Canadian Quality Milk

The CQM program improve and ensure the safety of milk and meat from dairy farms through improved management practices.

Changes to the CQM Reference Manual and Workbook

On October 1, 2015, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) released new versions of the Canadian Quality Milk (CQM) program’s Reference Manual and Workbook, which replace the June 2010 versions of these documents.

This fall, DFC published a notice of change that summarizes the new version and explains details that have been added to the Reference Manual. These primarily involve adjustments to requirements already in force. Below is a review of the main changes. An article have been published in the December 2015 issue of Le producteur de lait québécois magazine, click here to see a translation.

Click here to download the notice of change published by DFC.

Click here to download the Food Safety Reference Manual and Workbook version September 2015.


Clarification of the new requirement on Cattle health declaration

Discussions are currently ongoing with provincial stakeholders to develop a version of the Cattle Health Declaration proper to Quebec. The electronic format of the form is not availablefor now. We will keep you informed of the implementation of this requirement by March 1, 2016.


The program

The Canadian Quality Milk (CQM) program is an on-farm food safety program designed to help producers prevent, monitor and reduce food safety risks and hazards on their farms.

The CQM program is based on HACCP (hasard analysis critical control points) principles, which is an internationally recognized system that is designed to prevent and reduce food safety risks. Producers participating in the program implement best management practices and keep records to monitor critical areas of food safety.

The CQM program is technically recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as adhering to HACCP principles and being scientifically sound.

The CQM program provides registration services for producers whose on-farm food safety systems meet the requirements of the CQM reference manual. The Registration System Manual and training materials are also technically recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Within the Registration System Manual, the CQM Policy is stated as:

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is committed to implementing the national CQM program, which consists of food safety requirements recognized by the CFIA.

The program promotes the consistent application of Best Management Practices to continuously improve food safety management on dairy farms.

The CQM program’s objectives are to:

  • Provide effective, efficient, fair and impartial services to all licensed applicants.
  • Have producers implementing the program and achieving registration.
  • Maintain CFIA technical recognition of CQM food safety requirements.
  • Regularly assess and improve these services.

Here is a checklist with all the Canadian quality milk program requirements in order to complete the 53 questions of the Self-evaluation questionnaire in preparation to the on farm validation.

Different tools

In the menu, you will find different tools to help you write your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Corrective Action Plans (CAP) and various records for entering information required by the CQM program.

In section “Standard Operating Procedures”, the “Best Practices List” includes , for each procedure, the various recommended best practices extracted from the CQM Reference Manual. From these best practices, you can choose the steps that apply to your farm to write up your own Standard Operating Procedures. Shaded sections identify the areas that must be covered by your procedure. The reference (MAPAQ) indicates the requirements of MAPAQ’s Regulation respecting the quality of dairy products, which you should take into account in drafting your procedures.

The item “SOP Examples” provides an example of each Standard Operating Procedure and emergency plans, which you can adapt as you see fit to produce your own procedures and plans. We have indicated in boldface type the compulsory points required by the CQM. Also, we remind you of the requirements of MAPAQ’s Regulation respecting the quality of dairy, which you should take into account in drafting your procedures. These points bear the reference (MAPAQ).

Note that YOUR Standard Operating Procedures Should reflect YOUR production practices. During on-farm validation, the CQM validator will ensure that you have put your methods in writing but that your practices correspond to what you wrote in your SOP and CAP.

In section “Standard Operating Procedures” and in section “Farm Records”, you will find in “Blank Forms” the various CQM Workbook records in a “Form format” that you will be able to edit directly on your computer once downloaded. You will find these same records in Word format under the last item of the two sections. You can also download and edit these files as needed.

For more detailed information on the CQM program, visit the Dairy Farmers of Canada website.