ARCHIVED - Evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program

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Evaluation

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Evaluation Directorate is responsible for evaluating the relevance and performance of Agency programs, policies and initiatives. This effort supports informed decision-making and enhances performance and accountability.

The Evaluation Directorate is accountable to the CFIA's Evaluation Committee, chaired by the President. All evaluations must be reported to the Evaluation Committee and must be conducted in accordance with the Treasury Board's Policy on Evaluation. Evaluation projects are selected based on higher risk or significance during an annual Agency planning process, and then reflected in the Agency's Evaluation Plan, which is approved by the Evaluation Committee.

Overview

The need for an internal evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) was identified in the CFIA's Evaluation Plan (2012-2017) in June 2012. This evaluation examines the FFVP's relevance and performance during the period from 2008 to 2013, with respect to the program's food safety and food quality goals. This evaluation also examines the implications of the past and present with regard to future directions, including current Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan and Inspection Modernization initiatives.

Key Findings

The evaluation found that the FFVP has to primarily focus on grading (quality) and assistance to the industry.

The Agency's role in the FFV sector will fundamentally shift as new safety requirements under the Safe Food for Canadians Act and the modernized approach to food inspection come into effect, such as mandatory licensing and periodic inspection—the evaluation itself notes that the Act's implementation will be a "transformative initiative." The planned change in the Agency's role will refocus it to focus on inspecting establishments and enforcing food safety requirements, using the attendant sanctions of the Safe Food for Canadians Act.

The evaluation also examined other countries' FFV programs and found that these countries also recognize the need to take a proactive and preventative approach to food safety that focuses on the whole supply chain instead of targeting specific commodities.

The Agency's management has accepted the three (3) recommendations made in the evaluation.

Complete report:

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