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Verification of claims (AGRO-COM)

Increasingly, consumers are expecting food products to have certain characteristics, particularly with respect to naturally raised animals and hormone-free animal feed, among other things. With that in mind, the BNQ’s Verification of claims (AGRO-COM) service is for any mill or meat, poultry or fish producer or processor wishing to display optional claims or wording on its products.

Audits are performed as part of AGRO-COM to certify that a business’s production method is compliant with the protocol and meets the requirements of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as specified in the Method of production claims on food labels.

The main steps in implementing a BNQ claim control program are as follows:

  • reviewing and adjusting the production protocol;
  • developing audit matrices and qualifying auditors;
  • validating production protocols and audit matrices;
  • conducting audits;
  • following up on corrective action requests;
  • decision by the BNQ;
  • and issue of a letter of eligibility.

If the conditions are met, the BNQ will send a letter of eligibility¹ to the audited organization that may be used to demonstrate to the CFIA its compliance with the production protocol. It may then display claims of added value for the consumer on the packaging of its products.

¹ Note that the letter of eligibility is not the same as BNQ certification and that the business therefore cannot describe itself as “certified.”