Quality Assurance Ready for Implementation

The Canadian Pork Council has recently announced that its Canadian Quality Assured pork production program is ready for implementation. It is intended to be the core program for all swine producers in Canada.

Over the past two years a technical working group has been meeting to develop a quality assurance program for Canadian swine producers. During the past winter these meetings were held monthly to insure an April target date for announcement of the program.

The technical working group has developed several significant papers and documents to support the quality assurance program. Good Production Practices which describe normal good practices for swine production were produced. A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) model for swine production was developed. A producer self-assessment form was developed as based on the HACCP model. Numerous record keeping forms to support the implementation of a HACCP-based (quality assurance) program were developed.

Basically this program of quality assurance for producers will require four on-going steps for producers during production. They are write it, do it, prove it and improve it.

1. Write it - This means that you will need to write out what you do in your swine production facility to produce a safe food, with the quality and integrity desired by the customer.

2. Do it - These are the normal production activities as you described that you are following in your production facility.

3. Prove it - Be able to prove from your good production practices, production protocols, records, and verification activities that your swine production system is working as intended.

4. Improve it - This step recognizes that no system is perfect and that there is always need for on-going improvements.

A significant part of the program will be the need for producers to obtain validation of their production activities from a third party on a periodic basis. A successful validation will provide accreditation of producers in the Canadian Quality Assured program. The validation part is another aspect of being able to prove that the production system is working as planned. It is expected that in the future processors will increasingly be demanding participation in a quality assurance program as a condition for purchasing their incoming slaughter animals.

The Canadian Quality Assured program will be undergoing continued refinements and testing over the spring and summer months. It will be ready for general implementation in the fall.