The best way we have found to achieve quality assurance certification is through a multi-step process:
Module 1: Good Production Practices in order to produce a Quality Product
These “Good Production Practices” (GPPs) are designed to offer a form of standardized calf management for the industry. Program participants are expected to apply these practices, protocols and guidelines to the best of their ability.
- Study the “Good Production Practices” Module in the OVQAP manual.
- Determine if your calf management meets or exceeds the GPPs provided.
- Make any necessary adjustments to your management practices if required.
- Fill out the required form:
- Producer commitment checklist
- Validation form C
Module 2: On-Farm Food Safety
1. Completion of an Ontario Veal Quality Assurance Program Producer Certification Manual.
This manual contains a number of questions. Some questions are answered with a Yes or a No. These questions are asked to create discussion, awareness and consideration, which may be signification to quality assurance. Others ask for a written explanation of how you, the producer, deal with specific concerns. That is, describe a procedure (including records) or list and explain something. Once hazards have been determined, you will be asked for the control points:
- who is responsible for these?
- what action is required?
- what information is recorded and what corrective actions would be appropriate if the system failed?
If additional space is required, extra written pages can be added to the manual. These explanations become your Good Production Practices. The GPPs we will consider are for the following eight areas of your operation:
- Building Design
- Medical Supplies
- Personnel Training
As you develop these GPPs, you create your own quality assurance program. Since no two farms are exactly alike, it is very unlikely that any one quality assurance program would be appropriate for all veal producers.
2. As part of the manual, several record forms must be completed and maintained in an up-to-date fashion. These forms include:
feed inventory form
medication/vaccine inventory form
individual treatment form
incoming/outgoing animal form
group outgoing animal form
3. The introduction to each operation area will provide additional background information relative to the GPPs and the overall program.
It provides insights relative to the questions asked in that section of the manual. The manual includes a complete list of all medications and vaccines approved by the Bureau of Veterinary Drugs, Health Canada, for use in veal cattle.
4. All participants will receive a copy and must be familiar with:
- the Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Veal Calves (CARC, 1998)
- Preventing and Handling Non Ambulatory Livestock on Farm (OFAC)
- Transporting Livestock by Truck (CFIA)
5. After you have completed the questions and the tasks assigned in the manual and have accumulated a minimum of three (3) months of record forms, a certified Validator will visit your farm, evaluate your operation, review your manual and check your records.
This person must be certified by the OVA and may be trained OVA staff or your herd veterinarian. A list of qualified veterinarians is available from the OVA office. The answers and the records you provide will determine whether or not your farm qualifies.
6. Records must be maintained on an ongoing basis and the process re-validated every year in order to maintain your certification in the program.