible while ensuring that the agency continues to excel as a science-based regulator. In addition, the CFIA's Scientific Publication Policy was updated to better align with the Policy on Scientific Integrity. These achievements will enhance CFIA's efforts to make its scientific information more accessible, interoperable, and reusable, thereby strengthening its relationships with stakeholders, collaborators, and Canadians.

Scientists in CFIA's laboratories are continuously exploring new ways to improve processes, data quality, and timeliness of results.

  • In 2021 to 2022, a barcoding initiative was launched. Phase 1 of the project was completed with close to 20,000 samples collected and tested under the Artificial Insemination Program. Results demonstrated that the barcoding of samples represents a significant process enhancement as well as a means to increase data quality and improve the timeliness of results.
  • Genomics and bioinformatics play an important role at CFIA including enabling the development of detailed genetic profiles of foodborne bacterial pathogens. When leveraged in collaboration with national and international partners, genomics and bioinformatics allow CFIA to identify the source of outbreaks and transmission events, which strengthens outbreak response. To upgrade CFIA's scientific computing capacity for data storage and analysis tools, a CFIA laboratory developed a cloud solution called FoodPort. FoodPort is a centralized platform for providing bioinformatic services across the agency. Having an accessible repository of genomic datasets and the tools used for processing this data available on a collaborative cloud platform opens up new possibilities for analyzing bacterial pathogens in foods, which supports CFIA's food safety objectives.
  • CFIA scientists have generated data required to evaluate test kits for their capacity to accurately detect marine biotoxins responsible for amnesic shellfish poisoning. Shellfish is an important industry for Canadians. In the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year, shellfish exports were valued at $6.6 billion, an increase of 53.5% over the previous year, while shellfish imports were valued at $1.9 billion, up 29.2%. Identifying tests that might be used by industry and remote communities creates an opportunity for harvesters to assess product safety before harvesting. This could help to reduce the number of associated recalls and illness investigations, thereby directly increasing public safety and mitigating the industry's economic losses.
  • CFIA scientists confirmed that the soy allergens detection method developed by the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is suitable for confirming analysis results for regulatory compliance activities, such as food recalls. The collaboration between the FARRP and CFIA has paved the way for future research on other high-risk priority allergens, for example peanuts and milk. Allergens pose a serious food safety risk, with approximately 2.3 million Canadians directly affected by food allergies. Using new diagnostic tools to confirm allergen results boosts CFIA's ability to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

CFIA is always looking for ways to enhance food safety. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) can provide a unique perspective on what is in food and is extremely useful in investigations into food safety, quality, and potential food misrepresentation—for example, verifying that cheap oil has not been mixed into olive oil.

As the world faces new challenges posed by emerging and re-emerging pathogens, topics like biosafety, pandemics, science policy, and diplomacy are a priority. The Biosafety Level 4 Zoonotic Laboratory Network (BSL4ZNet), led by CFIA, is an international network of government institutions aiming to prepare and respond efficiently to current and future outbreaks caused by high-risk zoonotic pathogens. In 2021 to 2022, the BSL4ZNet organized an international conference, "Preparing and responding to new post-pandemic challenges," which hosted over 800 attendees from 56 countries. The conference featured 4 keynote speakers, 15 panel sessions, and over 50 expert panellists worldwide. Through this work, CFIA and BSL4ZNet partner institutions continue to improve capacity for robust diagnostic methods and laboratory interoperability, enhance research collaborations, and improve the training of world-class personnel. These efforts enhance Canada's preparedness and response to disease outbreaks.

"It is the trusted relationships we build in times of calm that prove to be vital in times of crisis. I am grateful for the dedication and expertise of my BSL4ZNet colleagues that helped Canada and the world better understand COVID-19."

Dr. Primal Silva, Co-Chair of the BSL4ZNet.

CFIA scientists are respected innovators and renowned experts in their fields. In 2021 to 2022, the Canadian Society for Mass Spectrometry awarded a CFIA research scientist the prestigious Fred P. Lossing Award for distinguished contributions to the field of mass spectrometry based on research conducted prior to joining the agency. The recipient, who had been actively recruited to the agency, pioneered the development of novel detection devices that are currently being implemented to enhance the CFIA's food safety diagnostic testing program, as well as its reputation as a world class food safety regulator.

Mass spectrometry is an analytical technique that is used to determine which compounds are present in a sample and their levels. At CFIA, it is used to detect even the tiniest amount of contaminants in food, like animal drug residues and toxins.

Designing and implementing a strong regulatory framework

CFIA's regulatory framework seeks to maintain high health and safety standards while facilitating opportunities for industry to be innovative and globally competitive. CFIA's Forward Regulatory Plan gives stakeholders, including businesses, Indigenous peoples, interest groups, and consumers an opportunity to provide input for the review of regulations and plans for the future.

Key regulatory achievements in 2021 to 2022 include:

  • continuation of an overall reduction to CFIA's Administrative Burden Baseline of federal regulations imposed on businesses by CFIA, which has decreased by approximately 53% since 2014
  • publication of the amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations: Schedule III – Aquatic Animal Imports in the Canada Gazette, Part 2, to reduce the risk of introducing aquatic diseases into Canada
  • full implementation of the Health of Animals Regulations, which were amended and published in the Canada Gazette, Part 2, enabling regulated animals to transit through Canada and the United States during emergencies. These regulatory amendments help to ensure animal welfare and streamline requirements for industry and other stakeholders during emergencies
  • pre-publication of proposed amendments to the Feeds Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part 1, to minimize the health risks for livestock and Canadians associated with livestock feeds manufactured in or imported into Canada
  • pre-publication of proposed amendments to the Compensation for Destroyed Animals Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part 1, which would revise the maximum compensation amounts for bison ordered destroyed, and promote early reporting of animal diseases by reducing the economic impact of an owner reporting that their animal has a reportable disease

The previous section of this report presented activities and results that span across all parts of CFIA's mandate. The following sections focus on each of CFIA's 3 departmental results, other mandatory reporting requirements, and internal services:

Departmental result 1
Food sold in Canada is safe and accurately represented to Canadians

Canada is recognized as having one of the world's most rigorous food safety systems. CFIA designs and implements programs to help ensure that the food Canadians eat is safe and that the industry understands and follows sound rules to produce or import safe and accurately labelled food. CFIA's food safety programs are intended to mitigate public health risks, prevent hazards in the food supply system, and manage any food safety emergencies and incidents by working with the industry and federal, provincial, territorial, and international food safety partners.

Departmental result indicators Target Date to achieve target 2021 to 2022 actual results
Percentage of food establishments that have addressed compliance issues upon follow-up or were brought into compliance, by year 75% to 85% March 31, 2023 78.8%
Percentage of higher risk food recalls that occurred prior to an adverse effect being reported to CFIA, by year 84% March 31, 2023 84.8%
Percentage of Canadians who agree that CFIA helps ensure that food sold in Canada is safe, by year At least 70% March 31, 2023 73%
What you will find in this section:
  • Food fraud
  • Boat-to-plate traceability
  • Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program
  • Canadian Food Safety Information Network
  • Pan-Canadian approach to surveillance action plan
  • Federal food safety and nutritional research forum

Results achieved

Combatting food fraud in Canada

Canadian food laws prohibit food sold in Canada from being misrepresented when it is labelled, packaged, advertised, and sold. However, misrepresentation may still happen and is a worsening issue worldwide. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has stated that, while it was previously estimated that food fraud generated between $10 billion and $15 billion in loses per year globally, more recent estimates are closer to $40 billion.

Food fraud is generally considered the misrepresentation or adulteration of a product for economic gain. When food fraud occurs, it can have economic and health impacts. It could mean paying for a product that is not quite what you think it is. For example, if farmed salmon is marketed as wild salmon, consumers will pay a higher price. Adulterated food can also pose a health risk if unidentified allergens or hazardous materials are added to food products.

"Tackling food fraud is a key priority of the Food Policy for Canada, which our government launched in 2019. It will not only protect consumers from buying deliberately mislabelled products, but also Canadian food businesses who must compete with inauthentic products. That is why we will continue to work with both consumers and industry to develop new tools to combat illegal and fraudulent practices throughout the seafood supply chain."

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

In June 2019, the Food Policy for Canada was launched. The Government of Canada invested $24.4 million over 5 years to help CFIA tackle food fraud and assure Canadians that the food they buy is accurately represented and safe to eat.

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA continued to advance risk-based work to prevent, detect, and deter misrepresentation through the following activities:

  • conducted targeted inspection and sampling activities on food commodities at higher risk of misrepresentation
  • enhanced program design based on research, intelligence, and global best practices, including a pilot project to engage International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN)
  • researched and developed new methodologies to detect food fraud in collaboration with Health Canada
  • took regulatory and enforcement actions when non-compliance was identified, including prosecutions
  • promoted food fraud awareness in collaboration with other jurisdictions and government departments
    • this work included an online advertisement campaign designed to provide information about what food fraud is, how it impacts consumers, and what to do if food fraud is suspected.
    • in addition, the agency worked to raise industry awareness of the issue and reinforce good practices
We all have a role to play in combatting food fraud. CFIA, industry, and even consumers!

Food fraud is not always easy to recognize, but as a consumer, you can still play a role in identifying and tackling food fraud by:

  • checking the label to determine if any information may be misleading
  • considering the price: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • contacting the industry to report concerns and ask questions about the information on the food label or how the food is produced
  • reporting your concerns: If you suspect food fraud, report it to the CFIA

CFIA promotes awareness and engagement with stakeholders on its dedicated "food fraud" page.

Safeguarding Canada's fish and seafood resource base

Canada exports approximately $7 billion worth of fish and seafood annually to over 120 countries, and imports approximately $4 billion in fish and seafood from over 140 countries. Bound by 3 oceans:

  • Pacific
  • Arctic
  • Atlantic

Canada has the longest coastline and largest freshwater lake system in the world, containing more than 160 species of fish and seafood. Canada's fresh, frozen, smoked, and canned products are in high demand around the world.

As part of the Government of Canada's efforts to tackle food fraud, CFIA sampled and tested fish from domestic processors, importers, and retail establishments across Canada. According to the 2019 to 2020 report on enhanced fish species substitution surveillance, CFIA's testing showed that 91% of fish samples taken were accurately represented, which means that they were satisfactorily labelled with their proper common names. CFIA took appropriate action on all unsatisfactory results. In 2021 to 2022, this included enforcement actions, such as letters of non-compliance, product seizures and detention, relabelling to bring the product into compliance, and product disposal.

The Minister of Health's 2019 mandate letter introduced a commitment to develop a boat-to-plate traceability program for fish and seafood to help Canadian fishers better market their high-quality products. CFIA is implementing this program in conjunction with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). In 2021 to 2022, an online discussion paper was launched for consultation with various stakeholders in the fish and seafood sector. CFIA worked with AAFC and DFO to analyze the feedback received from the consultation and generate the What we heard report, to be published in 2022 to 2023. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans recently conducted a study on the implementation of a "Boat-to-Plate" traceability and labeling system to prevent the mislabelling of imported fish and seafood. The study also examined the potential socio-economic, environmental and food safety effects of such a system. The Government of Canada is currently reviewing the report and preparing to act on its recommendations, which will impact several federal departments and agencies, including CFIA.

Alongside Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and DFO, CFIA also administers the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP). Under the CSSP, the Government of Canada implements controls to verify that shellfish (such as mussels, oysters, and clams) meet food safety and quality standards in order to reach domestic and international markets. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA continued to monitor the effectiveness of CSSP controls in the shellfish harvest areas. Legally harvested shellfish are sampled and delivered to federally regulated establishments for testing. Test results from the 2021 to 2022 sampling revealed that 98.3% of shellfish sampled met the Canadian standards for microbiological organisms (E. coli and Salmonella) and marine toxins.

Ready-to-eat fish and seafood were tested for bacterial pathogens and indicators as they have been associated with recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks in the past.

Over 98.9% of the fish and seafood samples tested in Canada were considered safe for consumption.

Enhancing Canada's food safety system

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA leveraged the Canadian Food Safety Information Network (CFSIN) to achieve the following:

  • led collaborative work with 15 federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) partners, including CFIA, The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Health Canada (HC), and 12 provinces and territories
    • registered users increased by 61% over the course of the year
  • enhanced the CFSIN technical platform, expanded the data offerings, promoted the Event Management Tool with FPT partners, and published monthly environmental scanning reports to identify emerging food safety issues
  • oversaw the FPT Surveillance Working Group in order to successfully implement the Pan-Canadian Approach to Surveillance (PCAS) Action Plan using dairy product sampling and testing as a trial. A report on lessons learned and a guidance document for ongoing FPT food surveillance collaboration was developed. As part of the multi-year surveillance review, the CFIA formalized duties, responsibilities, and business procedures for food surveillance sample planning and approvals

The Canadian Food Safety Information Network (CFSIN) includes a shared food safety data repository and digital analysis tool linking federal and provincial government food safety authorities and food testing laboratories. It was implemented in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, and provincial and territorial partners in 2020. The CFSIN has enabled real-time data sharing and collaboration capabilities to more effectively anticipate, detect, and respond to food safety issues and emergencies. A shared government laboratory network ensures better coordination of essential testing to identify, trace, and resolve food-borne illness.

CFIA hosted the first Federal Food Safety and Nutrition Research Forum to be held since 2011, providing a formal setting for the exchange of food safety research outcomes, information, and ideas among federal partners and academia. Featuring 53 presentations and almost 500 participants, the 4-day virtual forum brought together research scientists, laboratory staff, regulators, academics, and policy-makers from HC, AAFC, PHAC, and CFIA to foster collaboration and discussions to improve federal research programs. The forum attracted a broad audience of members from various backgrounds performing various functions, and included presentations on research outcomes and potential impacts of the methods that federal departments use to fulfill their mandates to promote a safe, secure, and nutritious food supply for Canadians.

Food commodities like cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables are regularly consumed by Canadians.

CFIA tested for bacterial pathogens and indicators, viruses, and parasites in these foods because they have been associated with recalls and outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in the past.

Results indicated that 99.3% of the samples tested were considered safe for consumption.

Departmental result 2
Plant and animal resources are protected from diseases and pests and are safe for Canadians and the environment

CFIA has a mandate to protect Canada's plant and animal resources from pests and diseases. CFIA's plant and animal programs are intended to prevent incursions by foreign plant pests and animal diseases, and to contain plant pests and animal diseases should they enter Canada. In close collaboration with its North American and international partners, CFIA works within its mandate to mitigate risks to plant and animal resources. CFIA is always at the forefront in responding to a changing climate, rapid advances in technology advancements, and scientific breakthroughs while ensuring that its services continue to be reliable and relevant

Departmental result indicators Target Date to achieve target 2021 to 2022 actual results
Number of harmful foreign plant pests that have entered and established themselves in Canada, by year 0 March 31, 2023 1 Table Note 1
Percentage of regulated, harmful foreign plant pests that had previously entered and established themselves in Canada and whose spread was successfully limited by CFIA control programs, by year At least 95% March 31, 2023 87.5% Table Note 2
Percentage of plant inputs, products and by-products that comply with Canadian regulations and relevant international agreements, by year At least 95% March 31, 2023 94% Table Note 3
Percentage of animal inputs, products and by-products that comply with Canadian regulations and relevant international agreements, by year At least 95% March 31, 2023 98.5%
Percentage of Canadian producers that have maintained or improved their status in programs designed to protect the health of animals, by year At least 95% March 31, 2023 95.8%
Rate of confirmed animal disease outbreaks per 100 investigations conducted by CFIA to limit the impact of animal health diseases within Canada, by year Less than 3 March 31, 2023 2.7
What you will find in this section

One Health

  • CFIA One Health Strategy and action plan
  • Rapid qualitative risk assessments
  • SARS-CoV-2 the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Veterinary biologics
  • Antimicrobial resistance

Plant health

  • Plant health surveys
  • Canadian Plant Health Information System (CPHIS)
  • Plant health science mobilization plan for Canada

Animal health

  • Quarantine facilities
  • African swine fever (ASF)
  • Disease spread modelling initiatives
  • Animal health dashboards
  • Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)
  • Other large animal prion diseases
  • Import requirements for commercial dogs
  • Community for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (CEZD)

Results achieved

One Health

One Health is an integrated, unifying approach intended to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and ecosystems. It recognizes that the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent.

Areas of work where a One Health approach is particularly relevant include food safety, the control of zoonotic diseases (diseases that can spread between animals and humans), and combatting antimicrobial resistance (when microorganisms change after being exposed to antimicrobials and become more difficult to treat).

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA laid the groundwork for developing a comprehensive CFIA One Health Strategy and Action Plan. A report was drafted to build a One Health action and leadership development plan that facilitates a collaborative multi-jurisdictional approach to risk identification and mitigation at the environment-animal-human interface.

Early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, rapid qualitative risk assessments were undertaken to assess the risks of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in companion animals, livestock, and farmed mink. The risk assessments were conducted by experts from federal, provincial, and territorial governments, academia, and industry. Continuing with the multi-sectoral One Health approach in 2021 to 2022, CFIA evaluated the transmission pathways of SARS-CoV-2 from deer to humans and the likelihood of deer becoming a reservoir for the disease in Canada. The likelihood of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from deer to humans was found to be very low, although it was potentially moderate for those more exposed to deer, such as hunters. The outputs were used to develop communications products for people in contact with free ranging or captive deer, as well as policy guidance and surveillance activities in the wildlife and game farming sector. The results of this exercise demonstrated that the collaborative One Health approach can be successfully employed and produce results that can be impactful.

In addition, the CFIA led an interdepartmental working group to generate and publish a comprehensive risk pathway to consider the likelihood of a SARS-CoV-2 contamination event at any of the steps of the food chain, including potential exposure and transmission to the consumer. The working group determined there is currently no comprehensive epidemiological evidence of confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 being spread through food or food packaging. This information continues to inform Canadian and international policies and communications around food safety and the virus.

CFIA's Canadian Centre for Veterinary Biologics (CCVB) is responsible for regulating the manufacturing, testing, labelling, import, export, distribution, and use of veterinary biologics in Canada. In 2021, CFIA's CCVB authorized the emergency importation and use of an experimental SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine for use in mink. Vaccination began in August 2021. CFIA also worked with federal and provincial authorities, zoos, and a vaccine manufacturer to authorize the emergency use of an experimental vaccine to protect zoo animals in Canada against COVID-19.

The One Health approach is also used to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR occurs naturally over time as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites develop the ability to defeat the drugs or antibiotics designed to kill them, which is why antibiotics are increasingly less effective in treating infections in both humans and animals.

This complex and evolving phenomenon, mainly driven by the overuse or misuse of antimicrobials, is a growing global health problem. According to the World Bank (2017), AMR could result in 10 million deaths globally per year by 2050, more than diabetes and cancer combined. In Canada, 5,400 deaths per year are directly attributed to AMR. If AMR continues to rise, the associated health care costs would increase to between $5.5 billion and $7.6 billion a year, accounting for nearly 1% of all healthcare spending.

To address this issue, the Government of Canada has developed a federal framework and an action plan on AMR that outlines concrete steps being taken by 7 federal departments and agencies. Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada invested $28.6 million over 5 years in the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, and CFIA to help address AMR. Highlights of 2021 to 2022 achievements include:

  • facilitation of access to innovative products, such as animal feeds and veterinary vaccines, that reduce reliance on antimicrobials
    • this included the approval of 10 new vaccines and 8 new gut modifier products for use in animal feeds
  • launch of a pilot project to allow the inclusion of a limited number of veterinary health products in commercially mixed feeds in advance of the anticipated new Feeds Regulations
  • development of regulatory and scientific guidance to improve the availability of veterinary biologics for minor animal species such as sheep, goats, and fish, as well as for less common diseases
  • work completed with federal, provincial, and territorial partners, the Council of Chief Veterinary Officers, Animal Health Canada, and the international regulatory community to identify and address regulatory obstacles and improve opportunities for regulatory cooperation
  • participation in various domestic and international forums on AMR, veterinary medicinal products, and assessment of feed ingredients
Safeguarding Canada's animal resource base and Canadians from animal diseases

Animal Health encompasses terrestrial and aquatic animal health, animal pathogens, livestock feeds, and veterinary biologics. CFIA plays an important role in:

  • preventing and managing terrestrial and aquatic animal and zoonotic diseases
  • facilitating market access for Canada's animals, animal products, and by-products
  • helping ensure the safety of animal feeds, animal products, and veterinary biologics

Animal production contributed $5.6 billion to Canada's GDP in 2021, with exports worth $2.2 billion. In addition, over 110,000 people are employed in the animal production sector.

To protect human and animal health, CFIA carries out inspections and runs monitoring and testing programs to prevent and control the spread of diseases to the livestock and poultry sectors.

CFIA also implements programs related to animal health and production to guard against the entry of foreign animal diseases and to prevent the spread of certain domestic animal diseases. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA approved 7 quarantine facilities that hold imported high-risk animals to determine whether they meet Canadian import requirements. 6 quarantine units were approved for aquatic animals. This has allowed aquatic sectors to access imports of aquatic animals that were previously refused entry to Canada, which has positively impacted aquaculture businesses and the research sector.

Throughout 2021 to 2022, CFIA continued to build Canada's preparedness capacity to respond to African swine fever (ASF). Canada's pork industry contributes approximately $28 billion to the Canadian economy. Canada is the third largest exporter of pork globally, exporting 70% of its pork annually to approximately 95 countries. In response to the threat of ASF, federal, provincial, and territorial governments along with industry collaboratively developed and implemented the Pan-Canadian ASF Action Plan. Under the ASF action plan, CFIA initiated discussions on the development of a national farm-level compartmentalization program. The program objective is to maintain the export of swine and pork products should an outbreak of ASF occur in Canada.

In 2021 to 2022, 2 surveillance activities were developed and implemented for African swine fever (ASF) detection in Canada.

The first involves CFIA-approved laboratories conducting ASF testing on certain at-risk diagnostic cases when requested by a veterinarian or pathologist, and the second involves conducting ASF testing on carcasses condemned at slaughter for reasons similar to ASF.

Both of these activities are carried out to enable early detection of ASF to assist in the response to outbreaks and minimize the economic impact on Canada's commercial swine sector.

To improve Canada's state of preparedness for possible incursions of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and ASF, CFIA worked in collaboration with industry and FPT partners to develop 2 important disease spread modelling initiatives:

  • the Canadian Animal Disease Spread Simulation Model for FMD (CanDIS-FMD)
  • an ASF model specifically for Manitoba with a view to be expanded to the rest of Canada

These models provide scenarios to help decision-makers understand how outbreaks of foreign animal diseases would evolve in Canada while allowing policy makers to design and implement policies that minimize the risks to and impacts on Canadian animals and producers.

Collaboration with key partners as well as new capabilities and processes for data integration have led to the creation of a number of accessible, interactive animal health dashboards. In partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS), CFIA contributed to the development of national risk-based surveillance for early detection of ASF and a SARS-CoV-2 in Animals dashboard. Additionally, a "finfish" health tracker application was developed by CFIA, CAHSS, and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC) to report abnormal fish health sightings. CFIA analysts led the development of dashboards for equine diseases, chronic wasting disease, and highly pathogenic avian influenza in wildlife. These dashboards increase the quality, transparency, and accessibility of information for CFIA and partners to inform animal health policy and decision-making as well as provide timely sharing of information with Canadians. These activities also allow CFIA to demonstrate Canada's animal health status to foreign entities, minimize the impacts of disease, and guide surveillance planning from a national perspective.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a progressive, fatal disease of the nervous system of cattle. Classical BSE has not been detected in Canada since 2015. Budget 2019 allocated $38 million over 5 years to CFIA, HC, and PHAC to maintain world-class inspection programs to protect against BSE in Canadian cattle herds.

On May 27, 2021, Canada was officially recognized by the WOAH World Assembly of Delegates as a country with negligible risk for BSE as a result of the continued work between CFIA, the provinces, and the beef industry. This recognition meant that Canada had achieved the most preferred status under the WOAH's 3-tiered categorization system for evaluating BSE risk. It has also given Canada access to a wider variety of international markets. This is a notable success considering that 60,000 beef farms, ranches, and feedlots employ approximately 347,000 Canadians and contribute approximately $21.8 billion to Canada's GDP. In 2021 alone, Canada exported 58 million kilograms of beef.

"The negligible BSE-risk status is an important step to help Canada secure and negotiate access to those countries that have been holding out for Canadian beef products. CMC would like to thank AAFC, CFIA and Global Affairs for the hard work leading up to this announcement. This was truly a collaborative effort of industry and government."

Chris White, President, Canadian Meat Council.

CFIA has partnered with Canadian Cattlemen's Association in order to conduct a risk assessment which estimates the likelihood and various consequences that may result from potential changes to the requirements regarding specified risk material (SRM) for cattle in Canada. In particular, the potential changes are to make the requirements in Canada equivalent to the requirements in the United States. This has a number of direct and indirect potential consequences to different upstream and downstream parts of the cattle supply chain, including feed mills, the meat and bone meal market, export market access, and Canada's "negligible risk" status with respect to BSE. This proposed risk analysis report is being prepared for industry to have a clear understanding of these consequences and inform policy options, specifically as it relates to undertaking a review of potential changes to Canada's SRM list to harmonise it with Cattle Material Prohibited in Animal Feed (CMPAF) in the U.S.

Research on other large animal prion diseases, similar in nature to BSE, was moved from CFIA's laboratory in Ottawa, Ontario, to Lethbridge, Alberta.

  • a transition expected to defer $5 million in capital investments for the facilities in Ottawa, optimize resources, increase sharing of assets, and enhance capacity in this area

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA signed an agreement with the Assembly of First Nations to create communications tools that raise awareness of chronic wasting disease's impacts on First Nations. CFIA has continued to advance the development of a website that will provide more information about prions and their risks.

Effective May 15, 2021, CFIA implemented new import requirements for commercial dogs under 8 months of age for breeding and resale end uses, including adoption. These updates addressed issues related to import requirement compliance, including animal welfare concerns, and followed an investigation into a large shipment of puppies with a number of deceased and sick dogs and other non-compliance issues. The changes to these requirements strengthen Canada's import risk controls and are designed to improve compliance with CFIA's humane transport and animal health requirements, which ensure that animals imported into Canada, including dogs, are healthy and travel humanely. A "then and now" summary of the import requirements for commercial dogs is available.

CFIA also worked with international and domestic organizations to raise awareness of the potential public and animal health risks of importing dogs. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA collaborated with the Humane Society International, Humane Canada, the Canadian Kennel Club, and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association to support Canadians in making an informed decision when considering a new puppy or dog. These organizations have information to support anyone looking to adopt or purchase a dog, so that adopters and buyers carry out their due diligence and do not unintentionally support puppy mills in Canada or abroad, bear the expense of caring for a sick dog, or face having to euthanize their pet. Information is available on CFIA's website for those thinking of buying or adopting a dog.

CFIA veterinarians administer and enforce humane transport and import requirements at the Canadian border, inspect import shipments, as required, and are available to provide inspection services when requested by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

CFIA continued to provide leadership and support for the Community for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (CEZD), a multidisciplinary community of experts on public, animal, and environmental health. The community, which has grown to nearly 500 members, focuses on improving Canada's ability to rapidly identify, evaluate, and disseminate early warning signals pertaining to emerging and zoonotic diseases. By leveraging expertise in this network, CFIA supported the development of public health communications products to inform Canadians about the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from deer to humans.

Safeguarding Canada's plant resource base from plant pests and invasive species

Plant pests are a main cause of loss in biodiversity and crop productivity, and invasive species are a threat to Canadian ecosystems. Specifically, pests, such as insects, pathogens, plants, snails, and slugs that threaten plant health can harm the environment when they spread to new parts of the country or abroad, whether on their own or via cargo, human activity, transportation, extreme weather, or other means. CFIA's efforts to protect Canada's plant resource base also support the Government of Canada's greening and climate change priorities.

In 2021, over 60 citizen scientists deployed traps to monitor the spread of box tree moths and help support regulatory decisions. Box tree moths, which is native to Asia, is now in up to 30 European countries and was first detected in Toronto, a first for North America, in 2018. Boxwoods are planted as ornamentals and typically used for edging, as hedges, and/or clipped into different shapes to make topiaries.

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA was on high alert for pests such as the spotted lanternfly, which is a particular threat in eastern Canada along the border with the United States. If introduced to Canada, this striking and colourful invasive insect could cause severe damage to the wine and grape, fruit tree, and forestry industries. Canadian wine industry production contributes significantly to the Canadian economy and generates $9 billion of revenues, with eastern Canada accounting for almost $6 billion of that. The ongoing infestation in Pennsylvania, for example, is an active threat to the Niagara region's famous wine industry. There are over 120 wineries in the Niagara region, with an estimated economic impact of over $4 billion. As part of the strategy to keep critical pests out of Canada, CFIA worked with its partners to establish early warning systems, including setting up sentinel monitoring sites to support early detection and rapid response.

The smallest actions can result in destroyed ecosystems and immense damage to agriculture, which is why all Canadians have a role to play. One example is to avoid moving firewood. This simple action can help prevent the spread of emerald ash borer, spongy moth, brown spruce longhorn beetle, Dutch elm disease, and other pests to other areas of the country. If you heat your home or cottage with wood or you love to go camping, buy and burn only locally grown or heat-treated firewood. That way, invasive species hiding in or under the bark can't hitch a ride.

In January 2022, the Council of Canadian Academies released Cultivating Diversity, a report commissioned by CFIA. The report provides a comprehensive review of the key risks to plant health in Canada and of strategies to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience. The outcomes of this report will provide a solid basis for aligning priorities among plant health protection partners in Canada.

How to protect plant health in Canada
  • Plant native plants instead of foreign or invasive species
  • Look closely at insects near you. Are there any invasive species? Use the CFIA's invasive pest cards and pest fact sheets or an app such as iNaturalist or EDDmaps to help you identify them
  • Report suspected sightings of invasive species new to your area to the CFIA
  • Be kind to nature and don't rip leaves or bark off trees
  • Leave dirt and firewood where you find them, and only use local or heat-treated firewood
  • Get kids involved in being plant health heroes
  • Tell 1 other person about the importance of plant health

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA inspection staff completed 21 plant health surveys. To increase the efficiency of plant health surveys, CFIA also launched a project to support strategic surveillance and analysis using digital applications accessible on mobile devices. These applications replace paper forms and work by gathering data, mapping data in real time, and aiding in the assigning tasks to inspectors. It decreases CFIA's delivery and response time, enabling inspectors to intercept more plant pests that enter Canada in plants, plant products, passenger luggage, used equipment, cargo, mail, and by other means. In 2021 to 2022 the application-based approach was utilized for a number of survey activities for Japanese beetle, spongy moth (formerly gypsy moth), Asian longhorned beetle, potato wart and potato cyst nematode, as well as for pest inquiries.

Leveraging the success of the CFSIN platform, CFIA initiated the development of the Canadian Plant Health Information System (CPHIS). The project is valued at $3.6 million, including $280,000 received from Laboratories Canada. The Canadian Plant Health Council has endorsed CPHIS and will provide a range of external expertise and support during system development, testing and implementation over the next 2 years.

The Canadian Plant Health Information System will

  • provide new online cloud-based tools to improve information sharing and collaboration within the plant health science community
  • give plant health partners access to a virtual collaboration space, integrated datasets, an expertise mapping tool, and environmental horizon scanning capabilities
  • facilitate information-sharing and collaboration in order to prevent plant pests, diseases, and other risks that can impact people's health, the economy, and the ecosystem

CFIA's Plant and Animal Health Digital Strategy for Canada addresses evolving risks to plant and animal health through collaborative partnerships. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA published a What We Heard Report on consultations with the plant health science community (including government, academics, industry, and members of the public) about the Plant Health Science Mobilization Plan for Canada. The outcome of this plan and associated activities will better inform a collaborative approach towards advancing scientific discoveries, innovations, and their applications by guiding the Canadian plant science community in prioritizing initiatives and achieving common goals.

Departmental result 3
Canadian food, plants and animals and their associated products can be traded internationally

Canada's regulatory system for food safety and the protection of its plant and animal resource base is respected worldwide. As a science-based regulator, CFIA advances Canadian trade, promotes and supports Canadian businesses' access to international markets within its business lines, while protecting the Canadian public and the environment from environmentally harmful products and foreign and domestic pests, diseases, and food safety risks. CFIA is responsible for administering and enforcing program legislation related to importing and exporting food, plant, and animal products. CFIA's science-based approach earns the trust and confidence of other countries in Canada's systems and is the foundation for advancing market access for Canada's agricultural exports.

Departmental result indicators Target Date to achieve target 2021 to 2022 actual results
Number of international markets that are opened or maintained based on CFIA activities, by year 75 March 31, 2023 72 Table Note 4
What you will find in this section
  • International standard setting
  • International regulatory cooperation and collaboration
  • Market access support
  • CFIA technical specialists abroad

Results achieved

Participating in international standard setting allows Canada to promote the development of science-based international standards, support predictable and transparent rules-based trade, and promote Canadian approaches. CFIA leads Canada's participation in the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), WOAH (founded as OIE), and co-leads with Health Canada Canada's participation in the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex).

Canada is one of the world's largest food exporters. The success of the Canadian agriculture sector depends heavily on our ability to export to other countries. In 2021, Canada exported nearly $82.3 billion in agriculture and food products (including raw agricultural materials, fish and seafood, and processed foods). Canada is the fifth largest exporter of agri-food and seafood in the world, exporting to over 200 countries in 2021Footnote 5.

Source: AAFC Overview of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector

Highlights of 2021 to 2022 achievements include:

  • CFIA co-leading the development of the Principles and guidelines for the assessment and use of voluntary third-party assurance programmes that support food import and export systems and which was adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in November 2021
  • CFIA chairing the 46th Codex Committee on Food Labelling in September 2021, which finalized work on the labelling of non-retail containers and guidance on front-of-pack nutrition labelling
  • IPPC adoption of an overarching commodity-specific standard for phytosanitary measures (ISPM 46) as well as a standard for audit in the phytosanitary context (ISPM 47), which were strongly promoted by CFIA and are consistent with Canadian approaches
  • selection of CFIA as the Chair of the IPPC's Implementation and Capacity Development Committee

In addition, in 2021 to 2022, CFIA advanced efforts at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Committee to examine how regulatory approval procedures for food safety and animal and plant health may contribute to unnecessary trade barriers. CFIA also contributed to work that addresses how to structure these procedures in a way that is consistent with international obligations. Specifically, CFIA served as the head of the Canadian delegation for the WTO SPS Committee 3 times during 2021 (March, July, November) to advance multilateral policy positions of importance to Canada.

To support market access and a strong and predictable trade environment for Canada, CFIA champions international regulatory cooperation and collaboration. The agency facilitates the access of Canadian products to international markets by providing technical expertise and leading discussions and negotiations with foreign competent authorities on import and export requirements. These activities support the advancement, promotion, and recognition of international trade standards. Key bilateral and multi-lateral achievements by CFIA in 2021 to 2022 include:

  • co-leading free trade agreement negotiations for the SPS Measures Chapter with the Mercosur trading bloc. Mercosur, the South American trading bloc composed of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, represents a real GDP of over $2.5 trillion and a population of 295 million.Footnote 6 A comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with a large and emerging market such as Mercosur would provide improved market access for Canadian goods and services, creating more opportunities for exporters to tap into rapidly growing markets. Opportunities abound to increase our current $9.9 billion in bilateral trade. The negotiations also provide an opportunity for Canada to promote an inclusive approach to trade and reinforce the importance of a rules-based trading system at a time of growing protectionism
  • holding technical discussions with Indonesia about approaches to obligations regarding SPS measures to determine the feasibility of launching a bilateral FTA. With a population of 270 million, a growing middle class and average annual economic growth of 7.0% (2009 to 2019), Indonesia is Canada's largest export market in Southeast Asia. A bilateral FTA between Canada and Indonesia would facilitate new opportunities for Canadian businesses by eliminating or reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers, enhancing access to Southeast Asian supply chains, and establishing a more transparent and predictable environment for trade and investment
  • launching the evaluation of the United Kingdom's (UK) ability to meet the provisions in the SPS Measures Chapter of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement as part of the UK's accession process. The UK's potential accession to the CPTPP presents opportunities for Canadian businesses to grow in international markets while anchoring their success in Canada. The UK is Canada's third-largest partner country for trade in goods and services. In addition to the UK's potential accession to the CPTPP, Canada and the UK have also committed to enter into new bilateral FTA negotiations, further enhancing Canada's relationship with one of its largest trading partners.

CFIA also facilitates and coordinates technical assistance for trading partners to meet recognized standards and promotes domestic implementation of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA:

  • established African swine fever zoning arrangements with Vietnam and Singapore, and continued implementing arrangements with other trading partners to allow the safe trade of swine products from disease-free zones in Canada in the event of an ASF outbreak. Zoning involves defining a particular disease-free zone in a country
    • negotiated zoning arrangements with trading partners reduce trade disruptions, support the continuity of international trade from disease-free areas of the country, and mitigate the negative economic impacts of an outbreak
  • facilitated Canada-United States regulatory cooperation in areas such as zoning recognition for highly pathogenic avian influenza, African swine fever preparedness, food safety, and cooperation in plant protection
  • completed a multi-year technical assistance project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, which involved training Senegalese officials on the science-based regulation of agricultural biotechnology products and supporting the development of a national seed testing capability and quality control plan
    • the project led to the establishment of a reference herbarium for Senegal, which in turn contributes to supporting a coherent, predictable, and science-based international regulatory framework

Maintaining and expanding trade through the creation of new trade opportunities falls within CFIA's mandate to support market access. An important element of that work is garnering the understanding and acceptance by foreign regulators of the Canadian regulatory systems for food, plant, and animal health. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA undertook notable initiatives to support market access, including:

  • maintaining Canadian market access to allow trade of food and food products while supporting China's establishment registration requirements for food exports to China (Decrees 248 and 249)
  • maintaining market access between Canada and the UK to allow trade of food, plants, and animals, and related products following the UK's departure from the European Union (EU)
  • maintaining Canadian market access for food and animal commodities implicated by the EU's Animal Health Law

In October 2021, CFIA suspended the movement of seed potatoes from Prince Edward Island to the U.S. after confirming the presence of potato wart. From November 2021, the Government of Canada introduced new risk mitigation measures, which included restricting the movement of seed potatoes from PEI, both domestically and internationally. In less than 5 months, however, actions taken by the Government of Canada in close collaboration with industry and provincial partners prevented the spread of potato wart to other parts of the country, and facilitated the resumption of exports. The U.S. market re-opened to PEI table stock potatoes on April 1, 2022.

CFIA technical specialists abroad (TSAs) support efforts to resolve trade irritants and address import/inspection regimes by facilitating consistent and predictable outcomes. In 2021 to 2022, TSAs maintained and expanded access for Canadian agri-food products by providing technical workshops to Canadian industry stakeholders, meeting with representatives and visiting ports to educate and promote compliance with Canadian regulatory standards, and providing technical expertise to inform risk assessment analyses. Other areas of focus included:

  • Japan: continuing to advance discussions, including holding virtual audit sessions, to establish an arrangement between Canada and Japan to allow the continued safe trade of pork and pork products from Canada in the event of an African swine fever outbreak
  • India: continuing discussions to gain support for recognition of the non-genetically modified Statement of Assurance on pulses, as well as maintaining the export of Canadian pet food containing probiotics to India
  • China: supporting efforts to maintain market access for Canadian food, plant, and animal products
  • EU: supporting Canada's efforts to implement the EU's Animal Health Law, which included seeking clarification with the EU on the requirements that allow Canada to maintain market access to the EU
    • The CFIA Technical Specialist also facilitated exchanges with EU Member States to resolve issues related to shipments stopped at border inspection points in order to allow trade to continue without major disruption

TRACES is the European Commission's online platform for sanitary and phytosanitary certification required for the importation of animals, animal products, food and feed of non-animal origin, and plants into the EU. Effective January 15, 2022, exporters of commercial food and animal commodities destined for the EU were required to use updated electronic export certificates accessed through the Trade Control and Expert System New Technology (TRACES NT). In preparation for this significant change, and since the transition, CFIA has worked closely with Canadian industry to help ensure that they have the information and support required. From implementation to the end of the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year, CFIA issued over 2,500 export certificates using TRACES NT. No new certificates were digitized in 2021 to 2022. The e-certification project is expanding the adoption of e-certification for Dairy and Live Bovine in Fall 2022. In 2022, 2.5% of all export certificates were processed through our online system, an increase of 1.2% compared to 2020 to 2021.

Other mandatory reporting

The following section highlights CFIA's 2021 to 2022 performance in other mandatory reporting areas prescribed by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

What you will find in this section:

GBA Plus is an analytical process to support the development of responsive and inclusive initiatives, including regulations, programs, and services. It assesses how women, men, and gender diverse people may experience government initiatives differently. Beyond biological (sex) and sociocultural (gender) differences, other identity factors include race, ethnicity, religion, and age. These shape our lived experiences and also play a part in social, health, and economic outcomes.

Gender-based analysis plus

Gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) is in the inception phase at CFIA; however, plans to collect and analyze data on the impacts of programs on gender and diversity are under development. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA:

  • applied GBA Plus principles to reduce unintended impacts of CFIA regulations, policies, and programs on underrepresented populations
  • began to develop a strategy to implement the revised 2021 Health Portfolio Sex and Gender-Based Analysis Plus policy in collaboration with HC and PHAC
  • developed a GBA Plus data strategy and gathered credible sources of qualitative and quantitative data and information
  • promoted GBA Plus events and training opportunities, including those provided by the Canada School of Public Service and Women and Gender Equity Canada (WAGE)
  • maintained a tracking system for GBA Plus attestations and analyses that can be used to assess progress and facilitate periodic reporting into WAGE's GBA Plus Implementation Survey
  • developed various InfoBulletins on International Transgender Day of Visibility, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and Universal Washrooms
  • participated on the University of Guelph Student Engagement Session Diversity Panel
  • raised the Pride Flag at several CFIA offices for National Public Service Pride Week (NPSPW)
  • collaborated with AAFC on an event for NPSPW, "Pride in Agriculture"
  • implemented and promoted Chosen Name at the CFIA – DirectInfo, Microsoft Teams and Outlook updated to display chosen name
  • completed GBA Plus for the universal washroom implementation project at CFIA. Collaborated with Corporate Management Branch to order signs for all single stall washrooms in the agency; replacement of all gendered signs in single stall washrooms scheduled for Fall/Winter 2022.


The agency has shifted from educating and raising employee awareness to fostering accountability and advancing initiatives that foster reconciliation.

CFIA is an official supporting member and partner of the Knowledge Circle for Indigenous Inclusion (KCII). CFIA and the KCII are committed to engaging, collaborating, and supporting networks driven and created by Indigenous employees. The vision of the KCII is to connect all Indigenous networks across the Government of Canada so that the many voices can come together and act as a force of influence to promote Indigenous inclusion in the federal public service. Undoubtedly, 2021 to 2022 was a complex and challenging year. As in many Indigenous cultures, many want to come together to share experiences and emotions in times of grief. To provide an opportunity to come together virtually, the KCII scheduled Wellness Sharing Circles throughout the summer for Indigenous employees of the CFIA and all of the Government of Canada.

CFIA is committed to promoting requirements under the Procurement Strategy for Indigenous Business (PSIB) and encouraging the use of procurement tools and strategies to achieve targets set in CFIA's 2020 to 2024 PSIB Multi-Year Performance Objectives. Specifically, the agency has committed to awarding at least 5% of the total value of CFIA procurement contracts to Indigenous businesses. Furthermore, the agency committed to awarding at least 1 contract as a voluntary set-aside in 2021 to 2022 and to continuously increasing the use of voluntary procurement set-asides in future years. CFIA is preparing to implement an Indigenous Procurement Action Plan that aims to incorporate Indigenous procurement strategies into all CFIA procurement requirements.

CFIA's Indigenous Summer Student Program, now in its sixth year, conducts outreach directly to Indigenous communities. The program offers onboarding and unlimited contact with an Indigenous mentor. It also positions the CFIA as an employer of choice for Indigenous staff who come to us as students, ideally with a view to bridging these students into permanent positions upon graduation. In 2021, 4 Indigenous students participated in the Indigenous Summer Student Program. Leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program functioned fully in-person and in 2021, the program was revamped to suit a virtual environment. Adapting the program to a fully-virtual structure allowed for the program's coordinators to expand networking opportunities and events for students on the national level and saved costs as travel expenses were no longer necessary.

For our full-time Indigenous employees, CFIA supports participation in leadership development programs including programs run by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), which are designed to prepare employees for advancement at working and management levels:

  • Indigenous Career Management for Employees (ICME)
  • Indigenous Management Development Program (IMDP)

For the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year, 8 CFIA employees participated in the ICME program. The graduation ceremony for this cohort is expected to be in September 2022. The program consisted of 4 developmental weeks over the span of 2 years and included group and individual career coaching, mentorships, training, and participation in Indigenous cultural events. The ICME program was a national program prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with regional employees travelling to Ottawa for each developmental week, but is currently functioning in a fully virtual environment.

1 CFIA employee participated in the IMDP in 2021 to 2022. This assignment-based development program is designed to assist Indigenous employees aspiring to the executive cadre by providing them with opportunities to enhance their leadership skills, broaden their experience, and develop a better understanding of the demands of senior management positions. The program combines hands-on learning through assignments and formal training. Participants can also receive language training, if required, in order to attain the BBB level of proficiency in their second official language.

The National Indigenous Advisory Circle (NIAC) is CFIA's very own network for Indigenous employees. It is made up of all self-identifying CFIA Indigenous employees who have expressed interest in supporting NIAC initiatives. NIAC serves as a voice and catalyst in support of Indigenous peoples' career aspirations for recruitment, retention, advancement, and healthy workplace at all levels within the agency.

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA signed an agreement with the Assembly of First Nations to create communications tools to raise awareness about chronic wasting disease's impacts on First Nations. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a progressive, fatal nervous system disease that affects cervids such as deer, elk, moose, and caribou. The disease's spread threatens food security, wildlife, and agriculture.

The CFIA created an Indigenous Liaison role to support its response to highly pathogenic avian influenza this past year. The Indigenous liaison worked with Indigenous communities to ensure positive collaboration with chief and council during the emergency response.

United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, Canada and 192 other UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda is a 15-year global framework centred on an ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2030 agenda envisions a secure world free of poverty and hunger, with full and productive employment, access to quality education and universal health coverage, the achievement of gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls, and an end to environmental degradation. It is a universal call to action, implicating both developing and developed countries, to end poverty and other deprivations around the world.

CFIA's planned activities under its core responsibility, "Safe food and healthy plants and animals," support Canada's efforts to address the sustainable development goals.

To support the Zero hunger goal (SDG 2), CFIA, in cooperation with provincial and territorial governments and industry associations, sets policies and verifies regulatory compliance that aims to prevent food safety incidents; reduce the risks associated with diseases and toxic substances that may affect animals or that may be transmitted by animals to people; and protect plant resources from threats such as diseases, pests, and invasive species.

During 2021 to 2022, implementation of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations was completed across all agri-food sectors. These regulations form the basis of Canada's integrated, outcome-based food safety system. In addition, 97% of businesses were in compliance with the Health of Animals Act and Feeds Act, a 1% increase over last year's result, reflecting a high level of compliance. A healthy animal resource base also contributes to the goal of zero hunger.

Through the surveillance and control of terrestrial and aquatic animal diseases, CFIA protects public health and supports the Good health and well-being goal (SDG 3) as some of these diseases may be transmitted to humans (zoonotic).

By establishing and enforcing fertilizer and supplement registrations and safety standards, CFIA supports the Good health and well-being goal (SDG 3) and the clean water and sanitation goal (SDG 6).

CFIA reinforces the shared responsibility of managing invasive species in nature and supports the Responsible consumption and production goal (SDG 12) through outreach and awareness activities and campaigns. This work is in support of SDG Target 12.8: By 2030, seek to ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.

In 2021 to 2022, building on the International Year of Plant Health, CFIA continued to create educational materials and conduct outreach to help Canadians learn about the risk of invasive species and how to prevent the spread of plant pests. This included materials to support 14 outreach and educational activities and over 40 unique products for distribution through a variety of media.

In support of the UN Climate action goal (SDG 13), CFIA is assessing its institutional climate change risks and identifying ways to manage climate-driven risks to its mandated activities. Through this activity, the CFIA aims to better understand the wide range of climate change impacts that could potentially affect its assets, services, and operations across the country. CFIA's efforts support 2 SDG targets: Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning; and Target 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

In 2021 to 2022, the CFIA completed a preliminary climate change risk and vulnerability assessment which will help the agency factor climate variability and change into policy, programs, and operations. In addition, CFIA ensured that all business continuity plans incorporated all hazards, including climate change hazards, such as severe weather events like floods and tornadoes.

Canada's food system, including aquaculture and fisheries, provides safe and healthy food for Canadians and helps ensure long-term food security. Aiming to ensure safe, sustainable and secure food, CFIA works with regulated parties to protect food systems from hazards that are injurious to human health. CFIA also works with international and domestic partners and stakeholders to minimize threats to plant resources, such as diseases, pests, and invasive alien species.

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA established 37 new partnership initiatives. The agency participated in international fora, such as the International Plant Protection Convention and the North American Plant Protection Organization, and fostered partnerships with trading partners, provincial invasive species councils, and agricultural, forestry, horticultural, and transportation stakeholders.

CFIA has been a participant in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) since 2010. The FSDS is the Government of Canada's primary vehicle for sustainable development planning and reporting. It sets out sustainable development priorities and establishes goals and targets. The 2019 to 2022 FSDS (PDF) presents the Government of Canada's sustainable development activities, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. In keeping with the objectives of the act to make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament, CFIA supports the implementation of the 2019 to 2022 FSDS through the activities under its 2020 to 2023 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy.


As a science-based regulator, CFIA recognizes the need to continually test assumptions and experiment with novel approaches to existing and new problems. Accordingly, CFIA continues to extend this approach and culture into program design and delivery areas, ultimately modernizing how CFIA works.

The Innovative Solutions Canada program is designed to stimulate the growth of Canadian small businesses while providing federal departments and agencies with opportunities to develop new capabilities to meet their functional program delivery needs. In 2021 to 2022, the Innovative Solutions Canada program within CFIA provided $766,000 in grants and contracts to 6 Canadian small businesses to develop and test novel solutions not currently available on the market. These included imaging applications to help detect granulomas in beef for tuberculosis surveillance, alternative phytosanitary treatment options for control of quarantine plant pests, and portable devices to allow detection of marine biotoxins in coastal waters. These innovations can increase the safety of Canadians in many ways, from preventing food-borne illness to developing alternative fumigation options with fewer environmental and health impacts.

The use of remotely piloted air systems (RPAS), also known as drones, to support research, surveillance, and analysis in the agriculture sector is becoming more common in Canada and around the globe. Following successful experimentation in 2020, CFIA moved to the second research phase in the fall of 2021 and has continued to test the use of drones for operational activities. In 2021 to 2022, experimentation efforts focused on:

  • assessing the benefits of using drones for mapping crop fields
  • assessing the camera and video quality of drones for identification of plants or issues in plants
  • assessing drone use to obtain GPS coordinates for inspectors

The results demonstrated that RPAS have the capacity to produce high quality images and videos, available for access either onsite during field work or offsite. RPAS can develop detailed 3-dimensional maps efficiently, for example, a 60-minute pre-programmed flight captured all the data necessary to develop a detailed map of a 32-acre potato field in about 4 hours. It was also demonstrated that drones are capable of taking accurate measurements between key points. All testing completed to date has been conducted in mock scenarios, outside of an official CFIA inspection, enforcement, or emergency response effort.

CFIA deployed the use of ArcGIS, a web map application that allowed inspectors to map fields, collect data in a standardized format, and compare historical data in order to spot trends during the potato wart emergency response. The app is highly interactive as it provides a centralized location for users to view and interact with potato wart and potato cyst nematode data. Any updates to the information provided by the inspectors in the field appear in real time. This tool has provided a great way to collect and organize data, then make it accessible for a variety of different users. Using this application, CFIA inspectors were able to provide a trace back on the fields where samples were collected previously and determine infected areas. The use of this application has influenced how we can track the progress of potato wart surveillance and provide an up-to-date reporting and standardized data collection.

Experimentation with virtual reality, mixed reality, and hands-free video / audio streaming mobile devices has demonstrated promising opportunities to enhance inspection, training, and provision of expert assistance and guidance in real time.

For example, in 2021 to 2022, experiments with hands-free video / audio streaming demonstrated that these technologies can enhance inspector training by allowing an experienced inspector to walk through an establishment and conduct training while new inspectors watch in real-time from other offices. Adopting the use of this technology has the potential to improve training and reduce related travel costs. Similarly, this type of technology has the potential to facilitate more accessible consultation with subject matter experts. For example, an inspector at a live auction could consult with a veterinarian without the veterinarian travelling to the location. The inspector could live-stream what they see in real time. In scenarios involving inspections at remote locations, for example, feed establishments in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, a local inspector could live-stream with a feed specialist located in New Brunswick. Finally, inspection scenarios were tested using virtual and mixed reality. The results demonstrated that these technologies have interesting potential to enhance inspector capabilities and that further experimentation is warranted.

Wheat, barley, and canola seeds contaminants were traditionally examined under microscopes by well trained specialists, which was time consuming and required a great deal of training to develop such expertise. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA developed an artificial intelligence-based solution for seed detection and identification, currently deployed as a web application to automate this process with a high degree of accuracy. The application can currently classify up to 100 images in under a minute. Based upon the results of the experimentation, a decision has been made to expand the capabilities of the application for more species.

Key risks

Risk What we faced Mitigation strategies


In the face of constantly evolving globalization and international trade, imports of highly diverse food products from countries around the world are increasing. This has resulted in:

  • changing consumer behaviour
  • reliance on online shopping
  • interruptions to the global supply chain

CFIA engaged with other regulating bodies here and abroad to develop strong international standards that ensure food sold in Canada is safe for consumption regardless of its origins.

CFIA used media campaigns to keep Canadians informed on issues pertinent to them.

Climate change

Under the mandate of the CFIA, risks related to climate change include:

  • increased prevalance, wider array, and new geographical distribution of plant food production pests, forest and ornamental pests, and environmental weeds and invasive plant species
  • increased prevalance and wider array of bio-toxins found in seafood, terrestrial animal diseases, and microbial foodborne diseases
  • extreme weather events (for example, mudslides in British Columbia interrupted inspection activities in the province)

The CFIA Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment takes steps to strengthen our adaptive capacity, which is the ability to factor climate change into our decision-making, strategies and planning.

CFIA continues to build a domestic coordinated multi-party emergency response plans.

CFIA also published amendments to the emergency transit regulations in CG-2 and received sign-off from CVOs in the U.S. and Canada. This provided a significant benefit in November 2021 by allowing animals to transit through the U.S. during the B.C. floods using a simplified procedure versus more formal import transit permits.

Multiple concurrent emergencies

Together, these emergencies resulted in another year of harder-than-typical operations for CFIA, its partners, and stakeholders:

  • potato wart
  • highly pathogenic avian influenza
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • chronic wasting diseases
  • potential introduction of African swine fever
  • border blockades
  • severe weather (for example, floods, mud slides, and tornadoes)

In 2021 to 2022, the CFIA's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinated emergency management activities across the agency. This promoted a consistent approach to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents, emergencies, and threats related to food or feed safety, animal health, and plant health.

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA performed in-depth environmental scanning of both internal and public resources and consultations with other government departments. Extensive risk data was gathered from multiple internal sources to develop a clear understanding of the key risk and their potential impacts to the agency's mandate. Ongoing work continues to refresh the CFIA's integrated risk management (IRM) strategy. The IRM strategy is an initiative that guides the agency so that it is best positioned to manage emerging risks, respond to consumer demands, and support industry as they compete in the global market. CFIA uses IRM to direct resources to where they are needed most.

To stay ahead of emerging threats, CFIA dedicates ongoing resources to the development of new risk management tools and the refinement of existing ones.

Results achieved

The following table shows, for the core responsibility Safe food and healthy plants and animals, the results achieved, the performance indicators, the targets and target dates for 2021 to 2022, and the actual results for the 3 most recent fiscal years for which actual results are available.

Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2019 to 2020
Actual results
2020 to 2021
Actual results
2021 to 2022
Actual results
Departmental Result 1:
Food sold in Canada is safe and accurately represented to Canadians

Percentage of food regulated parties that have addressed compliance issues upon follow-up or were brought into compliance, by year

75% to 85%

March 31, 2023

Not availableTable Note 7

Not availableTable Note 7


Percentage of higher risk food recalls that occurred prior to an adverse effect being reported to CFIA, by year


March 31, 2023

Not availableTable Note 7

Not availableTable Note 7


Percentage of Canadians who agree that CFIA helps ensure that food sold in Canada is safe, by yearTable Note 8

At least 70%

March 31, 2023

Not availableTable Note 7

Not availableTable Note 7


Departmental Result 2:
Plant and animal resources are protected from diseases and pests and are safe for Canadians and the environment

Number of harmful foreign plant pests that have entered and established themselves in Canada, by year


March 31, 2023

Not availableTable Note 7

Not availableTable Note 7

1Table Note 9

Percentage of regulated, harmful foreign plant pests that had previously entered and established in Canada and whose spread was successfully limited by CFIA control programs, by year

At least 95%

March 31, 2023

Not availableTable Note 7

Not availableTable Note 7

87.5%Table Note 10

Percentage of plant inputs, products and by-products that comply with Canadian regulations and relevant international agreements, by year

At least 95%

March 31, 2023

Not availableTable Note 7

Not availableTable Note 7

94%Table Note 11

Percentage of animal inputs, products and by-products that comply with Canadian regulations and relevant international agreements, by year

At least 95%

March 31, 2023

Not availableTable Note 7

Not availableTable Note 7


Percentage of Canadian producers that have maintained or improved their status in programs designed to protect the health of animals, by year

At least 95%

March 31, 2023

Not availableTable Note 7

Not availableTable Note 7


Rate of confirmed animal disease outbreaks per 100 investigations conducted by CFIA to limit the impact of animal health diseases within Canada, by year

Less than 3

March 31, 2023

Not availableTable Note 7

Not availableTable Note 7


Departmental Result 3:
Canadian food, plants and animals and their associated products can be traded internationally

Number of international markets that are opened or maintained based on CFIA activities, by year


March 31, 2023

Not availableTable Note 7

Not availableTable Note 7

72Table Note 12

Financial, human resources and performance information for CFIA's Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

The following table shows, for "Safe food and healthy plants and animals", budgetary spending for 2021 to 2022, as well as actual spending for that year.

2021 to 2022
Main Estimates
2021 to 2022
planned spending
2021 to 2022
total authorities available for use
2021 to 2022
actual spending
(authorities used)
2021 to 2022
difference (actual spending minus planned spending)
624,607,906 624,607,906 706,410,311 654,247,204 29,639,298

Financial, human resources and performance information for CFIA's Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

The following table shows, in full‑time equivalents, the human resources the department needed to fulfill this core responsibility for 2021 to 2022.

2021 to 2022
planned full-time equivalents
2021 to 2022
actual full-time equivalents
2021 to 2022
difference (actual full-time equivalents minus planned full‑time equivalents)
5,060 5,406 346

Agency actual spending and actual FTEs were higher than the plan mainly due to funding received in-year for COVID-19, Improving Food Safety, and Maintaining Shift Inspection Presence.

Financial, human resources and performance information for CFIA's Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Internal services


Internal services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet the corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support program delivery in the organization, regardless of the internal services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:

  • acquisition management services
  • communication services
  • financial management services
  • human resources management services
  • information management services
  • information technology services
  • legal services
  • material management services
  • management and oversight services
  • real property management services

Results achieved

The following are highlights of 2021 to 2022 achievements within a selection of priority CFIA Internal services:

Supporting a healthy and respectful workplace

CFIA is committed to a safe, healthy, and productive workplace free from harassment and violence.

The health and safety of frontline employees remained at the forefront as CFIA continued to adapt to public health measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and communicated the appropriate guidance and protocols to employees and managers.

CFIA continued to implement its mental health strategy in 2021 to 2022. As the COVID-19 pandemic remained a constant presence, it was especially important to work with bargaining agents to ensure that there was a sustained focus on supporting the wellness and well-being of employees and that mental health resources were available and promoted.

Key programs were promoted throughout 2021 to 2022 and monthly mental health and wellness updates were provided through internal messaging and bulletins. Mental health training initiatives and virtual sessions and events targeting various groups at CFIA, such as senior leadership, executives, management, and employees, were held throughout the year to provide support and increase mental health literacy.

In November 2021, a CFIA employee Check-in Survey was conducted for employees and managers to provide feedback to senior management about important issues related to their work and well-being, such as accessibility, internal communications, and more. Results were used to direct specific mental health sessions, resources, and strategies to where they were needed most within the agency and resulted in a more focused delivery to front line staff for uptake and support.

In an effort to consistently nurture a respectful workplace for all employees, CFIA continued to implement its Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention (WPHV) Policy in 2021 to 2022. Information sessions and online training offered through the Canada School of the Public Service were offered to employees and managers.

Furthermore, CFIA held the agency's first Civility and Respect day to promote a culture of positivity and kindness within our organization. The theme, "the power of kindness at work," allowed employees to reflect on and support respectful and considerate behaviours at work, and also ignited conversations about creating a culture of respect and inclusion.

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce

CFIA continues to work towards achieving a diverse workforce that is representative of the Canadians it serves, with a specific focus on increasing the representation of racialized groups, Indigenous people, and persons with disabilities to nurture deeper inclusion and embrace greater diversity.

CFIA has well established national and area equity and diversity networks, each led by Champions and Co-Chairs. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA took concrete action to foster a diverse and inclusive environment and address racism and discrimination issues facing those who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (BIPOC). External experts were hired to facilitate confidential discussion groups with the goal of better understanding how racism and discrimination affects CFIA staff and to gain a better understanding and meaningful insight into the issues facing employees. A final report was prepared to highlight the overall findings, and a task force will be created to help the agency prepare a strategy to take concrete actions against racism and discrimination issues facing BIPOC employees.

In December 2021, representatives of the LGBTQ2+ Network developed a Positive Space model that gave concrete strategies to staff in building an equitable, safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for agency employees. The resources provided under the Positive Space Initiative provide tangible techniques and tools to increase diversity and inclusion, and reduce homophobia and transphobia in the workplace.

CFIA also prepared its Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan for 2022 to 2025, a national plan focusing on CFIA's accountability and actions to be undertaken to enhance diversity and inclusion, which includes strategies and practices to ensure a barrier-free workplace for all employee groups, and addresses racism and discrimination in the workplace.

Engaged and empowered workforce

To support the agency's efforts in fulfilling its mandate, CFIA seeks potential employees with the qualifications required for a wide range of job types and opportunities. Through its staffing program, the agency aims to hire competent, qualified, and motivated personnel whose efforts drive the agency to excel as a science-based regulator that is trusted and respected by Canadians and the international community. Effective application of CFIA staffing values will contribute to these goals and lead to a workforce representative of the Canadians it serves. Recruitment strategies that focus on students, veterinarians, and employment equity groups are at the forefront of the team's priorities. This will allow us to effectively respond to emergencies, build the agency of the future, and foster an empowered and inclusive workplace.

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA continued to respond to emergencies to keep our food, animals, and plants safe and as a result, emergency staffing procedures were extended to support CFIA in response to emergency situations such as potato wart and avian influenza.

CFIA veterinarians play an important role in Canadian food safety and are part of the first line of defence against the spread of many diseases. To respond to the continual need for qualified veterinarians, CFIA launched a national recruitment campaign in 2021 to 2022 which will continue in 2022 to 2023. An advertising campaign ran nationally in various publications to promote the inventory. Furthermore, the agency successfully added the veterinarian specialization in the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) for easier student referrals to managers.

Hiring students also remained a priority in 2021 to 2022. Students bring a variety of fresh perspectives and input to the organization which allows us to contribute to the renewal of the public service. As such, recruiting students and providing them with hands-on experience and meaningful work is important for the agency. As the Champion for the University of Guelph, CFIA collaborated with the university on activities such as the Experience Guelph Initiative to build awareness of jobs and various opportunities in the Public Service, and hosted a virtual networking event with over 400 students. CFIA also hosted a student onboarding event that included guest speakers from across the agency and a "How to Apply for Jobs" presentation from the Public Service Commission (PSC). CFIA also runs the Public Veterinary Medicine Rotation (PVMR) for students in their second year at Ontario Veterinary College, as well as the Veterinary Summer Student Internship Program.

In order to continue to support the agency's mandate, the Clerk's Call to Action, and the CFIA's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan, CFIA worked on several projects, tools, and resources in order to effectively incorporate diversity and inclusion into our staffing program and staffing activities. Some initiatives include, but are not limited to, collaboration with LiveWorkPlay, promoting employment equity inventories and pools such as the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program, the Federal Internship Program for Canadians with Disabilities, FSWEP inventories including those for students with disabilities and Indigenous students, and other PSC pools for employment equity groups. CFIA also organized a diversity panel for the University of Guelph event and revamped the Indigenous Summer Student Program (ISSP) which was promoted at career fairs. To remove barriers, CFIA's staffing program was amended to allow for part-time students to be considered for placement opportunities and a justification is now required when using education above the minimum.

The agency also started staffing compliance and monitoring activities and plans to start reporting on the findings in 2022 to 2023. By conducting monitoring activities, CFIA aims to create confidence in its staffing program and ensure excellence in staffing to foster a competent and effective workforce that meets current and future business requirements.

In addition, CFIA continued to advance learning and training to support current employees and new hires by maintaining the shift to virtual learning and promoting learning tools and resources for virtual teams.

Open and transparent government

CFIA prioritized Open Government by developing tools to automate the publishing of datasets and discovering potentially relevant datasets. As a result, the number of published Science-based open datasets increased by over 100% in 2021 to 2022 compared with the year before. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA proactively made 48 food surveillance datasets available and updated 3 plant pest surveillance databases on the Open Government Portal while simplifying access to these surveillance findings.

Agile delivery of results

The agile concept is critical to the agency's objective of adapting rapidly to the needs of Canadians. Agile delivery of results allows improvements and fixes to information technology and information management systems to be done at an incremental, yet ongoing cadence to ensure the public can obtain valuable services with minimal interruption and delays. In 2021 to 2022, CFIA continued to improve its agility in implementing change, digitally transforming the way that it conducts business and responds to emerging challenges. Examples from 2021 to 2022 include:

  • MyCFIA/DSDP (Digital Service Delivery Platform) enhancements
    • Agile delivery of results was achieved by completing incremental improvements to the MyCFIA portal and DSDP, resulting in an improved external and internal client experience within the portal and platform. Of the 12 services available online (both internal and external), 25% were improved based on user feedback in 2021 to 2022. There are several services that were in development throughout 2021 to 2022 and will be deployed in 2022 to 2023. Service requests completed through MyCFIA represented 7.8% of total volume in 2021 to 2022, a 1.7% increase in usage compared to 2020 to 2021.
  • Plant Health Survey 123
    • By using an agile approach in the Survey 123 project, the agency was able to deliver an application to create efficiencies and improve data quality and analytics for plant health survey activities.
  • Emergency response database
    • CFIA leveraged agile principles to translate policy changes into technical changes in the emergency management database during the agency's emergency response to AI. This resulted in a very successful implementation of an East and West emergency response database that allows users to easily access the information they need. By using an agile approach in the development of the database, the agency is set up for success in the coming fiscal year as it develops an implementation strategy to move to a long-term, single emergency management system.
Investment planning and project management

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA continued to strengthen its investment planning and project management capabilities in response to the new Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on the Planning and Management of Investments and new Directive on the Management of Projects and Programmes.

With regard to investment planning, changes were initiated to support enhanced management decision-making, implementation of longer-term plans, and more strategic management of available funds to maximize management flexibility while maintaining appropriate financial management controls. In addition, the agency began to transition to a more outcomes-focused, long-term approach to investment planning.

The agency also launched a Project Management Competency Development Program (PMCDP) to strengthen project management expertise and better align project manager experience and knowledge with projects and investments of comparable complexity. A pilot was launched in February 2022 to intake 13 candidates to test the program, tools, and training. The full launch of the program will begin in Fall 2022.

Integrated national real property portfolio strategy

As per the Horizontal Fixed Asset Review recommendation, CFIA is developing an Integrated National Real Property Portfolio Strategy (INRPPS). The INRPPS is a multi-year strategy aimed at generating optimal functional and financial value from CFIA's real property (RP) portfolio for Canada's government. To do so, the strategy bridges the portfolio's current state and projected program requirements and CFIA's mandate and long-term vision. The INRPPS sets the strategic direction for managing CFIA's RP portfolio and ensures that CFIA's RP is planned, acquired, used, maintained, and disposed of in a manner that supports CFIA's delivery of programs and services to Canadians. The strategy's development also considers CFIA's operating environment, such as trends regarding remote work.

In 2021 to 2022, CFIA continued to develop the strategy, integrate program requirements, and develop implementation plans to ensure that the management of RP within CFIA reflects a balanced approach addressing the risks, benefits, and returns to CFIA and the Government of Canada.

Communications services

Using a range of traditional, digital, and innovative communication strategies and tactics, CFIA continued to engage with Canadians including citizens, producers, scientists, academics, and other stakeholders on issues regarding food safety and plant and animal health.

Canadians rely on CFIA for important information on food safety and plant and animal health. The agency's digital platforms are the primary source of this information for the public. The agency's website received over 17 million views and over 7 million visits in 2021 to 2022, and over 336,000 people follow CFIA on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. This year, CFIA collaborated with Health Canada to launch the new Recalls and Safety Alerts website to provide Canadians with faster and easier access to the recall information they need to make informed decisions.

Likewise, traditional media outlets continued to reach out and report on food recalls more than any other CFIA topic, as they have in past years. News of CFIA's testing and temporary import conditions for romaine lettuce, which are intended to protect consumers by preventing lettuce contaminated with E. coli from entering Canada, further reached Canadians through national media coverage. CFIA continued to communicate on these and other issues, such as African swine fever preparedness, AI outbreaks, and the potato wart situation in PEI. Every tool at CFIA's disposal was used, including proactive media outreach (such as spokesperson training and technical briefings), collaboration with various partner organizations on joint projects (such as communicating about invasive species), and development of a variety of articles, podcasts, and videos that were shared on social media and via CFIA's multimedia platform Inspect and Protect.

Notably, in 2021 to 2022, CFIA ran 14 advertising campaigns in support of the agency's mandate and emerging issues. These campaigns aimed to inform Canadians about protecting Canada's plants from invasive species, such as Japanese beetle, or diseases like plum pox virus or oak wilt. They also raised awareness of the risk to animals from diseases like ASF or AI, and promoted compliance with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations as well as import requirements for dogs to keep dog rabies out of Canada.

In an effort to improve trust and transparency, CFIA developed clear and concise communications for stakeholders and industry. The expansion of CFIA's digital services is key to helping industry partners operate competitively at home and abroad. Through online platforms like MyCFIA, industry was introduced to new digital tools and services such as e-Certification and e-billing. Through the use of these new tools and services, CFIA employees are modelling behaviours laid out in Beyond2020 and helping the agency to be more agile, better equipped, and more inclusive.

CFIA conducts regular public opinion research among a variety of audiences. In 2021 to 2022, numerous surveys were conducted with thousands of respondents online and by phone, in addition to dozens of qualitative focus groups and individual interviews. The research included representatives of businesses, consumers, and special interest groups in order to inform agency planning, decision-making, communications strategies, and advertising effectiveness. The following were key findings:

  • an increasing number of Canadians (70%) have a high level of trust in CFIA to help ensure that food is safe in Canada
  • the CFIA is perceived as scientific, informative, trusted, responsive, dedicated, and efficient
  • 81% of businesses interviewed trust CFIA to do what is right
  • 73% of businesses interviewed reported they felt overall that CFIA is a fair regulatory agency

Communications also played a key role in emergency preparedness by supporting a state of readiness for potential crisis situations. In 2021 to 2022, bilingual tabletop exercises were held to simulate an ASF outbreak in Canada. In addition, Communications staff were trained in emergency communications.

Internal communications remained key to keeping the organization engaged and informed, across the country and on the ground, in 2021 to 2022. As part of its employee outreach, CFIA modernized employee engagement and provided regular updates about COVID-19 and remote work, which enabled employees to continue working safely while supporting CFIA's mandate. In the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year, CFIA held 5 internal all-staff virtual town halls with strong attendance rates by employees:

  • February 2021 (more than 2,900)
  • May 2021 (more than 3,100)
  • September 2021 (more than 3,200)
  • November 2021 (more than 3,300)
  • February 2022 (more than 3,000)

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

The following table shows, for internal services, budgetary spending for 2021 to 2022 as well as spending for that year.

2021 to 2022
Main Estimates
2021 to 2022
planned spending
2021 to 2022
total authorities available for use
2021 to 2022
actual spending
(authorities used)
2021 to 2022
difference (actual spending minus planned spending)
161,094,493 161,094,493 200,210,319 170,201,630 9,107,137

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

The following table shows, in full-time equivalents, the human resources the department needed to carry out its internal services for 2021 to 2022.

2021 to 2022
planned full-time equivalents
2021 to 2022
actual full-time equivalents
2021 to 2022
difference (actual full-time equivalents minus planned full‑time equivalents)
1,005 1,140 135

Agency internal services actual spending and actual FTEs were higher than the plan mainly as the result of internal temporary funding provided to enabling Branches to help bolster support functions during the pandemic.

Spending and human resources


Spending 2019 to 2020 to 2024 to 2025

The following graph presents planned spending (voted and statutory) over timeFootnote 13.

Departmental spending trend graph. Description follows.
Description for planned spending graph
2019 to 2020 2020 to 2021 2021 to 2022 2022 to 2023 2023 to 2024 2024 to 2025
Statutory 135 116 128 150 146 143
Voted 617 693 696 688 649 590
Total 752 810 824 838 795 733

CFIA's increased spending between 2019 to 2020 and 2022 to 2023 is primarily due to the construction of the new Centre for Plant Health in Sidney, British Columbia, as well as due to CFIA maintaining its inspection capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic while also investing in CFIA core services. The planned spending for 2023 to 2024 is less than in previous years, which is primarily due to the sunsetting (or discontinuation) of various initiatives. When the anticipated renewal of sunsetting resources is included, the planned spending is forecasted to be more stable.

Budgetary performance summary for core responsibilities and internal services (dollars)

The "Budgetary performance summary for core responsibilities and internal services" table presents the budgetary financial resources allocated for CFIA's core responsibility and for internal services.

Core responsibilities and internal services 2021 to 2022
Main Estimates
2021 to 2022
planned spending
2022 to 2023
planned spending
2023 to 2024
planned spending
2021 to 2022
total authorities available for use
2019 to 2020
actual spending (authorities used)
2020 to 2021
actual spending (authorities used)
2021 to 2022
actual spending (authorities used)
Safe food and healthy plants and animals 624,607,906 624,607,906 666,566,722 627,137,232 706,410,311 605,995,371 645,590,510 654,247,204
Subtotal 624,607,906 624,607,906 666,566,722 627,137,232 706,410,311 605,995,371 645,590,510 654,247,204
Internal services 161,094,493 161,094,493 171,249,967 167,810,691 200,210,319 146,271,373 163,973,109 170,201,630
Total 785,702,399 785,702,399 837,816,689 794,947,923 906,620,630 752,266,744 809,563,619 824,448,834

Human Resources

The "Human resources summary for core responsibilities and internal services" table presents the full-time equivalents (FTEs) allocated for CFIA's core responsibilities and to internal services.

Human resources summary for core responsibilities and internal services
Core responsibilities and internal services 2019 to 2020
actual full‑time equivalents
2020 to 2021
actual full‑time equivalents
2021 to 2022
planned full-time equivalents
2021 to 2022
actual full‑time equivalents
2022 to 2023
planned full‑time equivalents
2023 to 2024
planned full‑time equivalents
Safe food and healthy plants and animals 5,097 5,156 5,060 5,406 5,300 5,005
Subtotal 5,097 5,156 5,060 5,406 5,300 5,005
Internal services 959 1,012 1,005 1,140 1,055 1,055
Total 6,056 6,168 6,065 6,546 6,355 6,060

In 2021 to 2022, the agency received $27.3 million funding for Investing in CFIA which has resulted in increased staffing levels/FTEs.

Expenditures by vote

For information on CFIA's organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2020 to 2021.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of CFIA's spending with the Government of Canada's spending and activities is available in GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

CFIA's financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2022, are available on the departmental website.

Financial statements highlights

The following financial statement highlights are intended to serve as a general overview of CFIA's financial position and operations.

Financial statements are prepared in accordance with accrual accounting principles, Treasury Board accounting policies, and year-end instructions issued by the Office of the Comptroller General, which are based on Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector, as required under Section 31 of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act. The financial information presented in earlier sections of this Department Results Report was drawn from the Public Accounts of Canada, which were prepared using an expenditure basis of accounting, also known as modified cash accounting.

Condensed statement of operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2022 (dollars)
Financial information 2021 to 2022
planned results
2021 to 2022
actual results
2020 to 2021
actual results
(2021 to 2022 actual results minus 2021 to 2022 planned results)
(2021 to 2022 actual results minus 2020 to 2021 actual results)
Total expenses 937,049,000 914,543,000 889,494,000 (22,506,000) 25,049,000
Total revenues 53,000,000 58,873,000 53,674,000 5,873,000 5,199,000
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 884,049,000 855,670,000 835,820,000 (28,379,000) 19,850,000

CFIA's expenses for the fiscal year 2021 to 2022 were $915 million, an increase of $25 million compared to 2020 to 2021, which is mainly due to a growing workforce and increased salary rates in new collective agreements.

CFIA's total revenues for the fiscal year 2021 to 2022 were $58.9 million, an increase of $5.2 million compared to 2020 to 2021, explained by an increase in import and export related activities.

Condensed statement of financial position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2022 (dollars)
Financial information 2021 to 2022 2021 to 2022 Difference
(2021 to 2022 minus 2021 to 2022)
Total gross liabilities 148,048,000 201,574,000 (53,526,000)
Total net financial assets 90,884,000 140,675,000 (49,791,000)
Agency net debt 57,164,000 60,899,000 (3,735,000)
Total non‑financial assets 166,384,000 177,523,000 (11,139,000)
Agency net financial position 109,220,000 116,624,000 (7,404,000)

The total liabilities at the end of 2021 to 2022 were $148 million, a decrease of $53.5 million from the previous year mainly due to the release of retroactive payments related to collective agreements that were signed in 2020 to 2021. The decrease in net financial assets of $49.8 million was due to the discharge of payables created for retroactive pay.

The 2021 to 2022 planned results information is provided in CFIA's 2021 to 2022 Future-Oriented Statement of Operations.

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Institutional head: Siddika Mithani, Ph.D
Ministerial portfolio: Health
Enabling instrument(s):

Year of incorporation / commencement: 1997

Raison d'être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d'être

CFIA is a large science-based regulatory agency with employees working across Canada in the National Capital Region and in 4 operational regions: Atlantic, Québec, Ontario and Western Canada.

CFIA is dedicated to safeguarding food , and animal and plant health, which enhances Canada's environment, economy, and the health and well-being of its residents. Additionally, to support market access, 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

In fulfilling its role as a science-based regulatory agency, CFIA serves Canadians by developing policies and strategies, conducting specialized laboratory tests, and monitoring industry practice and compliance with legislation, in order to

  • protect Canadians from preventable food safety risks
  • protect consumers through a fair and effective food, animal and plant regulatory regime that supports competitive domestic and international markets
  • contribute to the security of Canada's plant and animal resource base by preventing and managing regulated pests, diseases and invasive species
  • provide sound agency management

CFIA works with a variety of departments across all 3 levels of government, collaborates with stakeholders, and remains receptive to the values of interests groups. Together, all parties play a unique role in managing food, plant and animal risks, incidents and emergencies as they occur, and the implementation of appropriate measures and interventions where necessary.

For more information on the commitments laid out in the department's organizational mandate letter, see the Minister of Health's mandate letter.

Operating context

CFIA operates within a rapidly changing context as Canada is inextricably linked to a global economy and international influences. Risks to the food system and animal and plant resources have changed considerably in recent years and will continue to evolve rapidly. A growing population and diverse consumer preferences have led to an increasing volume and variety of products on the market. Global commerce has brought new business models and consolidation in the food and agricultural industry. Emerging and disruptive technology requires a regulatory system that promotes responsible adoption of such technology for public good without stifling innovation.

While these changes provide opportunities for Canadians, they bring operational challenges to CFIA. For instance, risks to food safety, animal and plant health have increased as a result of expanded international trade, accelerated technological innovation, and an increasingly complex and global supply chain of agricultural products. In addition, climate change is introducing potential risks, such as the possibility of pests and diseases becoming established in Canada where they would not have been able in the past.

Reporting framework

CFIA's Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2021 to 2022 are shown below.

Description follows.
Description for image: Departmental results framework and program inventory

The first section of the image is the Departmental Results Framework which shows the relationship between the service categories under Core responsibility: Safe food and healthy plants and animal and the activities and resources (Internal Services) related to each category.

The next section is a listing of the program inventory.

Departmental Results Framework

Service categories under Core responsibility: Safe food and healthy plants and animal are:

  • Departmental result 1: Food sold in Canada is safe and accurately represented to Canadians
  • Departmental result 2: Plant and animal resources are protected from diseases and pets and are safe for Canadians and the environment
  • Departmental result 3: Canadian food, plants and animals and their associated products can be traded internationally

Internal Services related to the service categories are as follows:

Departmental Result 1: Food sold in Canada is safe and accurately represented to Canadians

Departmental Result Indicator 1: Percentage of food establishments that have addressed compliance issues upon follow-up or were brought into compliance, by year

  • Value: 78.8%
  • Target: 75% to 85%

Departmental Result Indicator 2: Percentage of higher risk food recalls that occurred prior to an adverse effect being reported to CFIA, by year

  • Value: 84.8%
  • Target: 84%

Departmental Result Indicator 3: Percentage of Canadians who agree that CFIA helps ensure that food sold in Canada is safe, by year

  • Value: 73%
  • Target: At least 70%
Departmental Result 2: Plant and animal resources are protected from diseases and pets and are safe for Canadians and the environment

Departmental Result Indicator 1: Number of harmful foreign plant pests that have entered and established themselves in Canada, by year

  • Value: 1
  • Target: Exactly 0

Departmental Result Indicator 2: Percentage of regulated, harmful foreign plant pests that had previously entered and established in Canada and whose spread was successfully limited by CFIA control programs, by year

  • Value: 87.5%
  • Target: At least 95%

Departmental Result Indicator 3: Percentage of plant inputs, products and by-products that comply with Canadian regulations and relevant international agreements, by year

  • Value: 94%
  • Target: At least 95%

Departmental Result Indicator 4: Percentage of animal inputs, products and by-products that comply with Canadian regulations and relevant international agreements, by year

Value: 98.5%

Target: At least 95%

Departmental Result Indicator 5: Percentage of Canadian producers that have maintained or improved their status in programs designed to protect the health of animals, by year

  • Value: 95.8%
  • Target: At least 95%

Departmental Result Indicator 6: Rate of confirmed animal disease outbreaks per 100 investigations conducted by CFIA to limit the impact of animal health diseases within Canada, by year

  • Value: 2.7
  • Target: Less than 3
Departmental result 3: Canadian food, plants and animals and their associated products can be traded internationally

Departmental Result Indicator 1: Number of international markets that are opened or maintained based on CFIA activities, by year

  • Value: 72
  • Target: 75
Program Inventory
  • Setting Rules for Food Safety and Consumer Protection
  • Food Safety and Consumer Protection Compliance Promotion
  • Monitoring and Enforcement for Food Safety and Consumer Protection
  • Permissions for Food Products
  • Setting Rules for Plant Health
  • Plant Health Compliance Promotion
  • Monitoring and Enforcement for Plant Health
  • Setting Rules for Animal Health
  • Animal Health Compliance Promotion
  • Monitoring and Enforcement for Animal Health
  • Permissions for Animal Products
  • International Standard Setting
  • International Regulatory Cooperation and Science Collaboration
  • International Market Access Support

Supporting information on the program inventory

Financial, human resources and performance information for CFIA's Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on CFIA's website:

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals, and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs as well as evaluations and GBA Plus tax expenditures.

Organizational contact information

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
1400 Merivale Road,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Y9
Telephone: 1-800-442-2342 / 1-613-773-2342
TTY: 1-800-465-7735
Website: Contact CFIA online

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations, or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a 3‑year period. Departmental Plans are usually tabled in Parliament each spring.
departmental priority (priorité)
A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.
departmental result (résultat ministériel)
A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments' immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A quantitative measure of progress on a departmental result.
departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
A framework that connects the department's core responsibilities to its departmental results and departmental result indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on a department's actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities, and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
experimentation (expérimentation)
The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making and improve outcomes for Canadians by learning what works, for whom, and in what circumstances. Experimentation is related to, but distinct from innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement is experimentation.
full‑time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person‑year charge against a departmental budget. For a particular position, the full‑time equivalent figure is the ratio of number of hours the person actually works divided by the standard number of hours set out in the person's collective agreement.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS Plus])
An analytical tool used to support the development of responsive and inclusive policies, programs and other initiatives; and understand how factors such as sex, race, national and ethnic origin, Indigenous origin or identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic conditions, geography, and culture and disability impact experiences and outcomes and can affect access to and experience of government programs.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2021 to 2022 Departmental Results Report, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government's agenda in the 2020 Speech from the Throne protecting Canadians from COVID-19; helping Canadians through the pandemic; building back better – a resiliency agenda for the middle class; and the Canada we're fighting for.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where 2 or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non‑budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments, and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy, or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence‑based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision-making, accountability, and transparency.
plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally, a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and focus on actions that lead to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities, or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes, or service levels.
program inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all the department's programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department's core responsibilities and results.
result (résultat)
A consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program, or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program, or initiative; instead, they are within the area of the organization's influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation, other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program, or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an appropriation act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) touches the lives of all Canadians in so many positive ways. Each day, hard-working CFIA employees – including inspectors, veterinarians and scientists – inspect food for safety risks, protect plants from pests and invasive species, and respond to animal diseases that could threaten Canada's national herd and human health. Guided by science-based decision-making and modern regulations, the Agency works tirelessly to ensure access to safe and healthy food in Canada, and support access to international markets for our high-quality agricultural products. To learn more, visit