Welcome to CBBC Insights Newsletter!
February, 2016 

Message from the President:

Welcome to the February edition of the CBBC Insights Newsletter! 


We know that you are all busy with calving and planning for the coming year.  As you review your calendar for the upcoming months, be sure to mark March 23 which is the date for this year's Annual General Meeting.   We encourage everyone to join us at the Best Western Port O'Call for a full day of presentations and updates as to what CBBC has been pursuing on your behalf.


Respectfully submitted, David Bolduc

Report from the Analyst, Scientific and Industry Advancement

Mid-January saw us in Ottawa to present to the Beef Value Chain Round Table (BVCRT) an idea for a concentrated effort to improve information flow and genetic improvement efforts in Canada. Our presentation, delivered by Dr. Jay Cross, stemmed from the feasibility study for a Canadian Beef Improvement Network (CBIN) that was funded by ALMA and was prepared by Dr. Brian Wickham. That report can be found here

 Briefly, this report explored the concept of a CBIN to provide the analysis and information tools required to deliver optimal contributions from genetic improvement to the Canadian beef industry in a consolidated and efficient manner. It concludes that CBIN is both needed and feasible. A series of steps to establish CBIN are set out in the report. After presentation of the report and future plans to the BVCRT, an engaging question and discussion period followed. Subsequently, a motion for an action item was put forward to the chair by Michael Latimer which was ultimately outlined as "The BVCRT supports the further development of the Canadian Beef Improvement Network business plan and the establishment of an industry-wide steering committee, and that progress be reported back to the roundtable. Those Interested in participating in the steering committee are asked to put their names forward." The working group thanks the BVCRT and its members for the support and confidence shown in the initiative and we look forward to the project gaining momentum and seeing it to fruition.
As most of you know, Genome Alberta is a not-for-profit corporation funded in part by Alberta Economic Development and Trade. They initiate, fund, and manage genomics research and partnerships, and work to encourage the development of a Life Sciences research industry in Alberta and so have been heavily involved in genetics and genomics projects in the last decade. During the last month I was one of 2 researchers invited by Genome Alberta's Board Chair Andrew Stephens, President & CEO Dr. David Bailey, and Alberta Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier to speak to an audience of MLAs, funders, researchers and fellow industry associates on the importance of continuous research, development and deployment of genetic improvement strategies and tools. My address, I think, was well received as I engaged in very stimulating dialogue with audience members during the remainder of the evening and the importance of agriculture's place in the provincial and federal economy was supremely evident.

Respectfully submitted by Dr. John Crowley

What's New


CCA Industry Update

VBP+ to provide assurances of sustainable beef production at the farm level                                                                              
February 16, 2016
Calgary, AB - Beef producers understand and have confidence in the on-farm practices and production systems they use to raise high quality Canadian beef in a sustainable manner. Beef customers and consumers have become less familiar with where food comes from but are demanding confirmation that cattle are raised in a humane, safe and environmentally friendly manner. Canada's beef cattle industry will provide the practical means to confirm sustainable production and instill confidence in customers and consumers through the new Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, an expansion of Canada's recognized on-farm food safety program.
The new VBP+ program will provide that confirmation by using third party audits of outcomes-based sustainable production practices at the farm, ranch and feedlot. By adding modules for biosecurity, animal care and environmental stewardship to the existing on-farm food safety component, VBP+ will be the only program in the Canadian beef cattle industry to provide verification of all the aspects of sustainable beef production at the farm level.
Producers participating in VBP+ will continue to enhance the Canadian Beef Advantage, demonstrating that Canadian beef products are high quality and safe, and are produced in systems that prioritize animal welfare and the environment, attributes that consumers are increasingly demanding.
VBP+'s advantage is the development of a nationally standardized system for enrollment, training, and auditing the modules in on-farm food safety, biosecurity, animal care, and environmental stewardship. These auditable production indicators will be outcomes-based and, as such, producers will continue to control how they implement the practices on their own operations. This full spectrum approach to beef production enables VBP+ to address areas of animal health management (biosecurity), responsible use of animal health products and livestock handling (animal care) and biodiversity and managing the environment for the future (environmental stewardship) that are important to both producers and the public.
In addition to capturing the significant cumulative strengths of the Verified Beef Production™ (VBP) program, VBP+ is being developed to align with the sustainability indicator work of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which the McDonald's Verified Sustainable Beef pilot project is also informing. VBP+ is designed to connect with the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) to capture the opportunity to identify cattle coming from a VBP+ operation throughout their lifetime.
VBP+ is a producer-led, forward-looking program that continues the commitment of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA), on behalf of its members, to enable industry to anticipate and meet emerging and growing demands for all beef production systems throughout the Canadian beef value chain. Once launched, VBP+ will provide the transparency required to make sustainable beef production meaningful to consumers and this will lead to higher demand for Canadian beef in both domestic and international markets.
VBP+ is the next evolution of the VBP program. The Canadian beef industry's HACCP based program, VBP was developed by beef producers in 2004 to provide consumers with assurances of proper on-farm practices. The VBP initiative itself grew from the Quality Starts Here program, an educational initiative started by the CCA and the genesis of the CCA policy on prudent drug use developed in 1994.

Make the connection and join industry stakeholders to learn, socialize and network at the inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference August 9-11, 2016, Grey Eagle Resort and Casino, Calgary, Alberta.
All beef industry stakeholders share a common goal of taking steps to enhance the productivity, profitability and competitiveness of the various sectors within the industry. Supporting the National Beef Strategy, the conference provides a forum for industry engagement and learning opportunities across the beef supply chain.  
We invite you to share this announcement with your members, Board of Directors and colleages.

Should you wish to participate as a volunteer please contact Doris Rempel @drempel@beefbreeds.ca. 


3 ways to add value to the ag industry

Adding value, whether to an individual operation or an entire industry, is a hot topic.
Recent presentations at the CAES annual Ag Policy conference and a Choices article highlight the new opportunities to add value in agriculture Commentators point out that, traditionally, adding value was simply seen as processing raw commodities. But now, there are so many more options.
Canadian and U.S. agriculture industries are working hard to define the new value-add opportunities to help:
  • Individual producers and industries connect with consumers
  • Lenders evaluate business plans
  • Policy makers develop relevant policy and 
  • Researchers push innovation

How you can add value to the ag industry
In a changing landscape that's shaped by consumer preferences and their influence over the supply chain, adding value isn't any easier now than it was in the past. But there are more ways to do it.
  1. 1.       Transforming an agricultural product's form, time and space characteristics (this includes the traditional definition)
Recent examples of this include canola, pulses and wheat: These Canadian successes allow for the marketing of canola as a healthy alternative; the development of flours from pulses offering higher protein and fibre content; marketing of wheat as an input to make traditional foods around the world, and helping grow its consumption in emerging markets.
  1. 2.       Vertical integration into a supply chain, or coordination among farmers, to bypass steps in the supply chain to better connect with consumers
Example: The ProAction Initiative, headed by the Dairy Farmers of Canada is a prime example of a response aimed to exceed regulatory requirements. Gaining consumer trust about the quality of dairy products and the traceability of the entire Canadian dairy herd is one way for the sector to succeed in this changing landscape. The newly developed Canadian Dairy Network's website, CDN.ca allows anyone access to evaluations of every Canadian dairy cow.
  1. 3.       Altering activity or production practices at the growing stage to produce foods consumers value at a premium
The labeling and segregation of organic products and the identification of a product's origin as a value-add differentiator are just two examples.
Is the time right to think about value-add activities?
If you haven't already started thinking about value-add activities, now is the time!
Canada's population is changing. We're getting older and more ethnically diverse with a greater range of demands for healthy/local/humanely produced/environmentally sustainable food. We're also getting choosy about who gets our food dollars and why. Global consumers are also changing as new markets emerge.
A good business plan identifies unique ways to respond to consumer demands, so you can enhance competitiveness and build a customer base. It's a great way to keep current and competitive in this changing market.

Reprinted by permission from Farm Credit Canada .  




Upcoming Canadian  Events
Upcoming  International Events  
  • CCA AGM - Ottawa, ON   March 10-12, 2016
  • CBBC AGM , Calgary, AB
    March 23, 2016
  • Canadian Beef Industry Conference, Calgary, AB  August 9-11, 2016

  • Sydney Easter Show-Sydney,AU    March 17-30, 2016  
  • World Hereford Conference, Montivideo April 18-25, 2016
  • Beef Improvement Federation Conference Manhattan, KS 
    June 14-16, 2016
Contact Information.   Please note new email addresses!!!


Michael Latimer, Executive Director  Email:  mlatimer@beefbreeds.ca



Dr. John Crowley, Analyst, Scientific and Industry Advancement

Email:  jcrowley@beefbreeds.ca



Doris Rempel, Executive Assistant  Email:  drempel@beefbreeds.ca



Canadian Beef Breeds Council   
165, 6815 8 Street NE,
Calgary, Alberta  T2E 7H7

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