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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

  • Industry and government co-chairs welcomed members, observers, guests and the Cattlemen's Young Leader, Lee Creech, to the meeting. Action items from the October 2017 meeting were reviewed and noted as completed.

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.

  • Industry members were concerned about the references towards plant-based proteins at the expense of animal-based proteins. While Health Canada representatives stated the goal was to bring additional clarity to Canadians, it will make final recommendations based on science-based evidence.
  • Industry members also had significant concerns about including environmental statements in Canada's Food Guide. Health Canada responded by saying the proposed recommendations were not specific to a plant-based diet, but rather wanted to encourage Canadians to consider sustainable environmental options.

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.

  • Government officials stated that although six chapters of NAFTA are complete, the most significant barrier is agreement in the automotive sector.
  • Industry members encouraged the Government of Canada to be one of the six countries to ratify the CPTPP thus ensuring the greatest benefit to the Canadian beef sector.
  • To ensure adequate supply of Canadian beef under CETA, industry members expressed an interest in exploring the option of providing accredited certified bodies (such as Verified Beef Production +) as an alternative to CFIA inspections.
  • In support of beef exports under CETA, industry members continue to investigate funding options for research to support the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) application for peroxyacetic acid used as a carcass wash.

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.

  • Although MyCFIA was launched in January 2017, CFIA acknowledged there have been issues with the animal health certificates, and plan to resolve these concerns in the next few months. Industry reiterated a growing frustration with the five-day service standard and also requested more resources be dedicated to the help line.
  • Given the progress with the Safe Food For Canadians (SFC) 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.
  • Industry members recommended that CFIA conduct an evaluation of cross-border access points between Canada and the US to facilitate efficient transportation of cattle and other livestock.

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.

  • The All Chairs meeting summary and presentations were circulated to all members of the BVCRT on May 22, 2018.
  • An interactive discussion was held between the All Chairs and Murad Al-Katib, chair of the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table. Input from all Value Chain Roundtables aligned with the overall themes identified by the Agri-Food Table and there were some cross-cutting points such as labour, regulations and innovation.

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.

  • There was a discussion on the need to meet the 30,000 head per year BSE submission goal as one of the criteria necessary to move from “controlled BSE risk” status to “negligible BSE risk” status at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
  • CFIA was asked to review the compensation amount paid to producers and renderers for the collection of deadstock for the purposes of surveillance testing because it was thought to be one of the causes for decreased sample submissions.
  • An audit team from Indonesia will be in Canada in May focusing on meat and bone meal; AAFC will circulate the results of the audit to the BVCRT membership when available.
  • It was noted that the Indonesian market for meat and bone meal remains closed after the last BSE case and the Canadian industry would benefit from its reopening.

Veal Working Group

  • The Canadian Veal Association (CVA) requested a Veal Working Group be established under the BVCRT. CVA has been working on a number of issues that require collaborative efforts (animal welfare, AMR/AMU, drug approvals, competitiveness) and a working group would enhance collaboration and provide advantages for producers, industry and government. When the CVA presented this request, they noted this approach was a result of engagement with others in the industry. It was agreed by the BVCRT that a working group would be established in 2018.

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

  • Dennis Laycraft – Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA)
  • Francesco Del Bianco – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Industry members

  • Graham Clarke, Canadian Renderers Association (by phone)
  • Charlie Christie, Alberta Beef Producers
  • Philippe Alain, Producteurs de Bovins du Québec
  • Andrea Brocklebank, Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC)
  • Bob Wynands, Canadian Veal Association
  • Rich Vesta, Harmony Beef
  • Gert Schrijver, Dairy Farmers of Canada
  • Kim O'Neil, Canadian Meat Council (CMC)
  • Tyler Bjornson, JBS Canada
  • Jim Smolik, Cargill
  • Ron Glaser, Canada Beef
  • Casey Vander Ploeg, National Cattle Feeders' Association
  • Richard Horne, Beef Farmers of Ontario
  • Michael Hall, Canadian Livestock Genetics Association

Provincial government members

  • Tim Metzger, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
  • Christoph Wand, OMAFRA
  • Betty Althouse, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
  • Keith Lehman, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (by phone)
  • Clinton Dobson, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (by phone)
  • Joanie Langois, Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (by phone)
  • Geneve Jasper, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture (by phone)

Federal government members

  • Donald Boucher, AAFC
  • Connie Zagrosh, Health Canada (by phone)
  • Jaspinder Komal, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
  • Geoff Adams, Global Affairs Canada

Federal government observers

  • Naoko Kors, AAFC
  • Jason Baillargeon / Erin Scullion, AAFC
  • Marty Seymour, Farm Credit Canada
  • Daniel Leclair, CFIA
  • Roman Zakaluzny, AAFC (by phone)
  • Samuel Vallejos, AAFC (by phone)
  • David Trus / François Bedard AAFC (by phone)

Industry observers

  • Ron Bonnett, Canadian Federation of Agriculture
  • Brady Stadnicki, CCA
  • Rob McNabb, CCA
  • Reynold Bergen, BCRC (by phone)
  • Linda Allison, Canada Beef
  • Tom Lynch-Staunton, CCA
  • Mark Klassen, CCA (by phone)
  • Monica Hadarits, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
  • Anne Brunet-Burgess, Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (by phone)
  • Melinda German, Canadian Beef Cattle Check Off Agency
  • Richard Robinson, Canadian Beef Grading Agency
  • Jean Szkotnicki, Canadian Animal Health Institute (by phone)
  • Chris Nash, CMC
  • Martin Lemoyne, Canadian Angus Association
  • Jennifer Haley, Canadian Veal Association
  • Olivier Lavigne-Lacroix, Cargill
  • Duane Ellard, Canada Beef
  • Cheryl Schroeder, Dairy Farmers of Canada
  • André Roy, Producteurs de Bovins du Québec
  • Chad McPherson, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (by phone)
  • Adam Hill, Ontario Corn Fed Beef (by phone)
  • Ryder Lee, Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association
  • Brian Lemon, Manitoba Beef Producers
  • Myrna Grahn, Public Trust Steering Committee
  • Mike McMorris, AgSights
  • John Baker, Ontario Corn Fed Beef

Cattlemen's Young Leaders

  • Lee Creech

Speakers

  • Doug Forsyth, AAFC
  • Aline Dimitri, CFIA
  • Debbie Barr, CFIA
  • Shannon Laforce, CFIA
  • Mohit Baxi, CFIA
  • Dawn Lumley-Myllari, CFIA
  • Lyzette Lamondon, CFIA
  • Fred Gorrell, AAFC-CFIA
  • Karen McIntyre/Alfred Aziz/Mae Johnson, Health Canada

Guests

  • David Smith, Orion, Global Business Sustainability

Federal support

  • Christine Moses, AAFC
  • Shane Campbell, AAFC
  • Ron Gerold, AAFC
  • Julie Dawson, AAFC
  • Sylvie Brulé / Tori Babcock, AAFC
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