Agri-food and agricultural members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) were asked their opinions on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
While individual members were reluctant to speak out, here are some of their comments from the report:
* “Many things about the CFIA are good, however, many of the people at the CFIA have a rotten attitude toward business and they red flag businesses who dare to disagree with them – there is no appeal process of any kind.” CFIB member, Ontario.
* “There is much inconsistency in the way applications
for import permits for plants are handled. The permits can be issued in as little as a few hours or as long as a month. This results in delays and backorders to our customers because we cannot fill orders.” CFIB member, Ontario.
* “Stock inspection for export changed as a result of very strict new regulations that were not communicated to us beforehand. This caused us to redo a lot of work at a large cost. We lost all profit associated with this particular shipment.” CFIB member, B.C.
* “Imported products were destroyed because they arrived three days after a change of
ruling. Had that ruling been communicated to us, we could have arranged the shipping a week earlier and saved thousands of dollars.” CFIB member, Ontario.
* “Poor knowledge of plant material. We were bringing in perennials from the U.S. It was held up at the border until we could clarify what it was. They had it confused with fruit. Because of the delay, the plants almost died.” CFIB member, fruit/vegetables or horticulture specialties.
* “Generally, I like working with the CFIA because we are all looking to accomplish the same end result – food safety. However, I have come across a few extremely rude/obnoxious inspectors, and there is no need for that sort of treatment. Also, the website changes fairly often. I like to be able to go to the website and know things have not changed and I know exactly where to find the information I am seeking.” CFIB member, fruit/vegetables or horticulture specialties.
Source: CFIA Report Card – A Small Business Assessment of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the report annexes.