Manitoba’s registered hatching egg farms and broiler farms participate in national food safety and animal care programs. The simple principle behind these programs is for farmers to “say what they do, do what they say, and prove it.” These on farm programs are mandatory and each farm is audited annually by a professional, third-party auditor. After successfully completing an initial audit, farmers receive program certification. To maintain certification, farmers must continue to meet the program requirements and successfully complete the annual audits. Farmers risk having their quota reduced or suspended if they do not adhere to the standards of each program.
Raised by a Canadian Farmer – Broilers
Raised by a Canadian Farmer is a suite of programs covering food safety, animal care and sustainability. The programs were developed by Chicken Farmers of Canada in consultation with farmers, veterinarians, and poultry scientists.
On Farm Food Safety Program – This component of Raised by a Canadian Farmer ensures top-notch safety procedures and standardized safety systems are used on every Canadian chicken farm. It combines good production practices as well as internationally recognized Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, into chicken production. This component includes standards for things like biosecurity protocols, barn cleaning, pest management, water quality, and manure handling.
Animal Care Program – this component of Raised by a Canadian Farmer was developed to maintain the highest standards of animal care on broiler farms and to demonstrate to the public that animal care is a priority. This component includes standards for things like the barn environment, feed and water, stocking density, flock monitoring, and catching and loading.
Stringent record keeping is an important part of Raised by a Canadian Farmer. Farmers track and record information throughout the life of each flock and they complete a flock sheet before birds are sent to the processing company. The flock sheet serves as the farmers’ assurance to the other links in the food chain that the birds have been produced in accordance with the strictest government and industry standards and regulations.
Canadian Hatching Egg Quality (CHEQ) – Hatching Eggs
CHEQ is the national on-farm food safety program for registered hatching egg farms. Developed by Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, the program provides standards for such areas as biosecurity, flock health, egg handling and storage, pest control, and cleaning and disinfection. Producers are audited annually and have to keep implementing the program in order to remain certified.