Frequently asked questions

What is Canadian Pork Excellence?
  • National platform created for Canadian pork producers to demonstrate their commitment to produce high quality pork by maintaining the highest standard in food safety, animal welfare and traceability practises
  • New name introduced to cover the on-farm programs
  • Once the CQA/ACA updates are completed, Canadian Pork Excellence will be comprised of three major on-farm programs: PigTRACE, PigSAFE and PigCARE
Why do we need on-farm programs?
  • Provides assurance that on-farm food safety-related issues are addressed
  • On-farm programs related to animal care demonstrate producers’ commitment to the care and welfare of their animals
  • On-farm programs increase public trust and industry sustainability
  • Provides data to producers to help manage on-farm activities
  • Provides the foundation for the implementation of Canadian Ractopamine-Free Certification Program which enables producers to export to China
What is PigTRACE?
  • Traceability program developed to enable Canada to better manage potential disease outbreaks
  • Also enables the traceability of pork products, an added value to some customers
  • An important component of Canada’s public trust communications
  • Provides a point of differentiation from other suppliers such as the U.S.
What is PigSAFE?

New name for the food safety component of Canadian Pork Excellence

Based on the same Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) model used in the CQA program

Retains CQA’s biosecurity elements and the Canadian Swine Health Board in National Standards from 2011

Why was the Canadian Quality Assurance (CQA) Program originally Developed?
  • To demonstrate that Canadian pork producers are committed to the production of safe pork, specifically with respect to drug withdrawal times and the identification of hogs with broken needles
  • To meet the needs of multiple programs and stakeholders. In 1998, federal and provincial governments, exporters and retailers all wanted to implement different on-farm programs that were intended to address food safety concerns
What are the major accomplishments of the CQA program?
  • Provided confidence to domestic and international customers through a validated “Farm to Fork” assurance of food safety in conjunction with the federal government’s meat inspection program
  • Helped the Canadian pork industry secure existing customers and develop new ones—especially in $1 billion Japanese market where food safety assurance is critical
  • Provided a base to develop other national on-farm initiatives such as the Ractopamine-free program which opened the $600 million Chinese pork market for Canadian pork
What is Pigcare?

New name for the Animal Care Assessment (ACA) Program

An update to the ACA program to account for the introduction of the 2014 revisions to the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs

Why is the code of practice included in the new CPE program?
  • The codes of practice are credible and broadly recognized by governments and industry stakeholders as being reflective of common industry standards
  • It is our engagement as an industry to reflect the animal care practises outlined in the code of practice
  • By adhering to the code of practice, public trust and consumer confidence are elevated
Why was it necessary to revise the CQA-ACA Programs?
  • In 2012, the CPC Board of directors passed a motion to revise the programs based on the results of a 2010 survey of producers, program validators and processors
  • The recommendations focused on improving the programs in four specific areas: tools to help producers, validation process, program material, management and administration of the program
  • To keep up with changing technologies, standards and customer demands as they relate to food safety
  • To ensure the updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs was accurately incorporated
  • To streamline programs delivery
  • Competing countries, such as the U.S., were updating their on-farm programs
Why can’t food safety and animal care be separate programs?
  • A sound on-farm program cannot exist without considering both animal care and food safety
  • There’s a strong movement toward animal welfare in Canada and producers must be able to demonstrate how they care for their animals in order to reassure consumers and potentially avoid the introduction of more restrictive animal welfare regulation
  • In order to be recognized under the CPE platform, producers must comply with traceability regulations, as well as PigSAFE and PigCARE programs requirements
What is the difference between the Canadian Pork Excellence platform and the Verified Canadian Pork brand?
  • The Verified Canadian Pork brand is a seal of quality that identifies Canadian pork as a superior product in stores and restaurants across the country and to importers abroad. The on-farm programs PigTRACE, PigSAFE and PigCARE grouped under in the Canadian Pork Excellence platform support the Verified Canadian Pork brand. The programs demonstrate producers’ commitment to raising high quality pigs.
What will a successful program look like?
  • Credible
  • Streamlined and ease of use for producers
  • Meets the needs of domestic and global customers
  • Meets public trust expectations
How are producers involved in the development of the Canadian Pork Excellence platform?
  • Producers participate in the technical committees established to guide the development of PigSAFE and PigCARE
  • Producers chair the Management Committee which provides direction to the technical committees
  • Individual producers are piloting the program and will provide input to the Management Committee to inform the program design and next steps
  • Producers make up the Peer Review Committee
  • Producers, through their representative on CPC board, will approve the new programs