WINNIPEG, MANITOBA–(Marketwire -01/26/12)- Canadian honey producers will continue to provide consumers with safe, top-quality honey with the support of the Harper Government. Member of Parliament Joyce Bateman (Winnipeg South Centre), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment of over $30,000 to the Canadian Honey Council as beekeepers and industry members came together for the Council’s Annual General Meeting.
“Honey bees may be small in size, but there is no doubt that they have a big impact on the Canadian economy,” said MP Bateman. “Our Government’s top priority remains the economy, and a safe and healthy honey sector is an important part of creating jobs and growth. With this investment, the Canadian Honey Council will be able to maintain the high safety and quality of their world-class honey enjoyed by consumers here at home and around the world.”
The Canadian Honey Council will use this investment to update their on-farm food safety system, guided by feedback received from beekeepers. The Canadian Bee Industry Safety Quality Traceability (C-BISQT) plan will go through a thorough review by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to ensure that food safety risks during the honey production process are mitigated. Once the review is complete, processors will be assured that honey produced from members certified by the Council is done using a CFIA-approved Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)-based food safety system.
“The Canadian Honey Council is very pleased that the Government of Canada has supported our industry’s quest to complete an on-farm food safety system. It has taken a great deal of effort and hard work from a number of producers and without the financial and moral support of the Government of Canada, it would have never come to fruition,” stated CHC Executive Director Rod Scarlett.
In 2010, the total value of honey produced in Canada was $146 million of which $57 million was exported. Not only do honey bees make honey, but they also play a critical role in pollinating fruit, vegetables and canola. The value of honey bees to the pollination of crops is estimated at over $2 billion annually.
This federal Growing Forward investment is being made through the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative (CIFSI). The Government of Canada is helping organizations develop national, government-recognized on-farm and/or post-farm HACCP or HACCP-based food safety systems. To find out more about this initiative, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/cifsi.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Director of Communications
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz