• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Beef industry fund to develop markets

Help Support Ranchers.net:


Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
Reaction score
nw manitoba
Beef industry fund to develop markets
this document web posted: Wednesday March 16, 2005 20050317p99

By Barbara Duckworth
Calgary bureau

The federal government has made a $50 million contribution to the Legacy Fund, which is a beef industry initiative to ensure long-term funding for market development and processing of Canadian beef.

This money will be pooled with a $37 million contribution to the fund made by Alberta on March 7.

The announcement of new money came at a meeting of the Beef Industry Value Chain Round Table in Calgary, an industry-government steering group that meets regularly to plot strategy as the BSE situation continues.

Over the next two weeks, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association will develop recommendations to expand the beef market.

"We'll look for the best opportunity to maximize market opportunity," said CCA executive vice-president Dennis Laycraft. "We'll do what it takes to survive."

In the coming weeks the beef industry will determine the markets where the money might be most effectively targeted.

Some could be earmarked for the ongoing work of the Canada Beef Export Federation, whose teams continue to work to restore trade in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

A key advantage for Canada is its ability to track individual animals and having an improved age verification program using birthdates attached to identification tags worn by cattle. The Japanese want beef from animals younger than 20 months because they appear to be at least risk of carrying BSE.

"It's a matter of people having confidence in our records," said Hugh Lynch-Staunton, CCA vice-president.

Other provinces are expected to supplement this fund to find more markets beyond the United States. Saskatchewan has not made a commitment of cash while Manitoba announced $3 million on March 7 to accelerate building federally inspected slaughter plants in the province.

The Ontario Cattlemen's Association is meeting with its provincial government soon to discuss needs, including approval of an increase to the provincial checkoff to $3 per head sold from $2.25.

"We're preparing for the worst," said president Ian McKillop, a cow-calf producer from Dutton, Ont.

"Ontario wants to move ahead on a made-in-Canada solution. We can't focus on the U.S. border."

Besides this injection of cash, Dutton said more aid is needed to help producers suffering cash flow problems.

"A long-term strategy is not much good without short-term aid."

Until now the CCA and other groups have claimed the North American industry is integrated, with similar standards in Canada and the U.S., so trade should flow freely.

"The U.S. was attractive and close by. Every decision we made was made on the basis of an integrated North American market," said Dutton.

That attitude has shifted and the CCA is developing contingency plans in case the U.S. stops the flow of boxed beef from younger Canadian cattle.

R-CALF, a group of American cattle producers, has indicated in court briefs it wants all trade stopped until further investigation verifies the BSE risk from Canadian cattle and beef.

R-CALF won an injunction from a Montana judge that prevented the border opening to live animals on March 7, and those most affected continue to wait to see how this will be handled legally.

An additional component of the CCA strategy is expanding slaughter capacity. Canadian slaughter increased 24 percent in 2004 and capacity is expected to increase a further 19 percent by the end of 2007.

"We don't want to go back to dependence on the U.S. It has driven home time and again the need for the industry to accelerate and expand processing capacity," said Laycraft.

Latest posts