Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 08, 2012 12:18 ET

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE: Harper Government Supports Beef Industry at Home and Abroad

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 8, 2012) -

This document corrects and replaces the press release that was sent today at 11:00 AM EST.

The Government of Canada is continuing its support for the Canadian cattle industry with an additional investment of $3 million to help improve their profitability and competitiveness. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz made the announcement at the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) 2012 annual general meeting today where he underlined how important the beef industry is to the Canadian economy, with more than $6.2 billion brought to the farm gate in 2010.

"The new investment will further improve the flow of information across the beef value chain, leading to better management decisions, greater production efficiencies, reduced costs and improved overall competitiveness of the Canadian cattle industry," said Minister Ritz. "The great work the cattle industry has done on traceability has built a strong platform for the Beef InfoXchange System and this investment will further improve the system."

Last March, Minister Ritz announced an initial investment of $5.3 million for the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS), which allows the seamless transfer of animal and carcass data from producer to processor. This additional funding will enable the CCA to improve the quality of information available through BIXS and facilitate the transmission of electronic data from packing plants to the BIXS database.

"The flow of fundamental information to the BIXS database will enhance the completeness of the data and reinforce the value of the BIXS program offering," said Travis Toews, President of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. "I thank Minister Ritz for ensuring the BIXS database is as robust as possible."

2012 has already been a year of successes for Canada's beef sector, including restored market access to South Korea for beef under 30 months of age and to China for bovine tallow for industrial use. These breakthroughs mark the first time in nearly a decade that such products have been able to reach these key markets. Market access for Canadian tallow to China is expected to be worth $50 million annually, according to the Canadian Renderers Association, while the Canadian beef industry has estimated that restored beef access to South Korea could result in annual sales reaching $30 million by 2015 for Canadian producers.

"Economic growth is a key priority for our Government, and that's why we are creating new market opportunities for the Canadian cattle and beef industries," said Minister Ritz. "Canada is among the world's largest exporters of high-quality beef and we're working hard with the industry to make that business grow even stronger."

Minister Ritz underlined the Government's commitment to standing up for Canadian producers, both at home and abroad. He highlighted the very clear victory for Canada's livestock sector with the ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the U.S. mandatory Country-of-Origin Labelling measure exemplifies the Government's determination to stand alongside the livestock industry against unfair treatment. Minister Ritz continues to work with his US counterpart and industry to see that the necessary changes to comply with the WTO panel decision are made as soon as possible.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059