CHC provides support for the National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Fruit and Tree Nut Industries

February 3, 2016

The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) on behalf of Canadian fruit producers has provided its support for the National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Fruit and Tree Nut Industries.  Likewise, the CHC on behalf of Canadian greenhouse producers has provided its support for the National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Greenhouse, Nursery, and Floriculture sectors.  CHC, through representation on the Biosecurity Advisory Committees for both sectors, has contributed significantly to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) initiative to develop a voluntary  National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Fruit and Tree Nut Industries and the Greenhouse, Nursery and Floriculture industries..  We were joined in this effort by representatives from across Canada and from grower groups, provincial government and academics alike.

CHC represents farmers from across Canada involved in the growing and packing of over 100 fruit and vegetable crops. Members include provincial and national horticultural commodity organizations as well as allied and service organizations, provincial governments and  individual producers. The CHC represents members on key issues such as crop protection, access to a consistent supply of farm labour, food safety and traceability, fair access to markets, research and innovation and government programs to ensure a more innovative, profitable and sustainable horticultural industry for future generations. CHC and its members are committed to ensuring that strong Canadian farms will continue to be able to provide safe, secure and healthy food for families in Canada, and around the world.  Minimizing risks to Canada’s food production systems, its biodiversity and the economy is a priority for the horticultural industry.  A comprehensive biosecurity system will ensure Canada’s food security, productivity and provide guidance on optimal proactive approaches to minimize the risk of introduction and spread of disease and pests.  Additionally, it will identify appropriate intervention in the event of an incursion and specify the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders.

Horticulture is committed to the development of a consistent national preparedness, prevention and response framework, including mitigation of financial impacts, which can be incorporated in government, industry and farm level business plans.  This will enhance Canada’s plant health status, sustainability, profitability for horticulture producers, while limiting the need for government ad hoc financial programs. Canada will achieve improved competitiveness and limit potential disruptions to trade by establishing a biosecurity system that focuses on identifying potential phytosanitary concerns and preparing to address phytosanitary issues early.

Canadian fruit and tree nut producers currently implement many biosecurity measures to prevent and manage pests.  The objective of the National Voluntary Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Fruit and Tree Nut industries is to provide producers with a nationally consistent approach to prevent the introduction and spread of pests through the implementation of biosecurity measures.