Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 22, 2010 11:37 ET

Government of Canada Helps Bison Industry Make Tracks to New Markets

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2010) - The Government of Canada is helping the Canadian Bison Association (CBA) increase the appetite for its top quality products with an investment of more than $370,000. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz made the announcement as the CBA gathers in Regina for its national convention.

"Bison producers are recognized for their commitment to producing healthy, natural, high-quality meat and as a result there is a growing demand for their product," said Minister Ritz. "This investment will help the bison industry promote its unique product and become more competitive in the domestic and international marketplace."

The Government of Canada investment will support two projects:

  • $194,500 through the AgriMarketing Program to: participate and promote bison products in trade shows; advocate with U.S. industry stakeholders to improve Canada's market access, and prepare for the 2012 International Bison Conference in Québec.

  • $177,760 through the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative (CIFSI) to continue the development of the Bison Industry Traceability Program, which tracks the movement of bison through the supply chain.

"Global markets are very important for the growth of the Canadian bison industry," said Mark Silzer, President of the Canadian Bison Association. "The investment provided by the Government of Canada will help the bison industry to work with marketers to elevate the profile of bison and bison products amongst consumers internationally. The bison industry recognizes the value of traceability as a tool to control the possible spread of disease and to facilitate market access and this investment will help develop a system that works for the bison industry."

The CBA works with a membership of approximately 600 producers, who represent close to 90 per cent of the bison production in Canada, to promote bison products in the international and domestic markets.

Both contributions are funded under the Government of Canada's Growing Forward framework. The Canadian bison industry is an increasingly important driver of the Canadian economy, with meat and live bison exports reaching $40.5 million in 2009. More consumers are turning to bison products as a source of healthy, nutritious, natural and tasty meat. 

Backgrounder

Improving the Traceability of the Bison Industry

The Canadian Bison Association's Bison Industry Traceability Program tracks the movement of bison within the supply chain. During a potential animal disease outbreak, this program will help to quickly trace an animal throughout its life cycle and can identify what other animals it may have come in contact with. Isolating animal health emergencies can help limit the economic, trade, environmental and social impacts of such emergencies.

Under the Canadian Industry Traceability Infrastructure component of CIFSI, the Government of Canada supports national organizations in the development and implementation of traceability processes and systems. To find out more about this initiative, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/cifsi.

AgriMarketing Program

The AgriMarketing investment to the Canadian Bison Association will be provided over three fiscal years, with the association receiving up to $40,000 for 2010-2011, up to $59,500 for 2011-2012 and up to $95,000 for 2012-2013.

The AgriMarketing Program helps producers and processors increase exports of Canada's safe, high-quality products around the world. The program helps implement long-term international strategies which include activities such as international market development, consumer awareness and branding and industry-to-industry trade advocacy.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa ON
    Media Relations
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary
    613-773-1059