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Forty-ninth meeting of the Beef Value Chain Roundtable: Record of decision

May 8 to 9, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario

Key decision points

  • Engaging with various departments within the Government of Canada helps to inform initiatives for the beef sector. The formation of the International Affairs Branch is a positive step towards improved communication and collaboration.
  • Recognizing the value of export markets, the timely ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), progress with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and improving measures to provide supply under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will greatly benefit the Canadian beef industry.
  • Public trust continues to be supported by industry and government through the work of the Public Trust Steering Committee.

A full listing of action items can be found in Annex A.

Introductions

Government of Canada updates

Health Canada officials provided information on the Healthy Eating Strategy, the revision of Canada's Food Guide and the front of package labelling initiative.

Trade

Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT) members were provided with an update by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) on trade negotiations, including NAFTA, CPTPP and CETA.

Tax policy

In July 2017, Finance Canada signaled intent to address tax planning strategies surrounding private corporations and individuals who could potentially gain tax advantages. Following significant consultations in Fall 2017, Finance Canada has since adjusted the tax planning reforms and announced further clarification of policy directions based on the feedback that was received thus reducing the impact on producers.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency updates

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) shared updates on MyCFIA, Electronic Service Delivery Platform (ESDP), Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), traceability and transit of animals through the United States.

All Chairs Forum and the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table

The BVCRT industry co-chair (also chair of the All Chairs Forum) shared information from the April 27, 2018 All Chairs meeting as well as key themes from the Economic Strategy Tables.

International Affairs Branch within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Assistant Deputy Minister of the newly formed International Affairs Branch (IAB) between AAFC and CFIA outlined the structure and objectives of this new branch. This strengthened Departmental alignment will help advance Canada's trade agenda, maximize resources to better support trade priorities, and ensure a coordinated and effective voice, both domestically and internationally. Industry members responded positively to this new structure and agreed to write a letter of support to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Antimicrobial Action Plan

CFIA shared its Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Engagement Plan and outlined Canada's response to AMR through the new Pan-Canadian Action Plan. Development of the action plan will be completed in consultation with other stakeholders through a series of engagement sessions and it is expected the action plan will be finalized in spring 2019. Industry members noted producer awareness and engagement is important and noted they are getting numerous questions from their stakeholders.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Specified Risk Material

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and Specified Risk Material (SRM) issues were revisited with the aim of determining next steps for the sector.

Veal Working Group

Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) provided an update on its new initiatives. The Certified Sustainable Beef Framework was launched in December 2017 with a mission to drive recognition and advancement of beef sustainability in Canada by providing a operation-level certification program. BVCRT members continue to laud the efforts of the CRSB, noting it is an excellent tool from a public trust perspective. One of the ongoing challenges the beef sector faces is the increasing pressure from consumers about public trust. The CSRB will continue to raise awareness of the initiatives around sustainable beef production in Canada.

Public Trust

David Smith, a consultant with Orion provided a detailed presentation on a recent study (March 2018) called “Public Trust in the Canadian Meat Sector”. Key findings and themes matched industry-led public trust initiatives within the Public Trust Steering Committee (PTSC). A key message in the presentation was that change management is critical in maintaining public trust and it's best to look forward as much as possible. One industry member commented that dealing with one “bad actor” can damage public trust very quickly and it's difficult to recover from negative stories that go viral on social media. This issue was discussed further during the PTSC's update and members were encouraged to be proactive with positive messages about the sector. Industry members also supported the PTSC's pending application to AAFC's Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program.

Youth representation

A representative from the Cattlemen's Young Leaders (CYL) provided his perspectives on the roundtable format and shared some of his personal accomplishments. The industry co-chair stated he was very proud of this program and noted there are now numerous young professionals that have come out of this program and they are successful business people in the industry.

Conclusion

The date for the next BVCRT meeting was confirmed for November 28 and 29, 2018 in Calgary, Alberta.

Annex A: Action items

Meeting / Item # Description Responsibility Timeline
49-1 In recognition of the opportunities with CETA, BVCRT recommends an alternative to CFIA approved veterinarians for documentation testing and verification purposes, being an accredited certification body. VBP+ could be one potential accredited certification body. Industry Fall 2018
49-2 BVCRT encourages the Government of Canada to ratify the CPTPP and be among the first six countries, thus ensuring the greatest benefit to the Canadian beef industry. Fall 2018
49-3 Given the progress with the Safe Food For Canadians Regulations, the BVCRT would like to engage CFIA at the next meeting in November 2018 to understand the strategy leading to the delivery of the SFC regulatory components. CFIA Nov 2018
49-4 AAFC will circulate the results of the Indonesian MBM audit to the BVCRT membership. AAFC Summer 2018
49-5 BVCRT supports a CFIA review of amounts paid under the National BSE Surveillance Reimbursement Program for the purpose of surveillance testing of deadstock. CFIA Fall 2018
49-6 Industry members of the BVCRT investigate funding options for research to support the European Food Safety Authority application for peroxyacetic acid. Industry Fall 2018
49-7 BVCRT suggests CFIA conduct an evaluation of potential cross-border access points and initiate discussions with USDA and State authorities on developing protocols that could be used for in-transit access between Canada and the U.S. to facilitate more efficient transportation of cattle and other livestock species. CFIA Fall 2018
49-8 BVCRT supports the formation of a Veal Working Group. AAFC Complete
49-9 BVCRT strongly supports the formation of the International Affairs Branch and will draft a letter relating to this appreciation. Industry Summer 2018
49-10 BVCRT supports the Public Trust Steering Committee pending application to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for Phase 1 funding. Industry Fall 2018

Annex B: Participants

Co-chairs

Industry members

Provincial government members

Federal government members

Federal government observers

Industry observers

Cattlemen's Young Leaders

Speakers

Guests

Federal support

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