Building the Ontario Beef Brand
According to BLOCKtalk Magazine, “2017 will mark an exciting year for the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) as the organization makes a significant shift in the role they play in the development and implementation of regional marketing initiatives throughout Ontario”. BLOCKtalk discusses the strong demand for Ontario beef in the consumer market and how we must bridge the gap between farmers, processors and urban customers when paying for local beef products.
Click here to learn more about the BFO and how they are reaching out to their consumers.
Maple Leaf planning to reduce environmental footprint 50 per cent by 2025
Maple Leaf Foods is looking to institute considerable changes to its environmental impact and treatment of animals over the next 10 years.
The Toronto-based food processing company has launched a new sustainability strategy that aims to refocus the company’s priorities on advancing customer health, becoming a leader in animal care and reduce the company’s environmental footprint by 50 per cent by focusing on emissions and water usage while trimming waste.
“The enormous challenge our world faces is the urgent need to sustainably feed an estimated two billion more people by 2050,” Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, said. “We are setting high standards for ourselves in areas where Maple Leaf can have the greatest impact, including animal care, nutrition, environmental impact and food security. Sustainability is a profound opportunity to create shared value by addressing critical issues that also deliver commercial opportunities.”
Read the full article here.
New agreement with U.S. is good news for cattle producers
A new agreement with the U.S. means Canadian cattle producers have better access to bovine genetics.
For Canadian cattle producers it means in-vitro fertilized (IVF) bovine embryos can enter Canada from the U.S., opening up new herd development opportunities. Previously only IVF bovine embryos produced within Canada were accessible to producers.
The CFIA explains that Canada and the U.S. have a strong bilateral trading relationship in bovine genetics, working together to increase North American bovine genetics competitiveness. To build on these important trade ties, this certificate represents the first agreement Canada has developed with another country to permit the sale of IVF bovine embryos within our market.
The science-based agreement negotiated by the CFIA and the U.S. supports trade while maintaining Canada’s strict animal health requirements.
Read the full article here.
Canada to be first to supply McDonald’s with sustainable beef
McDonald’s announced in January it would begin sourcing only verifiable sustainable beef in 2016, and the multinational company is now in talks with Canadian beef producers about them being the first to be certified to provide it. Alberta is to play a crucial role in the pilot supply project. The province is the heart of Canada’s beef industry, home to about 40 per cent of the national cattle herd and about 80 per cent of the country’s beef processing. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Alberta Beef Producers and other industry players have been meeting McDonald’s Canada officials to discuss how a sustainable supply chain can be put in place.
Fawn Jackson, manager of environment and sustainability for the CCA, said Canada’s animal welfare standards made it a “natural fit” for a pilot project.
“We really are global leaders in this area.”
Canada’s new Verified Beef Production program upholds food safety standards during processing, she said, and checks on other areas including animal care and biodiversity were being added to it.
“We’ve got all the building blocks right here,” said Bryan Walton, chief executive of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association. “We’re a beef nation. We have the land base, we have the know-how, we have the infrastructure.”
Pine Lake cow-calf producer and CCA director Doug Sawyer said work defining what sustainable actually means and how it would be verified would likely focus on combining the checks and balances the industry already has in place.
“We’re just in the process of putting all of our pieces together that we already have and we’ll try to identify any gaps that are there,” he said.
That would come in the form of the Beef Information Exchange System – known as BIXS – which would provide a single source for all the information about a cattle beast needed to prove sustainable beef production.
“It can be difficult to exchange information from one side of the program to the other and so (BIXS) enables that,” Jackson said.