Alberta Beef Industry Needs Regulatory Change To Remain Competitive

Collaboratively, the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA) and the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) conducted an industry competitiveness study to determine the ability to profitably maintain or enhance market share of the Alberta beef industry in relation to its American counterparts.
The report established that the industry is and has been competitive and remains capable of maintaining competitiveness into the future. There are, however, factors and trends that have the potential to decrease competitiveness if they continue.

Full report here:

ab-beef-industry-competitiveness

Alberta Beef Producers and Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association Collaboration Update

In order to best represent the Alberta beef industry as a whole, the ACFA and ABP producer organizations have been working together to increase efficiencies and create a stronger voice for you, our producers, when working with government and industry.

Collaboration successes to date; many more to come

 ADVOCACY­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • Shared election priorities papers with each organization
  • ACFA invited to ABP’s 3 political parties’ luncheons (NDP; UCP; Alberta Party)
  • May MLA reception (May 29 – Edmonton)
  • November ACFA MLA Dinner (ABP Chair invited – Nov 27, Edmonton)
  • Alberta Beef Industry Priorities paper – Summer 2019
  • Ministerial / Chief of Staff meetings with ABP – highlight issues / co-develop key messages
  • Ag Minister Dreeshen and Chief of staff (Tim Schultz)
    • Labour & Immigration Minister Copping and Chief of staff (Janet McEachern)
    • Red Tape Reduction Associate Minister Hunter
    • Municipal Minister Madu
    • Transportation Minister McIver

 

RESEARCH

  • Competitiveness Report and outreach– on-going
  • MNP Proposal on beef industry input to Municipal IDP/ICFs – on-going

 

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Shared communications and expanded outreach of both organizations (eg: Social media, events, blogs and articles etc.)
  • Compromised cattle information sheet co-branded and shared on communication channels
  • Video production of “Beef on the Street” featuring Marilyn Smith (to be launched at ABIC 2020)
  • ACFA Chair (Ryan Kasko) featured on ABP annual meeting video

 

ADMINISTRATION

  • Regular Board representation at each other’s Board meetings
  • Joint ABP-ACFA Director working group – regular meetings to direction on areas for collaboration

Meet Your Directors: Jacob Bueckert

Feedlot Business:
Driland Feeders

Warner, AB

Time in Business: 25 years

Biggest Challenge in Business: As with many others in the industry, qualified labour is a challenge for us

What made you become an AFCA Director? I wanted to work to further develop our industry and also to learn from my fellow feeder directors.

Tell us a funny feedlot story: The best stories can’t be published!

What makes Driland unique? We have worked to be as digital as possible. All of our feedtrucks have GPS computers and we have cameras all around the feedlot to watch cattle load, pen behaviour, and general operations.

Meet Your ACFA Directors: Bob de Boer

Feedlot Business:
Monarch Feeders Ltd
Monarch AB

Time in Business: 36 years and going strong

Your Role at Monarch: I am a partner and I manage livestock purchases and sales

Biggest Challenge in Business: Keeping up with new technology

What made you become an AFCA Director? I joined ACFA after conversations with friends on the board and I wanted to contribute to the industry while staying current with the changing landscape.

Tell us a funny feedlot story: Most funny stories usually come at the expense of a fellow coworker. Stepping out of a rubber boot and face planting in a muddy pen, while trying to get it back without anyone noticing always rates near the top!

What makes Monarch unique? We are unique in that we have 10+ family members involved in the business and have managed to make it work.

Meet Your ACFA Directors: Kendra Donnelly

Feedlot:

Korova Feeders Ltd., Acme

Rimrock Feeders Ltd., High River

Time in Business: 30 + years

Role: Financial Manager? We don’t define our titles.

Biggest Challenge: Labour

Funniest Feedlot Story: There are too many to choose from! Every day is a blast around here – we love working with our team

Why did you choose to become an ACFA Director:

  • To stay involved, and be connected and knowledgeable about the industry
  • To make some impact

What is innovative or unique about your operation:

We are family run and we are working to be 100% RCC and steel (no wood!). We also focus a lot on research and development.

“Nothing” is important to long time Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Member: West Coast Reduction

“When there is nothing left, we have done our job,” says Barry Glotman, President CEO of West Coast Reduction Inc. “We take non-edible by-products from agrifood and food processing industries and turn them into viable products that aid in maintaining a sustainable local food supply.”

Through a process called rendering (which avoids 90% of potential greenhouse gas emissions when compared with industrial composting), West Coast recycles 1 billion pounds of raw material every year that is turned into over 400 million pounds of fats and protein meal products (202 million pounds of fats and oil, and 208 million pounds of protein products).

. These fats and meals help produce finished products that are used in a variety of agricultural and industrial applications for everything from pet and livestock feed to ingredients used in fertilizers, soaps, lubricants, detergents, and biofuel.

Founded by Jack Diamond and his sons, Gordon and Charles in 1964, this successful 4th generation family business that has remained true to their core values, operated with integrity and worked hard to be leaders in the rendering business.

“West Coast Reduction has always been focused on supporting the industry by providing services that others would shy away from,” says Glotman. “Our goal is to ensure that Western Canadian agriculture is sustainable, and nothing is left behind.”

For more than 55 years West Coast Reduction has supported the Canadian agriculture and beef industries through its services for Western Canadian cattlemen. “The true sustainability of our business has allowed us to provide these services through good times and bad without government subsidies,” explains Tyler Smoklin, Manager at West Coast. “We believe our sustainability fits perfectly with the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ vision of ‘Championing a sustainable cattle feeding sector in Alberta.’”

West Coast has found value in ACFA membership for almost 2 decades, first joining in 2000. “As a member of Alberta Cattle Feeders, it allows us to stay connected with our customers and understand how we can better serve them,” says Smoklin.

How can you help improve the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program?

Do you have 5 minutes per week? The Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) needs your assistance in voluntary cash price reporting.

All current WLPIP Fed subscribers are invited and encourage to report weekly cash prices through an anonymous online data collection site that will directly benefit the WLPIP settlement and sustainability of the program in general.

The WLPIP began in Alberta in 2009 and is delivered to producers within provincial bodies through to Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC). This program was created by industry and third-party consultation in response to the devastation during BSE. At the time of creation, the fed cattle industry was much different than what it is today. Industry consolidation and shifts in marketing have evolved through the years creating a different risk management dynamic.

Based on a third-party review conducted in 2017, feedback indicated a common producer concern was with thinning in the Fed cash market data reported to WLPIP, and the potential of resulting delays in settlement prices. These delays could be short and only affect the current week, or long – lasting for a few weeks, if the data remains thin.

We, as the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association, reached out to AFSC to research the possibility of voluntary price reporting direct to AFSC in order to capture as much of the cash market sales as possible. An industry advisory working group was created that consisted of six active cattle feeders.

A pilot project of voluntary price reporting was conducted and ran for 18 consecutive weeks. Ultimately, the pilot was deemed very successful, as all members actively participated each week. An increase in data available to WLPIP was observed. Encouraged by the additional data received, WLPIP is continuing with this initiative to collect producer reported cash prices for finished cattle. The next step is for WLPIP to collect producer cash data from all willing producers across all four western provinces.

To be included in WLPIP’s data collection, please provide your email to cattle@wlpip.ca.

By providing your email, you will start receiving weekly emails containing a specific link to direct you to the data collection page. Time required each week to complete the report, will be five minutes or less, and will significantly increase the value of the program over time.

For more information and to participate in this initiative, please click here.