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Biosecurity standard developed for potatoes


November 16, 2010
By Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Topics

potatoes03November 12, 2010, Ottawa,
Ont – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has established a Potato
Sector Biosecurity Advisory Group (PSBAG), which will guide the development of
a voluntary National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Potato Sector.

November 12, 2010, Ottawa,
Ont – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has established a Potato
Sector Biosecurity Advisory Group (PSBAG), which will guide the development of
a voluntary National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Potato Sector.

The CFIA established this
group in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the Potato
Committee
executive of the Canadian Horticultural Council, other potato
industry organizations, and provincial departments of agriculture.

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potatoes03 
  

The Advisory Group
representatives have agreed to specific terms of reference, which include roles
and responsibilities, timeframes, and process. This document is available from
any of the provincial industry organization representatives.

The National Farm-Level
Biosecurity Standard will complement existing farm level programs. It will take
approximately two years to develop the standard.

The term “biosecurity”
refers to activities that minimize the risk of introducing and spreading
disease and pests. Canadian producers have a long-standing and successful
practice of implementing proactive biosecurity on Canadian farms. The CFIA
recognizes the role these producers play in protecting Canada’s plant and
animal resource base.

The potato sector has been
recognized as a priority commodity that requires biosecurity standards by a
federal-provincial-territorial committee of biosecurity officials.

Funding to develop this
voluntary standard has been provided under the Growing Forward Agricultural
Policy Framework
.

The standard will be a
voluntary tool that:

  • provides a consistent
    approach across the country for identifying and mitigating the risks for
    transmitting disease and pests;
  • facilitates advancements
    in industry’s identification and knowledge of the risks associated with
    pathogens and pests;
  • identifies outcomes to
    achieve, and measures that will support improved biosecurity practices; and
  • helps identify potential
    gaps in current control measures, which can help growers improve the control of
    potato diseases and pests at the farm level.

As part of the development
process of a National Biosecurity Standard, a national benchmarking exercise
with farm-level participation will take place. This will help determine the
current level of biosecurity implementation in the potato sector across Canada.
It will also help identify best practices. This farm-level participation
provides an opportunity for producers to have input into developing the
standard.

During the standard’s
development, the Advisory Group will meet regularly. Group members who
represent industry will be encouraged to communicate information to
stakeholders and to seek input from them.

Once complete, use of the
standard will be voluntary. Producers may use the standard to design a new
program or improve upon their existing potato disease and pest control
programs.

The provinces are
developing programs to help producers implement biosecurity measures. These
commodity-specific programs are determined by each province.