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Govt To Strengthen Traceability In BC Beef Industry

06 September 2011

CANADA - Cattle producers and processors in British Columbia (BC) will continue to provide consumers with top quality beef thanks to a Government of Canada investment in a shared database traceability system.

Member of Parliament Wai Young (Vancouver South), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced an investment of over $276,000 to establish the BC Carcase Tracking and Quality Information System at the Pacific National Exhibition's Agriculture Pavilion.

"Our Government's top priority remains the economy and investing in British Columbia's beef sector will ensure our producers remain competitive in an ever-changing domestic and global marketplace" said MP Young.

"This database will enable continuous improvement of product quality and profitability of the beef sector through enhanced traceability."

The BC Carcase Tracking and Quality Information System is a collaborative project led by the BC Cattlemen's Association in partnership with the BC Association of Abattoirs.

The project will involve the development of software that enables the industry to better track, analyze and improve products by allowing for quick input and retrieval of information through a shared database.

Project partners will include representatives from the BC Beef Industry Development Council, the BC Cattle Feeders Association, Thompson Rivers University, Net Shift Media, and the Small Scale Food Processors Association.

Standards consistency will bolster consumer confidence in Canada's top quality food safety system, and is expected to increase market access and market value of BC produced and processed red meats. The project allows for future adaptation of the Tracking and Quality Information System for the lamb, pork, and buffalo sectors.

"This project signifies industry and government coming together to establish one of the important links the beef industry needs to not only share information and knowledge through the production chain, but also to have the information available for the consumer who wants to be informed about the product he is purchasing," said Kevin Boon, General Manager of the BC Cattlemen's Association.

"It is our intention to develop a system that can be utilised in every province across Canada and fulfill our mandate for full traceability while creating a system of value for the producer and the entire value chain."

Funding for this project is being provided by the Government of Canada's $163-million Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Programme (CAAP) which aims to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. In BC, CAAP is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation (IAF). Additional support for this project is being provided by the B.C. Cattlemen's Association.

Canada's Economic Action Plan, coupled with other Government of Canada programmes and initiatives such as CAAP, continues to help farmers as it focuses on creating jobs and strengthening the economy. Investments in viable market opportunities will help build an even stronger agriculture industry and Canadian economy.

Eligible CAAP projects could be in areas of traceability, environment, climate change, capacity development, pests and diseases, and more. For more information on CAAP, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/caap. To learn more about the IAF, please visit www.iafbc.com.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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