Tracking Liability – Traceability and the Farmer

  • Patricia Farnese Assistant Professor, College of Law and Senior Law Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Agriculture, Law and the Environment at the University of Saskatchewan


Many farmers are reluctant to enter into traceability programs, which would create a record of the source and movement of raw farm products. Farmers are concerned that these programs could make them more vulnerable to regulatory offence prosecution and negligence lawsuits, as lite protection vulnerable afforded by anonymity is lost. However, participating in a traceability program may assist a farmer in protection establishing due diligence and reasonable care. Canadian jurisprudence also suggests that it will likely be difficult to overcome the causation stage of a negligence claim and ultimately prove a farmer's liability. Moreover, farmers will also benefit from the restrictive treatment of pure economic loss claims Canadian courts. Traceability programs would therefore prove to be more positive than negative for Canadian farmers.