Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 10, 2005 09:24 ET

AAC: Minister Mitchell Announces $50 Million for Aggressive Marketing Campaign for Canadian Beef


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD CANADA

MARCH 10, 2005 - 09:24 ET

AAC: Minister Mitchell Announces $50 Million for
Aggressive Marketing Campaign for Canadian Beef

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 10, 2005) - Agriculture and
Agri-Food Minister Andy Mitchell today announced a $50 million
contribution to the Canadian Cattlemen Association's Legacy Fund to help
launch an aggressive marketing campaign to reclaim and expand markets
for Canadian beef.

The fund will support the market development activities of the Canada
Beef Export Federation, the Beef Information Centre and the Canadian
Beef Breeds Council.

"The uncertainty created by the closure of many borders, including that
of the United States to Canadian live cattle, makes it imperative that
we accelerate our efforts to regain and expand our markets," said
Minister Mitchell. "Through the Legacy Fund, the industry and
governments will work together to launch an aggressive marketing
campaign to increase exports and reduce our reliance on any one single
market."

The contribution responds to a request by the Canadian Cattlemen's
Association (CCA) for governments to jointly support a 10-year market
development fund, the Legacy Fund.

The marketing campaign is expected to generate more demand for the
increased slaughter capacity that is being developed through Canada's
Repositioning the Livestock Industry Strategy, announced on Sept. 10,
2004. The Strategy is helping ensure the viability of the sector by
increasing domestic slaughter capacity, by providing financial support
to the sector as that capacity comes on line and by increasing effort to
access international markets.

Another priority for the Government is increasing slaughter capacity in
Canada. Farm Credit Canada (FCC) will be the first of what is expected
to be a number of lenders to deliver one of the strategy's key programs,
the Ruminant Loan Loss Reserve Program. With additional funding of
$17.1 million announced for the program in the recent federal budget, a
total of $54.6 million is available in the reserve to support loans for
building and expanding small and medium-sized ruminant slaughter and
processing facilities that will increase Canada's slaughter capacity.

At their March 3 meeting in Ottawa, federal, provincial and territorial
ministers of agriculture vowed to continue their efforts to normalize
trade between Canada and the United States, and to increase access to
other international markets. They also agreed to maintain the current
set-aside programs under the Repositioning Strategy and to monitor the
situation so that measures continue to respond to industry needs.

"We will continue to make every effort to get the American border
re-opened for live ruminants but we are also stepping up our efforts to
reposition our industry so that it can thrive whether that particular
border is opened or closed," said Minister Mitchell. "Continuing to
meet the needs of producers through this difficult period is a key
priority for the Government. Our best position is a united one and we
will continue to work with industry and governments on next steps."

The Government of Canada remains committed to the expansion of foreign
markets while supporting the domestic marketing initiatives of all
producers.

-30-

Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
    Elizabeth Whiting
    Press Secretary
    (613) 759-1059
    or
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972