These are interesting times in the beef industry. Our producers face numerous challenges such as declining cattle numbers across the world and consumer concerns about environmental impacts and animal welfare. At the same time, new markets, including those in Asia and the Pacific region, are providing opportunities for industry expansion.
To ensure Canada’s beef producers are positioned to make the most of these opportunities — and overcome the challenges — industry organizations, including the National Cattle Feeders’ Association, came together to develop a National Beef Strategy.
The goal of the strategy is to position Canadian beef producers for greater profitability and growth and to support their reputation for superior quality, safety, value, innovation and sustainable production methods.
The National Beef Strategy is based on four main pillars and goals:
#1 Beef Demand
To increase the value generated from each animal by 15 per cent. Recommendations include:
- Product development and the use of under-valued cuts to maximize competitiveness
- Building recognition and loyalty for the Canadian Beef Advantage brand
- Pursuit of an ambitious international trade agenda
- Increasing consumer confidence in food safety, quality and production practices
- Communication of the sustainability message
To reduce cost disadvantages compared to main competitors by seven per cent:
- Working with regulators to develop a supportive regulatory environment
- Improving access to affordable resources such as skilled labour, animal health products, feed grains and forages and new technologies
- Maintaining and enhancing research capacity
- Continuous improvement in sustainability and efficient use of resources
To increase production efficiencies by 15 per cent through improvements in the following:
- Genetic selection
- Research and development
- Enhanced information flow along the production chain through information technology and verification
To improve communication within the industry and connect positively with consumers, the public, government and partner industries through:
- Development of an industry communication strategy
- Engagement with industry partners and stakeholders
- Engagement with government, consumers, domestic and international organizations
“This strategy is something all stakeholders in the industry can buy into,” said Martin Unrau, co-chair of the National Beef Strategic Planning Group. “There’s strength in numbers and by working together we will build a stronger and more robust industry capable of meeting and responding to the opportunities now and into the future.”
You can read more about some of the challenges facing cattle feeders in ‘Pressing cattle feeders issues discussed with politicians during Ottawa trip’.