Volume 8 Issue 8 • January 14th, 2013

In This Issue ...


New approvals should lead to expanded access opportunities for Canadian beef

China has approved four additional Canadian processing facilities to export Canadian beef to China. This brings the total number of approved facilities to seven and should lead to expanded access opportunities for Canadian beef.
The newly approved facilities include Les Viandes Laroche Inc (Asbestos, QC), Ryding Regency Meat Packers Ltd. (Toronto, ON), St. Helen's Meat Packers Limited (Toronto, ON), and Canadian Premium Meats Inc. (Lacombe, AB).
The approved facilities are all smaller establishments, but each has indicated an interest in serving the Chinese market.  These facilities may have the flexibility to meet the Chinese requirement that beef be produced from cattle that have not been fed beta-agonist growth promoters such as ractopamine.
Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) President Martin Unrau said with the successful approval of the additional facilities now achieved by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Market Access Secretariat, CCA's priority for China will shift to further expand access to include bone-in under-thirty-month (UTM) beef.
"Canada has shipped enough high quality beef to China that meets their current specifications and we can do the same with bone-in UTM beef," Unrau said. "Canadian producers are eager to tap this market, although volumes will likely continue to be impacted by the barrier around ractopamine despite the establishment of an internationally agreed maximum residue level by CODEX."

Click here to see the CCA's release


JBS acquires select Canadian assets of XL Foods Inc.

JBS Food Canada Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of JBS USA, is set to assume ownership of select Canadian assets of XL Foods Inc. today, marking the official entry of global protein giant JBS S.A. into Canada.

The XL processing facility in Brooks, AB, which JBS USA managed for the past three months, is included among the Canadian assets that it takes over. JBS assumed management of the facility in October 2012 under an agreement with the owners of XL following an E.coli event that forced the temporary closure of the plant. The Brooks, AB facility supplies nearly 40 per cent of slaughter capacity in Canada and is an important fixture in the Canadian beef cattle industry.

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) is pleased with the steady progress JBS has made since operations resumed at the facility. CCA President Martin Unrau said the new ownership will ensure feeders and producers will have another Canadian located buyer for their cattle, while providing consumers with a steady supply of safe, high quality Canadian beef.

JBS also takes ownership of a beef packing plant in Calgary, AB a feedlot in Brooks, AB and the adjacent farmland acreage. In December, JBS announced William Van Solkema as president of JBS Food Canada.

As part of the agreement with XL, JBS has an exclusive option to purchase the U.S. operations of XL Foods. The company said it is currently awaiting regulatory review from the appropriate U.S. authorities before exercising this option.


Draft beef code opens to public comment

The public comment period for the draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle opened last week. Producer input will play an important role in this process and the CCA is encouraging a high level of participation from Canada's 83,000 beef cattle producers. The draft code can be viewed online at nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/beef-cattle until March 8, 2013. Comments must be submitted through the online system at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NFACCbeefcode.

The draft code as it appears today is more than three years in the making. It is being updated through the National Farm Animal Care Council's (NFACC) code development process in partnership with the CCA. Ryder Lee, CCA Manager of Federal and Provincial Relations, said a peer-reviewed scientists' committee report summarizing research on priority welfare topics for beef cattle aided the discussions of the code development committee as they prepared the draft Code of Practice. This report can be found alongside the draft code.

Lee noted a lot of effort has gone into updating the code since the process launched in the fall of 2010. Now is the time for producers, consumers and other interested stakeholders to have their say to ensure that this code reflects a common understanding of beef cattle care expectations and science-based recommended practices in Canada, he said. "This public comment period really allows us to check our work with an even more representative group," Lee said.

The updating process involves a code development committee and a scientists' committee. The code development committee leads the code revision process. Committee members include producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, transporters, processors, veterinarians and government representatives. The work of the scientists' committee informs the work of the code development committee.

The code will be an important tool for communicating how beef cattle are raised in Canada. The final Beef Cattle Code of Practice will be released in mid-2013. More information on the code development process is available at nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice.

Funding for the Codes of Practice is provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Agricultural Flexibility Fund, under the Addressing Domestic and International Market Expectations Relative to Farm Animal Welfare initiative, as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan.


Deadline to apply for CYL 2013/2014 program looms

Canfax Market Briefs

The Cattlemen's Young Leaders (CYL) program is accepting applications for the 2013/2014 year until January 25. A national youth initiative of the CCA, the CYL Program provides industry-specific training and mentorship opportunities to beef enthusiasts 18-35 years of age. CYL participants have the opportunity to explore a potential career choice or involvement with a provincial/national producer organization, while gaining the expertise and business acumen necessary to sustain the cattle industry into the future.

In March 2013, a new group of CYL candidates will be selected from across Canada to participate in the CYL program. These finalists will be paired with industry leaders to begin their mentorship.  Each finalist is given a $2,000 budget (funding is provided by the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) and industry supporters such as CYL Foundation Partners Cargill and UFA) to spend on expenses generated by attending various industry events such as the CCA Semi-Annual Meeting and International Livestock Congress as well as meeting with their mentor. CYL also presents its participants with the opportunity to travel internationally to network with leaders and peers in other nations. CYL has sent delegates to events such as the International Livestock Congress-USA, Canada-US Roundtable discussions, National Cattlemen's Beef Association Annual Meeting, and Five Nations Beef Alliance Young Ranchers Program.

Applications and additional information on the program are available on the CYL website at http://www.cattlemensyoungleaders.com/.


Explaining growth promotants used in feedlot cattle

Feed efficiency in cattle can make or break profitability in the feeding sector, and reduce environmental implications.  The costs of buying a calf and the feed needed to finish it are the two largest variable expenses facing the beef cattle feeding sector. Feed costs are higher than ever because of poor growing conditions in major grain producing countries, because of the use of feed grains in ethanol production, and because of increasing competition of land for crop production versus urban development.

Growth promotants are among the many sophisticated tools used by feedlots and other producers to raise more beef, more rapidly, using less feed, while maintaining high standards of animal health, carcass quality and food safety.  Growth promotants include ionophores, growth implants, and beta-agonists. A number of products within each category are approved for use by Health Canada's Veterinary Drug Directorate. Read more…


CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: Ryder Lee, Jill Harvie, Jolene Noble, Reynold Bergen
Written, edited and compiled by: Gina Teel and Matthew French

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

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