Volume 8 Issue 4 • November 19th, 2012

In This Issue ...


Canfax Cattle Market Forum a success

More than 200 people attended the first annual Canfax Cattle Market Forum held in Calgary last week. The event brought together an expert line-up of speakers to provide updates and outlooks on current key market drivers affecting the Canadian cattle market. Topics covered included global views of trade, input costs, currency markets, North American cattle market projections and beef and competing meat trends.

Canfax manager and senior analyst Brian Perillat said participants were treated to high level and thought provoking discussions about the factors influencing Canada's beef cattle production and markets as well as the global beef trade. "The intent of the Canfax Cattle Market Forum was to bring the value of the information Canfax provides together with global industry perspectives on the cattle and beef industry," he said. "Based on the feedback we've received from attendees so far, it seems we hit the mark and we look forward to hosting the second Canfax Market Forum next year."

Canfax is the market analysis division of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA).


The Canadian Beef Grading Agency readies for Bill S-11 changes

Bill S-11 or the Safe Food for Canadians Act has received a lot of attention lately, primarily for its proposal to align inspection and enforcement powers across all food commodities. One aspect of the new act that hasn't received as much media attention is the impact on Canada's carcass grading standards and regulations.

Introduced in June by the Government of Canada, and most recently presented to the House on November 7, 2012, the Safe Food for Canadians Act will modernize food safety legislation in Canada. Should the new act receive Royal Assent and be made law it will replace the Canada Agricultural Products Act (CAPA) as well as the Meat Inspection Act. This has implications for the Canadian Beef Grading Agency (CBGA), which falls under the CAPA. In preparation for this the CBGA has prepared a discussion document on the Options for Livestock Carcass Grading Standards and Regulations. The CBGA has presented four different options to address the new regulatory framework.

One of the options calls for a hybrid approach whereby the grading standards would be separated from the regulations and maintained by industry. This approach would allow the industry standards document to be changed as needed without needing to amend the grading regulations. Of course this new regulatory framework would need to be further assessed by the CFIA and explained to trading and industry partners before proceeding. This option was endorsed by the CBGA Board and recently by the Beef Value Chain Roundtable.

The discussion document noted that having the grade standards developed and maintained by industry rather than Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) would streamline the regulatory process allowing industry to update the document as necessary without needing to amend the regulations. At the same time, retaining the regulations under the new Act would preserve the existing regulatory authority recognized by the industry's trading partners. Other Canadian industries such as the Canadian Grain Commission and the lumber sector currently use this model.

There should be no trade implications tied to the hybrid approach recommended by the CBGA but as noted in the discussion document it's critical that the new standard development process be perceived as credible as the existing standard maintained by AAFC. The proposal would also include a recommendation that the CBGA be referenced within the grading regulations, thus increasing credibility and authority of the CBGA. The reference would necessitate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the CBGA and CFIA, clearly delineating roles and responsibilities. Those wanting to read the discussion document can view all the recommendations on the CBGA website.


Calculating the full economic impact of Canada's cattle industry

Canfax Market Briefs

Cattle production in Canada is big business however quantifying the economic impact of the industry as a whole using the current tools of measurement is a challenge. Using Farm Cash Receipts (FCR) alone simply doesn't provide a complete picture of the cattle and beef industry's broader contribution to the Canada's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For that to occur the economic impact of related sector activities including cattle feeding, slaughtering and processing must also be considered. Equally essential to such calculation is a relevant overarching multiplier, yet the multiplier in use today was developed 20 years ago and does not reflect the evolution or growth of the industry since.

A lot has changed since 1992, hence the recent study, "Economic Impacts of Livestock Production in Canada – A Regional Multiplier Analysis." Funded by the CCA, Alberta Beef Producers and Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association, the study aims to update the overarching multiplier to more accurately reflect the overall economic impact of the cattle and beef industry. The updated multiplier takes into account the industry's total economic impacts, including direct and secondary impacts from backward and forward linkages of farm-level cattle production and related economic activities. Also considered are four multipliers in the areas of production/sales, GDP, employment and income.

Using the updated methodology, the study finds that:

Knowing the beef cattle industry's true economic impact is important as it provides a more complete picture of what the agriculture sector contributes as a driver of the Canadian economy. Click here to read the summary or here to read the study in full.


New video series delivers valuable beef research information

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) recently launched a new online learning resource called Beef Research School, a series of approximately 30 short videos on the latest in Canadian beef cattle research.  The School will encourage producers to utilize research-supported knowledge and technologies related to animal health and welfare, feeds, food safety, beef quality, genetics and environmental stewardship. The series will also discuss the importance and value of research in the Canadian beef cattle industry, showcase a research centre and highlight extension resources available across the country.  Videos will feature industry experts including researchers and veterinarians, as well as progressive producers and feedlots that utilize research results.

The Beef Research School can be found online at www.BeefResearchSchool.com or through the BCRC's new extension website at www.BeefResearch.ca. The School is developed in partnership with www.RealAgriculture.com and is funded in part by the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency Ltd.


Career opportunity – Research Analyst, term position - Canfax Research Services

Canfax Research Services (CRS), a division of the CCA, is responsible for providing industry, the CCA and other organizations with accurate statistical information and economic analysis focusing on both the Canadian beef industry and the global beef market. Areas of focus include cattle inventories, beef production, international trade, feed grains, competing meats, and analysis around various other market trends and economic issues. CRS also offers consultation services for industry-based projects that require comprehensive and accurate economic analysis.

CRS is seeking a full-time entry-level Research Analyst, with a background in agriculture economics and the beef-cattle industry. This is a one-year term position that will provide a broad range of experience, with the potential for advancement to a permanent position. The successful candidate will report to the CRS Research Manager and be involved in data collection and analysis, as well as collaborating on both ongoing contracts and specialized research projects. Click here to download a PDF of the job description.


CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: Brenna Grant, Cindy Delaloye, Tracy Sakatch
Written, edited and compiled by: Gina Teel and Matthew French

To sign up for CCA's “Action News:”
Visit www.cattle.ca and click on “Sign-up for Action News.”

For more information, contact:

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.

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