New OMAFRA regulations take effect Jan. 1

Canadian Farm NewsUncategorized

By Diego Flammini

A new year means legislation and regulation changes for members of Ontario’s ag community.

Two bills under OMAFRA’s jurisdiction will have amendments take effect on Jan. 1.

One affected piece of legislation is the Farm Products Payments Act (FPPA).

The government’s amendments will provide the Livestock Financial Protection Board (LFPB) “with more flexibility around quorum and ensure the board composition better reflects the needs of the sector,” a government release said on Dec. 30.

The LFPB, whose membership includes representatives from Beef Farmers of Ontario, the Canadian Meat Council and the Ontario Livestock Auction Markets Association, collects checkoff fees and administers a compensation fund “to protect producers and other sellers of beef cattle in the event of defaults on payments by licensed buyers.”

The other change to the FPPA would “require boards to pay a greater range of program delivery expenses to support the long-term sustainability of the programs and future program enhancements,” the release says.

Jan. 1 will also bring changes to the Food Safety and Quality Act.

OMAFRA will further define government responsibilities and reduce inspection overlaps between public health units and the ag ministry.

Outdated requirements will be phased out and replaced with “outcome-based provisions and allow for risk-based inspection,” the government said in its release.

Two regulations under the Act will affect fish producers.

The new year will introduce new licensing provisions for processors conducting “higher-risk activities.”

Those activities include canning, fermenting, pickling, smoking and “any other secondary process resulting in a ready-to-eat fish product.”

The other change will prepare fish processors for “enhancements to the government’s capacity to respond to food safety incidents involving fish products.”

Multiple government ministries will have new legislation enforced as of Jan. 1.

A full list of the changes by ministry can be found here.