Aliments du Québec is proactive in improving its processes
May 27, 2021
Aliments du Québec has taken note of the Report of the Auditor General of Quebec (VGQ) released today concerning its verification and monitoring procedures for products that display its logos. Aliments du Québec welcomes the recommendations on the importance of strengthening the verification system for products bearing its certification marks, especially since the organization was already engaged in a process of continuous improvement.
Aliments du Québec would like to mention that although it has received a sum of $ 26 million from MAPAQ (Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec) over the past four years, $ 15 million was paid at the end of April 2021, which will allow it to achieve its objectives in a context of significant increase in demand.
In its report, the VGQ makes recommendations that focus on two elements, the verification procedures for products that display the certification marks of Aliments du Québec and the monitoring of compliance rules established for products registered with Aliments du Québec.
Marie Beaudry, Aliments du Québec’s General Manager says: “the organization welcomes these recommendations and will continue its efforts in terms of verification and monitoring. Aliments du Québec did not wait for the tabling of the report to undertake the work related to the expectations expressed to us. Our 2020-2021 action plan already proposed the implementation of measures to maintain the credibility of our certification marks and our control processes. In fact, in January 2021, we began to develop our Brand Protection and Surveillance Program, with the ultimate goal of strengthening our verification system.”
This program includes a series of measures, such as:
- Development and monitoring a schedule of surveillance activities
- Management of yearly updates of data verification
- Regular monitoring of agreements signed by member companies
- Assiduous monitoring of companies that do not renew their membership
- Verification according to the established frequency of illegal use of trademarks by companies whose status is inactive
- Improving the process and the management of non-compliances
- Increase the number of company audits and products controlled during surveillance and inspections at points of sale, subject to government measures related to COVID-19
Spread across Quebec, nearly 1,500 agri-food companies are members of Aliments du Québec. Throughout the verification process, these companies are supported by duly trained teams who see to the gathering of information relating to ingredients, their origin and availability in Quebec. This information is documented by reliable sources and independent experts, including federations and associations of the food industry. To date, some 25,000 products have been verified.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in local products has grown. As a result, Aliments du Québec experienced high traffic having had to process during the past year nearly 7,500 product verification requests, including new products, controls and updates. This represents a 115% increase in one year, the largest growth in the past 10 years.
The management of Aliments du Québec has informed its board of directors on the current situation and on the progress made to date regarding the implementation of the action measures included in its Surveillance and Protection Program of the brand. "Every day, our teams are busy promoting local products and businesses, but also resolving non-compliance situations, improving processes, and developing better monitoring tools," says Beaudry. At Aliments du Québec, continuous improvement is an integral part of the organizational culture. "
This report from the VGQ follows a verification audit carried out in recent months. The latter was able to count on the full collaboration of the management of Aliments du Québec.
To learn more about Aliments du Québec's verification procedures, see the details of our verification process.
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