Governments of Canada and British Columbia Help Advance Beef Industry

Kamloops, British Columbia, February 24, 2012 – British Columbia beef producers will benefit from an investment in three projects that will increase the industry’s profitability through consumer education and improved market information. Member of Parliament Cathy McLeod (Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo), on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, and MLA Kevin Krueger (Kamloops-South Thompson), on behalf of British Columbia Agriculture Minister Don McRae, announced the investment today in Kamloops.

“Our Government’s top priority remains the economy, and British Columbia’s beef industry plays an important role in keeping our economy strong,” said MP McLeod. “Through this investment, beef producers will have the information and knowledge they need to get better returns from the marketplace and the public will benefit from more information on both the industry and its products.”

“These projects will allow ranchers to expand opportunities and market share both domestically and overseas, which are key components of the B.C. Jobs Plan,” said MLA Krueger. “As a government we are working with ranchers throughout the province to ensure high-quality, great-tasting B.C. beef is the preferred option for consumers here at home and around the world.”

The investment of nearly $900,000 under the Canada- British Columbia Ranching Task Force Funding Initiative will help the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) to:

  • develop education programs for the public to learn about the beef industry and product attributes
  • profile the British Columbia beef industry, giving producers up-to-date and accurate market information to assess their growth potential and become more profitable; and
  • implement a research project to develop a beef value chain marketing strategy.

The British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association has represented the interests of beef cattle producers since 1929. It represents nearly 1,200 ranchers and approximately 72% of the provincial cattle herd.

“The combined investment by the federal and provincial governments into these two projects is crucial for both the beef industry and the British Columbia consumer. As producers, it is important that we learn and understand the needs of the consumer so we are better able to supply their demands,” said Judy Guichon, President of the BCCA.

In August 2010, the federal government committed $3 million in addition to a $2 million provincial investment for British Columbia’s beef industry. The federal funding investment is made through the Agricultural Flexibility fund, a five-year (2009-14) fund created to help reduce costs of production, improve environmental sustainability, promote innovation, and respond to emerging opportunities and market challenges for the sector. The Canada- British Columbia Ranching Task Force Funding Initiative is administered by the Province of B.C. with assistance from the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia.

For more information on the Canada-British Columbia Ranching Task Force Funding Initiative, contact the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture at AGR.Minister@gov.bc.ca or visit www.ranchingtaskforce.gov.bc.ca/bmrdp/index.html.

For more information on the AgriFlexibility program visit www.agr.gc.ca/agriflexibility