About the Canadian Pork Excellence platform

In order to ensure that on-farm programs continue to reflect the good work of producers and meet the needs of domestic and global consumers, the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) has been working with producers to update existing CQA and ACA programs.

The updated CQA program will be called PigSAFE and the ACA program will be called PigCARE. Both will be integrated under the Canadian Pork Excellence platform.

Canadian Pork Excellence is the national platform that covers the three on-farm programs: Traceability, Food Safety and Animal Care.

PigSafe | PorcSalubrité
  • Food Safety component
  • New name for the updated Canadian Quality Assurance (CQA) program
  • Includes biosecurity
PigCare | PorcBien-Être
  • Animal Care component
  • New name for the updated Animal Care Assessment (ACA) program
  • Reflects the introduction of the 2014 Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of pigs
PigCare | PorcBien-Être
  • Traceability component
  • Meets federal legislation


Since 2014, producers and stakeholders, supported by staff from CPC and its provincial member organizations, have been updating the CQA and ACA programs

Over the last 3 years, members of the Management, Food Safety and Animal Care Committees offered their on-farm expertise to update the technical elements and streamline the on-farm implementation of the CQA and ACA programs.

A committee of 14 validators from across the country contributed their expertise to ensure the different ways of raising pigs in Canada and important provincial and regional differences were considered during the updating process. It became apparent that many of these variables were not considered in the original CQA program and had to be addressed in the new PigSAFE program. The validators helped ensure that the new program included all farms while ensuring the integrity of the program.

Proposed changes to the PigSAFE and PigCARE programs are vetted through the Management Committee, and then by the CPC Board.


In January 2017, the PigSAFE and PigCARE programs were pilot tested on 73 farms across the country varying in types ranging from 50 to more than 3,000 sow units.

The pilot project looked into whether the PigSAFE and PigCARE programs were easy to understand, easy to use, streamlined, and transparent. While producers gave the new programs an overall rating of 7.1/10, they did identify some concerns that will be addressed before the implementation of the new programs.

A “final draft” of the producer manual will be reviewed by a Peer Review Committee.  This producers only committee will provide its recommendations directly to the CPC Board of Directors.


The PigSAFE and PigCARE programs are expected to be made available to producers wanting to join the program on a voluntary basis beginning in the late summer of 2018. Farms due for a full validation in 2019 and thereafter will utilize PigSAFE and PigCARE in line with their normal validation cycle.



  • Development of producer and validator training material
  • Fall 2018 – Voluntary phase-in of PigSAFE and PigCARE programs
  • 2019 – Full use of PigSAFE and PigCARE during farm validations, as per established cycle
  • 2021 – End of the use of the CQA/ACA programs


This project has been funded through the Assurance Systems stream of the AgriMarketing program under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.