Volume 10 Issue 6 • November 4th, 2013

In This Issue ...

 

CCA on hand as CETA technical summary tabled in House of Commons

Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) representatives were in Ottawa last week at the invitation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to view the tabling in the House of Commons of a technical summary of the final negotiated outcomes the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The tabled document can be found at http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/sites/default/files/pdfs/ceta-technicalsummary.pdf

CCA President Martin Unrau and Executive Vice President Dennis Laycraft also attended a reception hosted by International Trade Minister Ed Fast in honour of the CETA deal reached last month. As the CETA deal will provide significant new duty-free access for Canadian beef valued over $600 million, it was only fitting that Canadian beef be featured prominently at the reception.

Unrau said it was an honour to be present as the summary of the CETA outcomes was tabled in the House of Commons. The CCA has been working on the CETA from the outset of negotiations in 2009 and Unrau has been very involved in the file during his term with the CCA.

"This agreement is the outstanding result of the tremendous efforts of industry and government. I am extremely pleased with the role the CCA played in attaining this significant achievement for Canada's beef industry," Unrau said.

Once implemented, the CETA will provide new duty-free access for 64,950 tonnes of Canadian beef. Of this, 35,000 tonnes of fresh/chilled beef and 15,000 tonnes of frozen beef are reserved for Canada. In addition, Canada will see the 20 per cent duty on the existing 14,950 tonne Hilton quota shared with the U.S. reduced immediately to zero. Canada will also continue to have access to the existing shared duty free quota for high quality grain-fed beef. Additionally, all live cattle, genetics and most beef offals and processed beef products will benefit from immediate unlimited duty free access.

Annual beef consumption in the EU is approximately 8 million tonnes. Achieving meaningful market access to this high value market will improve the Canadian cattle industry's competitiveness and significantly boost the value of exports for Canadian beef producers.

 

CCA advocacy update

CCA Director, Government and International Relations, John Masswohl was in Washington, D.C. with Five Nation's Beef Alliance (FNBA) partners last month to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

The purpose of the mission was to share with U.S. Administration and Congressional trade staff the fact that the FNBA has established a set of core principles for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The FNBA statement includes agreement that tariffs on all products should be fully eliminated without recourse to quotas or other safeguards and emphasizes the importance of addressing non-tariff barriers. Presenting a united FNBA position sends an important message to negotiators and legislators that the cattle producer groups in the various countries are prepared to support a specific TPP outcome and tends to help those negotiators to achieve that outcome.

Advocacy plays a crucial role in negotiations. Last week, advocacy efforts on U.S. mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) scored some solid base hits. On October 30, the opening day of the 2013 U.S. farm bill conference, several members of the House Senate conference called for COOL to be revised or repealed. In part, they pointed to the fact that the issue is being challenged at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and that Canada has already published a list of potential targets for retaliatory tariffs to be imposed on a wide range of U.S. goods.

The public announcement by Tyson Foods Inc. that COOL has forced it to stop purchasing Canadian cattle has also helped U.S. legislators understand how American jobs that depend on processing those cattle are jeopardized by COOL.

In June 2013, the Government of Canada released a list of U.S. commodities that could be targeted for retaliation in relation to the COOL dispute. The Government of Canada has said it could seek retaliatory compensation of approximately $1.1 billion following the completion of WTO proceedings. In September this year, the WTO granted the Government of Canada's request to establish a compliance panel. The panel is comprised of the same panelists whose finding that COOL discriminates against Canadian live cattle and hogs was affirmed by the WTO Appellate Body in 2012.

The WTO compliance panel will determine whether the U.S. Department of Agriculture's May 23 amendment to the COOL regulation complies with the U.S.'s WTO obligations. The Government of Canada and the CCA share the position that the U.S. amendment falls short of compliance and in fact increases the discrimination against imported cattle and hogs in the U.S. marketplace. The compliance process, which includes the right of either party to appeal the panel's determination to the Appellate Body, is expected to take until late 2014.The CCA is confident that Canada's case is compelling.

 

CCA seeks producer testers for BIXS 2

market briefs

BIXS 2, the new upgraded version of the original program, is nearing launch and the CCA is offering early access to a limited number of producers to test drive the software before its official release.

BIXS 2 reflects the experience gained off building, delivering and operating the first version of the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS). The CCA contracted Arcurve, a Canadian-based software firm, last summer to develop the next version of the BIXS. Working with the BIXS management team Arcurve's progress has been steady and it's now time to pre-test the new BIXS 2 software with beef producers.

The new version is significantly easier to use and a completely different platform with a great new look and feel. BIXS 2 houses superior functionality with quick and flexible import/export tools including a Beef Record Universal Translator (BRUT) to enable different herd and feedlot management software to 'speak BIXS'. There's also the Sourcer Utility, which enables cross-segment sourcing based on individual animal or carcass data or health and management protocols.

Volunteers are needed to help the BIXS team test and refine the application leading up to the first of a series of releases this quarter. Specifically, the BIXS team requires users who:

Producers who are interested in taking part in these tests are asked to contact bixs@cattle.ca.

 

CYL, McDonald's Canada promote Canadian beef at Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Talk about a perfect pairing -- McDonalds Canada and Cattlemen's Young Leaders (CYL) teamed up to promote Canadian beef at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto November 1-4.

This large consumer trade show, agricultural trade show and cattle/horse show attracts thousands of students and families wanting to eat great food and experience agriculture. CCA Programs Manager Jill Harvie, along with CYL representatives Sheldon Kyle (SK), Lance Leachman (SK), Meghan Black (NB), and Daniel Muir (PEI) helped educate fair goers about Canada's beef industry by taking on rotating shifts at the McDonalds 'Our Food. Your Questions' booth.

"The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair provided an ideal platform to educate consumers and get them excited about agriculture and in particular the beef industry," Harvie said. "CYL participants at the McDonalds 'Our Food. Your Questions' booth really enjoyed answering consumer's questions about how we raise and produce Canadian beef. McDonald's uses 100% Canadian beef, so it's an excellent opportunity to connect the care that goes into raising beef with the experience of eating a great burger."

Also, through McDonald's relationship with the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, the CYL video "Mmm Beef" was played all around the consumers' food section in a loop with other McDonald's commercials. Additionally, strategically placed signage encouraged people to ask a beef producer a question. CYL representatives also spent time at the Beef Farmers of Ontario booth in the educational section with an interactive booth geared towards educating children and parents. Canada Beef Inc. provided brochure materials at both booths.

CYL representatives tweeted under @CYLprogram using the #loveCDNbeef hashtag throughout the event, which ends today.

 

Molecular factors influencing maintenance energy requirements in mature beef cows

Feed costs represent a significant input cost in the cow-calf sector. The majority of the feed energy needed by the cow is used to meet the animal's 'maintenance requirements'. During pregnancy, cows may be able to reprioritize their energy use, which allows the cow to use less energy to maintain herself, and divert more towards the growing calf.

Better understanding maintenance requirements and energy metabolism in the mature cow may lead to the development of management and nutritional approaches that improve feed efficiency of cows.

A recently-completed research project funded by the National Check-off and Canada's Beef Science Cluster identified proteins that respond to restricted feeding and pregnancy in mature beef cows. These proteins may be important in energy signaling and maintenance requirements for beef cows. Although more research is needed to determine how these proteins are regulated, they do identify possible key targets for possible genetic selection, identification of novel SNPs or through control through dietary, management or pharmacological manipulation.

To learn more about this research, view the BCRC fact sheet here: http://www.beefresearch.ca/factsheet.cfm/molecular-factors-influencing-maintenance-energy-requirements-in-mature-beef-cows-164

 

CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: John Masswohl, Larry Thomas, Jill Harvie, Tracy Sakatch
Written, edited and compiled by: Gina Teel


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 Canada's beef cattle industry representing 68,500 beef farms and feedlots.

Head office:
Ste. 180, 6815 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