Volume 6 Issue 12 • April 9, 2012

In This Issue ...


CCA puts Asia mission to good use

Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) Past President Travis Toews and Executive Vice President Dennis Laycraft were among the agriculture industry representatives invited by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz to participate in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's latest trade mission to Asia. The CCA was involved in several important trade discussions during the mission and promoted the benefits of a Japan-Canada Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to the Canadian beef and cattle industry.

Canfax Market BriefsAs announced by Prime Minister Harper in Tokyo, Canada and Japan have agreed to initiate negotiations towards a general Japan-Canada EPA. The CCA strongly encourages a Japan-Canada EPA which provides full tariff free access for Canadian beef. A successful agreement with Japan could increase the value of Canada beef exports to over $275 million annually and more importantly will increase the value of every animal we produce.

Following the Japan-Canada EPA announcement, the CCA was included in the Prime Minister's business roundtable in Tokyo along with Ministers Ritz and Ed Fast of International Trade. Senior executives from some of the largest Japanese companies took part in the roundtable. Toews highlighted the opportunities an ambitious EPA with Japan would provide the Canadian beef and cattle industry, as well as Japanese consumers. He further told the Prime Minister's roundtable about the importance of gaining under-30-month (UTM) access for Canadian beef into Japan. That message was later repeated at a meeting with Japanese food importers, who expressed their optimism for the opportunity to soon access UTM Canadian beef and hopefully on a duty free basis under an ambitious EPA.

During the mission, Minister Ritz met with his counterpart and expressed his encouragement for the process that the Japanese Government has initiated to review its domestic and import bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) regulations. It is hoped that this process will increase the age limit for imported Canadian beef to UTM from the current limit of under 21 months and be completed in the fall of 2012.

In Korea, the CCA met with importers of Canadian beef during meetings hosted by Minister Ritz. Canada Beef Inc. (CBI) representative Amos Kim also attended. CBI will play a significant role in positioning Canadian beef in the Korean market. We were pleased to learn that Canadian beef will be positioned as a premium product in Korea. With Canadian beef flowing to South Korea, the CCA believes it is a high priority for the Government of Canada to complete the negotiations to establish a Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Minister Ritz led discussions regarding the importance of a Canada-Korea FTA with a group of Korean food importers at the Canadian embassy in Seoul. The CCA also participated in a reception in the Embassy hosted by Minister Ritz and Minister Fast featuring Canadian food products.

The CCA will continue to work in cooperation with the Government of Canada in these important market access areas.


Meet the CCA's new Vice President

As we told you in the March 12 edition of Action News, Martin Unrau and Dave Solverson were acclaimed to their new positions of President and Vice President, respectively, of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) at the CCA Annual General Meeting in Ottawa. We shared Unrau's priorities with you at that time. In this issue we'd like to introduce the CCA's new Vice President.

Solverson has sat on both the CCA and Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) Board of Directors since 2007. He has served as chair of the CCA Animal Care committee and looks forward to chairing the CCA Foreign Trade Committee this year.

Solverson said the work the CCA does is very necessary for Canada's beef cattle industry and very valuable for trade. He looks forward to continuing his work with the CCA on behalf of Canada's 83,000 cattle producers. Click here to learn more about Solverson.


Beef Consumption up in 2011?

Canadian Retail Beef Demand IndexStatistics Canada threw a curve ball on April 2 when per capita consumption for beef was released and showed an increase of 2.5 per cent at 20.7 kgs/capita. Supplies were down 3.7 per cent with lower production (-7.8%) not being offset by higher beef imports, which were up 19.5 per cent. Beef available for domestic consumption was ultimately supported by a decline in beef exports, which were down 17.6 per cent, leaving beef available for domestic consumption up 3.3 per cent. It is expected that the annual production will be revised next year, as the final slaughter numbers were released by the Canadian Beef Grading Agency on April 3. Final slaughter numbers put domestic production down 10 per cent. A revision to the domestic production number to match the current 2011 slaughter data would completely remove the increase in consumption and actually put per capita consumption down 1.4 per cent.

Not only was consumption higher, but retail beef prices were 2.5 per cent higher in 2011 consequently the beef demand index increased by 4.9 points. The demand index measures consumers' willingness to pay. With higher prices you would expect smaller consumption. Even using a 1.4 per cent decrease in per capita consumption beef demand was up 1.2 points in 2011, as consumers did not decrease their consumption as much as the increase in retail prices implied. Higher demand shows a remarkably resilient consumer in Canada and strong support for beef on the centre of the plate.

Compared to other proteins

Meat Market Share by ValuePork consumption was down 3.9 per cent at 15.8 kgs/capita, while poultry consumption was down 0.2 per cent at 31.2 kgs/capita. Overall, total protein consumption was down 0.4 per cent from 2010 and is now 7.8 per cent below 2007 levels. Slightly larger beef supplies meant beef captured market share in 2011. Beef's portion of the protein market in 2011 was 34.3 per cent up 0.8 per cent from 2010, while pork lost 1 per cent and poultry gained 0.1 per cent.

While chicken surpassed beef in volume back in 2001, beef continues to lead in value with consumers willing to pay more for beef. Beef holds the largest market share in terms of consumer expenditures at 43 per cent compared to poultry at 34 per cent and pork at 23 per cent.


CCA Town Hall Meeting set for Ontario

The CCA's third Town Hall meeting will take place in Chelsey, Ontario on July 18, 2012. Hosted in partnership with the Ontario Cattlemen's Association (OCA), the event will be held at the Chesley Community Centre in conjunction with the Bruce County Cattlemen's Association Annual barbecue and the OCA Summer Advisory Councillor Meeting.

OCA President and CCA director Dan Darling said that CCA Town Halls offer a lot of value for producers.
"Not all discussions and exchanges of value to our province's beef industry take place in boardrooms and trade show settings or in the capital cities," he said.

Darling added it's of great benefit to combine the CCA Town Hall with the Bruce County barbecue and the OCA advisory councillor meeting

"Town hall meetings allow Ontario beef farmers to connect with each other and with their provincial and national organizations," he said. "When an opportunity arises to have our national leadership attend local, grassroots events in our province, we wholeheartedly welcome them and encourage our membership to come out, to learn first-hand about the Canadian Cattlemen's efforts on their behalf, and to help shape the future direction of this industry."

CCA town hall meetings provide an excellent opportunity for producers to connect with CCA executives and managers, get the latest industry news and stay up-to-date on the many activities and initiatives CCA is involved in on behalf of Canada's 83,000 beef cattle producers.

The CCA Town Hall event will take place at 2:00 p.m. ET at the Chesley Community Centre located at 129 4th Avenue S.E, Chesley, ON. The Bruce County Cattlemen's Association Annual barbecue will follow at 5:00 p.m.

There is no fee to attend the CCA Town Hall meeting but space is limited so we do ask interested producers to please RSVP at www.cattle.ca/townhall or call Matt French at 403-275-8558. Sponsorship from Farm Credit Canada enables the CCA to hold town hall events through to 2014.


Calling all golfers

Now that spring has sprung, it is time to look ahead to the golf tournament held in August during the CCA semi-annual meeting in Calgary. The CCA has joined forces with the Canadian Beef Breeds Council and Canada Beef Inc. to present a single golf tournament spectacular: The Canadian Cattle Industry AAA Golf Tournament: the Prime golf tournament event of the Canadian beef and cattle industry.

The decision to hold a single golf tournament was made in the spirit of collaboration and reflects the positive working relationships between the industry organizations. The enthusiasm for the joint effort emulates the larger industry optimism spurred by a buoyant industry outlook. The Canadian Cattle Industry AAA Golf Tournament offers a great day of golf and relationship building opportunities with the beef cattle industry's key movers and shakers.

The Canadian Cattle Industry AAA Golf Tournament will be held at the HeatherGlen golf course on August 16. Watch Action News for further details on the opening date for registration. The tournament will be capped at 125 players.


Effects of feeding ethanol byproducts on manure nutrient levels

Grain contains a lot of starch, with lesser amounts of fibre, protein, fat and minerals. When corn, wheat or other grains are used to produce biofuels, the starch is converted into ethanol. The fibre, protein, fat and minerals in the grain are not, and become more concentrated in the dried distillers' grains with solubles (DDGS) by-product. The levels of fibre, protein, fat and mineral in DDGS are nearly three times more concentrated than in the original grain. These are valuable nutrients for beef cattle, but there are concerns that the higher protein and mineral levels may increase nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) excretion in the urine and manure. Because some provincial nutrient management regulations are based on N and P, incorporating DDGS into feedlot rations may impact the land base required for spreading manure. A pair of recently completed BCRC research studies conducted by the University of Saskatchewan and AAFC's Lethbridge Research Station examined how replacing grain and silage with DDGS in feedlot diets affected nitrogen and phosphorus levels in beef manure. Click here to learn more.

CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: Brenna Grant, Travis Toews, John Masswohl, Reynold Bergen
Written, edited and compiled by: Gina Teel and Matthew French

To sign up for CCA's “Action News:”
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CCA Communications at feedback@cattle.ca or visit our website at www.cattle.ca

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association is the national voice for nearly 83,000 Canadian beef cattle producers.

Head office:
Ste. 310, 6715 8th Street NE, Calgary, AB   T2E 7H7
Phone: 403.275.8558   Fax: 403.274.5686

Ottawa office:
1207, 350 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON   K1R 7S8
Phone: 613.233.9375   Fax: 613.233.2860