Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 08, 2013 16:35 ET

Government of Canada Supports the Canadian Cattle Industry

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Nov. 8, 2013) - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament (Edmonton-Spruce Grove) announced federal government support for Canadian beef and cattle exports today at Farmfair International at Northlands in Edmonton, Alberta. Canadian cattle producers will soon have one integrated cattle production assurance system and enhanced support to cultivate new export opportunities for their high-quality livestock thanks to two investments of nearly $1 million from the Government of Canada.

"The beef cattle industry is an important economic driver that creates jobs and keeps the Canadian agriculture sector competitive and profitable," said Minister Ambrose. "Having Canadian cattle producers showcase their top-quality products here at Farmfair International will help them reach new markets and boost export sales."

An investment of up to $717 500 will allow the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) to develop biosecurity, animal care and environmental stewardship modules, and integrate them into the existing on-farm food safety program, Verified Beef Production™ (VBP). This integrated system will offer beef producers an all-in-one on-farm program.

"Canadian beef producers are good at raising cattle and their use of credible production practices reflect that care," said Canadian Cattlemen's General Manager Rob McNabb. "Adding important elements like animal care and environmental stewardship to our industry-led on-farm program provides our sector with the ability to further manage these areas and provide choice for consumers."

The new integrated VBP assurance system will cut costs for farmers and leave more money in their pockets as they will be subjected to only one on-farm food safety audit covering all four modules, instead of four separate audits. The VBP logo will also let consumers know that their beef products not only meet the highest standards of food safety, but also of biosecurity, animal welfare and environmental care.

The Government of Canada is also investing $200 000 to help Northlands enhance Farmfair International's brand presence and attract new buyers from around the world to one of Canada's top agricultural shows. Northlands will also establish the International AgBusiness Centre, a facility where Canadian exporters can establish trade relationships with prospective buyers.

"As one of Canada's oldest and most established agriculture societies, Northlands is committed to agriculture, not just in Alberta but on the international scale," said Richard L. Andersen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Northlands. "Farmfair International is a destination for buyers from around the world. This support helps Northlands provide resources to create an environment where advancement in the industry can thrive."

For 40 years, Northlands has hosted Farmfair International, one of Canada's top agricultural shows, where more than 90 000 guests come annually to view, show, and sell top quality livestock. This year, Farmfair International is proud to welcome more than 60 international buyers from the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Australia, and Colombia, in addition to local ranchers.

Today's investment follows Prime Minister Stephen Harper's announcement last month that Canada and the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement in principle on a comprehensive trade agreement that will significantly boost trade and investment ties between the two partners, and create jobs and opportunities for Canadians. Under the new agreement, Canadian beef producers will enjoy yearly duty-free access of up to 50 000 tonnes of beef-worth $600 million a year in new sales.

The AgriMarketing Program is a five-year, $341-million initiative under Growing Forward 2. The Assurance Systems stream supports industry-led projects in developing national assurance systems or standards, such as food safety systems, animal and plant health surveillance systems, market attribute/quality standards and traceability systems, and their related tools. The Market Development stream seeks to build and promote Canada's ability to expand domestic and export markets by undertaking promotional activities to help position and differentiate Canadian products and producers, and ensure industry's ability to meet market requirements.

The new Growing Forward 2 policy framework, which came into effect on April 1, 2013, will continue to drive innovation and long-term growth in Canada. In addition to a generous suite of business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.

For more information on the Growing Forward 2 agreement and the AgriMarketing Program, please visit

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    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
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    Jeff English
    Press Secretary
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz