Verified Beef Production Plus

In 2023, VBP+ was approved for another grant through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agri-Assurance – National Industry Association Component, “Enhancing VBP+ to drive sustainability and market growth in the Canadian beef industry”. The grant will cover the period April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2028 and will focus on activities related to surveillance, benchmarking and training relevant to the VBP+ standard. The total funding for the project totals $1,337,600.00 at a 75%/25% cost share ratio.

The following activities will be completed at the conclusion of the project in 2028:

  • Activity 1 – Addressing Gaps through Certification, Training Data and Feedback
    • Development of youthful fed beef self-assessment and quality assurance standard
    • Review and modernization of the beef industry Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan.
  • Activity 2 – Benchmarking and Surveillance for Risk Mitigation and Equivalency for Certification
    • Benchmarking of VBP+ standard/certification against self-assessed Environmental Farm Plan
    • Creation of anonymous, secure, foreign object (in beef) reporting portal
  • Activity 3 – Training Resource Development
    • Creation of new training resources
    • Review/adjustment of existing training resources
  • Activity 4 – Development of a Canadian Agri-Assurance Service to Support the Growth of Certified Programs in the Agriculture Sector

These activities will help to strengthen the risk profiles informing the VBP+ standard and increase opportunities for VBP+ certification and training.

Producer retention and recruitment for VBP+ certification has continued to dominate priorities for VBP+ Inc. There were a large number of producers who completed VBP+ certification in 2019 and are up for renewal in 2024, consistent with the 5-year audit cycle. If these producers decline to renew their certification, there is risk to participation levels and to VBP+ Inc. financially, as it operates on a cost-recovery model.

Voluntary certification programs rely on the value, financial and/or intrinsic, producers see in participation in the program. A recent VBP+ survey found that most producers need to see some sort of financial incentive to compensate for their costs and time for participation with the remainder indicating that they see some value through overall industry growth and public trust. VBP+, and their partners, have been working hard to see operations receive some incentivization at the operation level while we continue to build on a value statement that all producers can have confidence in.