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Seventh meeting of the Sheep Value Chain Roundtable: Record of decision

November 9 to 10, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario

Key decision points

  • Market access initiatives from various sheep organizations to be collected and shared with the Sheep Value Chain Roundtable (ShVCRT)
  • Meat and Carcass Quality Working Group will explore the possibility of setting up a national grading agency to address lamb grading
  • Social License Working Group will continue discussion around implications of use of hormones and certification requirements

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

Introduction

  • Industry and government co-chairs welcomed approximately 50 participants from the sheep sector, as well as federal and provincial officials
  • Katherine MacDonald was introduced as the new government co-chair from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
  • Joseph Leck and Royce Lodoen represented the young farmers' perspective
  • Action items from the November 2016 meeting were reviewed

Research Working Group

  • The chair provided an update on the progress to date. A consensus from the working group is needed on a research topic. Detailed listing of Canadian research projects for 2017 was provided to ShVCRT members
  • Centre d'Expertise en Production Ovine du Québec (CEPOQ) provided an overview of its research and development projects, including producer factsheets (available in French only)
  • CEPOQ and Canadian Sheep Federation will collaborate on translation of the producer factsheets

International Campaign for Wool

  • This campaign was launched in 2010 to educate consumers about the natural benefits of wool, promote wool products to a global consumer audience, and support wool and its related industries across the world
  • AAFC will circulate information to be provided by the Campaign for Wool regarding carbon footprint, as well as other possible uses for wool
  • Industry members will share their wool promotion activities with AAFC for distribution to the ShVCRT

Market Access Working Group

  • The chair confirmed that additional input on the survey of market access and trade issues was received after the November 2016 roundtable meeting
  • Priorities were ranked from highest to lowest as: trade agreements, traceability, Canadian meat regulations, health status (for example, scrapie), information/process with the federal government
  • Working group to seek input on market access initiatives from various sheep organizations and provide a summary at the next ShVCRT meeting
  • AAFC provided an update on various trade negotiations, including the North American Free Trade Agreement

Finance Canada – proposed income tax changes

  • In July 2017, the Government of Canada signalled its intent to address tax planning strategies around private corporations and individuals who could potentially gain tax advantages. Finance Canada provided an information update on the proposed tax planning reforms

Social License/Public Trust

  • The chair provided an update on "Ag in the Classroom" materials/activities throughout Canada. Additional input is required from a few provinces in order to complete this exercise
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has advised that use of the label "raised without added hormones" is voluntary. Hormones must not be administered to the lactating mother in any form. Social License Working Group will continue discussions and draft a position to be shared with the ShVCRT
  • Myrna Grahn has been retained as Public Trust national manager to guide the work of the Value Chain Roundtables and will be invited to the next Social License Working Group conference call
  • Low interest was expressed by the ShVCRT in the Cross-Sectoral U.S. Genetically Modified Working Group, however the ShVCRT representative will report back on the proceeding from the January 2018 teleconference call
  • An overview of the Canadian Verified Sheep Program was provided. This tool is used to help producers demonstrate their responsible management practices on sheep farms
  • Highlights of the Canadian Quality Assurance Program Alliance were shared. This is an information sharing group that coordinates a unified approach to improving quality assurance programs

Profitability Working Group

  • Webinar information has been shared with all ShVCRT members, as per the working group's Terms of Reference. Additional information, provided by Alberta Lamb Producers, will be circulated regarding future webinars
  • The working group is interested in engaging producers as new members
  • Farm Management Canada presented information on best practices for farm financial success, along with programs, resources and tools available

Labour

  • Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council provided a statistical overview of the agri-workforce shortages and labour market forecast
  • AAFC indicated that meat processing stakeholders, including federal and provincial governments, are developing a work plan in conjunction with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to ensure the needs of the agriculture sector regarding labour are addressed. AAFC will provide an update on the Meat Processing Labour Action Plan at the next ShVCRT meeting

Health Strategies Working Group

  • The chair provided an update on its efforts to update the list of priority drugs and vaccines to be assessed for approval by Health Canada and CFIA. To date, five pharmaceutical products have been approved for use in sheep. ShVCRT members were encouraged to submit names of drugs they would like to be included or prioritized
  • Health Canada provided information on regulatory changes to strengthen the oversight of veterinary drugs scheduled to take effect November 13, 2017. Continued support is needed from national producer associations to help with engagement and outreach to its members. Health Strategies Working Group will explore interest to review List C of Veterinary Drugs Directorate (VDD) notification program
  • CFIA reported that work is continuing on the Plant and Animal Health Strategy since it was endorsed by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers in July 2017. The National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council was identified as a potential coordinator

Meat and Carcass Quality Working Group

  • The chair remarked on the progress of the literature review, which is on track for completion by end of January 2018
  • Lamb grading/segregation issues at the slaughter plants were raised as a concern. Members noted that confusion exists with Over Twelve Month (OTM) animals and education is required in terms of age determination to ensure a consistent approach. The Meat and Carcass Quality Working Group will explore the possibility of setting up a national grading agency to address this concern. In addition, the working group will discuss options for increasing value-added products (as trim) with OTM animals

Establishing a national Promotion and Research Agency

  • Farm Product Council of Canada provided an overview of the key factors to consider and shared recent experiences with Promotion and Research Agency (PRA) proposals
  • The process to establish a PRA can be lengthy. Critical steps include securing and demonstrating support from the majority of producers, importers and exporters
  • Benefits of the beef PRA experience were highlighted

Traceability

  • CFIA explained the role of the Industry-Government Advisory Committee responsible for leading the development and implementation of the livestock and poultry components of Canada's traceability system
  • An overview of proposed regulatory amendments affecting sheep producers was shared
  • Estimated timeline for regulations to be in force in spring 2019

Canadian Sheep Identification Program

  • Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) highlighted its program management activities which include: compliance benchmarking across stakeholders, tag quality evaluations from producers and annual Canadian Cattle Identification Agency tag testing
  • Industry expressed different points of view regarding the use of a third party administrator

Canadian Agricultural Partnership

  • "Canadian Agricultural Partnership" (CAP) negotiations with provinces and territories on bilateral agreements are underway. An official announcement outlining the agricultural programs and services is expected before the end of 2017. Government officials are committed to ensuring a seamless transition from the "Growing Forward 2" programs

Economic Strategy Tables

  • The Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table was launched in October 2017 with 15 industry members covering the diverse agriculture and food sector. Members of this table are eager to start engaging with all the sectors. Information related to the Economic Strategy Tables can be accessed through the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada website

Conclusion

  • Next face-to-face roundtable meeting will be held in fall 2018
  • Refer to Annex A for action items generated; and Annex B for list of participants

Annex A: Action items

Meeting / Item # Description Responsibility Timeline
7-1 CEPOQ and Canadian Sheep Federation will collaborate on translation of producer factsheets. Industry November 2018
7-2 AAFC will circulate information to be provided by the Campaign for Wool regarding carbon footprint and other possible uses of wool. AAFC Completed
7-3 Industry members will share their wool promotion activities with AAFC for distribution with ShVCRT. Industry November 2018
7-4 Public Trust national manager to be invited to the next Social License Working Group conference call. AAFC Completed
7-5 Social License Working Group chair will report on the January 2018 call of the US GM Disclosure Working Group meeting to the ShVCRT. Industry January 2018
7-6 AAFC will circulate information provided by Alberta Lamb Producers on future webinars. AAFC Ongoing
7-7 Health Strategies Working Group will explore interest to review List C of VDD's Notification Program. Industry Spring 2018
7-8 AAFC will provide an update to ShVCRT on the Meat Processing Labour Action Plan at the next in-person meeting. AAFC November 2018
7-9 Market Access Working Group will seek an update on initiatives related to market access from various sheep organizations. A summary will be provided at the next in-person meeting. Industry November 2018
7-10 Social License Working Group will continue discussion around implications of use of hormones and certification requirements and will draft a position to be shared with ShVCRT members. Industry Spring 2018
7-11 AAFC will facilitate a discussion between the Meat and Carcass Quality Working Group and CFIA on segregation of OTM and mutton by-products (that is, trims). AAFC Summer 2018
7-12 Meat and Carcass Quality Working Group will explore the possibility of setting up a national grading agency. Industry Fall 2018

Annex B: Participants

Co-chairs

  • Andrew Gordanier – Summer Station Farms
  • Katherine MacDonald – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Industry

  • Corlena Patterson – Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF)
  • Brian Greaves – Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers (CCWG)
  • Miles Kliner – SunGold Specialty Meats
  • Robyn Moore – Alberta Lamb Producers (ALP)
  • Darlene Stein – ALP
  • Gord Schroeder - Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board
  • Jennifer MacTavish – Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF)
  • Pierre Lessard – Les Éleveurs d'Ovins du Québec (LEOQ)
  • Rob Scott – OSF
  • Barbara Johnstone Grimmer – British Columbia Sheep Federation
  • Michael Isenor – Northumberlamb Lamb Marketing
  • Harry Elsinga – Prince Edward Island Sheep Breeders' Association
  • Bruce Sinclair– Canadian Sheep Breeders' Association (CSBA)
  • Phil Kolodychuk – Canadian Sheep Federation
  • Chantal Larouche – New Brunswick Sheep Breeders' Association
  • Hélène Methot – Centre d'expertise en production ovine du Québec (CEPOQ)
  • Joseph Leck – Young farmer
  • Royce Lodoen – Young farmer

Provincial governments

  • Tim Metzger – Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

Federal government

  • Donald Boucher – AAFC

Federal observers

  • Paul Way – AAFC
  • Naoko Kors – AAFC

Provincial observers

  • Jillian Craig – OMAFRA

Guest/speakers

  • Gaston Rioux – CEPOQ (by phone)
  • Marshall Allender – Prince’s Charities Canada
  • Doug Forsyth – AAFC
  • Ted Cook - Finance Canada
  • Ron Gerold – AAFC
  • Myrna Grahn – Public Trust Steering Committee (by phone)
  • Kristy House – CSF
  • Heather Watson – Farm Management Canada
  • Bill McCutcheon – Ontario Lamb Marketing
  • Hélène Devost – Farm Product Council of Canada
  • Manisha Mehrotra – Health Canada
  • Debbie Barr – CFIA
  • Janet Krayden – Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC)
  • Elizabeth Corrigan – CFIA
  • John Fox – AAFC
  • Michael Ash – AAFC

Federal support

  • Sandra Liston – AAFC
  • Virginie Rochet – AAFC
  • Inge Vander Horst – AAFC
  • Robert Dion – AAFC

Industry observers

  • Colleen Acres – CSBA
  • Anne-Marie Granger-Godbout – LEOQ
  • Yves Langlois – LEOQ
  • Eric Bjergso – CCWG
  • Kate Basford – Manitoba Sheep Association
  • Marc Carere – OSF
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