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Red tape cut for food trade

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The governments of Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have partnered to remove barriers to inter-provincial food trade in Lloydminster. 

As a border city, food trade issues have been a concern for years. The two-year pilot is intended to take steps toward a solution that could help Lloydminster and similar border towns throughout Canada.

On Jan. 16, the CFIA published a notice of intent to amend the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations to address Lloydminster’s unique situation. 

The pilot, administered by the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce, will ease the challenges faced by food businesses in Saskatchewan and Alberta for trade into all of the city of Lloydminster. The goal is for safe food to move into and within the city as if there was no provincial border.

“Farmers and food producers play a critical role in growing food to feed Canadian families and the world, while striving to improve their sustainability,” Federal Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance Randy Boissonnault said. 

“Together with provincial colleagues and industry, our government addressed trade obstacles faced by food businesses in the city of Lloydminster. This is another example of how the federal government along with Provincial-Territorial partners are taking action to improve domestic trade and support economic growth for everyone.”

“One of the Government of Saskatchewan’s priorities is reducing bureaucratic red tape,” Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said. “This pilot program will ease trade across the city and across the border.”

“Lloydminster food businesses have been asking for a solution for their unique issues for years, and this pilot project is an exciting step toward a solution,” Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation Nate Horner said. “I look forward to seeing how our efforts to reduce red tape on food trade will make life better in Lloydminster and inspire further reductions to interprovincial trade barriers.” 

Federal regulations govern interprovincial food trade and commerce in Canada. To trade inter-provincially, even within the city of Lloydminster, food businesses must comply with the provisions of the Safe Food for Canadians Act and its regulations. 

Under the pilot program, these regulations and provisions will still be in effect when food is transported in and out of the province, essentially treating the city as if it were located within a single province. The pilot’s two-year timeline will give time to collect data and inform long-term solutions.

Interested participants will be required to register with the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce at https://www.lloydminsterchamber.com/lloydminster-food-trade-pilot/

The governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Canada agreed that finding a solution to this unique interprovincial trade challenge should be a priority under the upcoming Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Ultimately, food businesses will be able to trade safe foods within Lloydminster while operating under provincial oversight.