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Grass Routes News

In this issue

  • ONE.
  • TWO.
  • THREE.
  • FOUR.
  • ABP delegate elections close at midnight
  • Interim agreement a steppingstone to a meaningful Canada-U.K. trade relationship
  • Cargill now sourcing beef from CRSB Certified farms and ranches across Canada
  • 2021 Alberta Beef Industry Conference virtual session is available

ABP delegate elections close at midnight

The ABP Producer Meetings concluded last week and voting in the two delegate elections closes at midnight, tonight.
We saw good attendance and participation at both the Producer Town Hall and two Resolution Meetings last week. Producers put forth, debated and voted on resolutions with 23 passing for the organization to move through our resolution process. Time sensitive resolutions will be brought to the Board of Directors meeting next week. 
If you were unable to attend the Producer Town Hall, a recording of the meeting is available here
Delegate elections in the Southeast and Southwest zones close at midnight. If you're having trouble with the link in your package to vote online, please go to and enter your access key. 

Interim agreement a steppingstone to a meaningful Canada-U.K. trade relationship

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) recognizes the Government of Canada’s efforts to maintain uninterrupted market access into the United Kingdom (U.K.) by pursuing an interim agreement to transition between the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and a future Canada-U.K. free trade agreement (FTA).

CCA’s highest priority is on achieving a long-term FTA with the U.K. that resolves trade barriers that continue to exist. CCA is pleased to see a commitment by both Governments to return to negotiating a full FTA within a year and encourages both Governments to do so as soon as possible.

“CCA urges the Government of Canada to ensure mechanisms are in place to avoid disruptions of exports to the U.K. and to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible to work towards an ambitious FTA with the U.K, that will lead to greater economic prosperity for both our countries and farmers and ranchers,” said Bob Lowe, CCA President.

A glaring inequity that remains to be resolved is that Canadian beef producers face far more hurdles to export to the U.K. than U.K. producers experience exporting to Canada. In the transitional agreement, the U.K. beef industry retains unlimited duty-free access into the Canadian market, while Canadian beef exports will be restricted to 3,279 tonnes in 2021 and 3,869 tonnes in 2022.

Despite the growth of Canada’s beef exports to the EU and the U.K. in recent years, the full potential of Canada’s negotiated access under CETA has not been realized due to technical trade obstacles. CCA continues to actively engage the Government of Canada to resolve the trade limiting factors both in CETA as well as within the interim arrangement with the U.K.

Canada exported 1,584 tonnes valued at $18.8 million to the U.K. in 2019 and 1,047 tonnes valued at $12.9 million from January to September 2020. However, Canada imported 2,962 tonnes valued at $15.8 million from the U.K. in 2019 and 4,126 tonnes valued at $24 million from January to September 2020.

Using beef trade data from Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, the overall Canada-EU beef trade deficit (including the U.K.) was $0.5 million in 2018, $17.3 million in 2019 and an astounding $74.5 million for the first nine months of 2020.

"We are concerned with how beef trade with the EU has progressed and as such will be closely watching the trade relationship with the U.K. develop,” stated Lowe. “It is imperative that the beef industries in Canada and the U.K. can equally benefit from and grow this relationship and that will be our focus for the future trade agreements.”

Cargill now sourcing beef from CRSB Certified farms and ranches across Canada

Expansion of Cargill’s implementation of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB)’s Certified Sustainable Beef Framework is now a reality. In addition to its CRSB sustainability certification, the Guelph beef processing facility has also completed a successful audit to the CRSB’s Chain of Custody requirements. With this additional building block in place, Cargill is now poised to actively source beef from CRSB Certified Sustainable beef operations across Canada for both its High River and Guelph facilities.
This expansion allows Cargill to deliver on sustainability claims for its Canadian retail and foodservice partners nationally. This also means that Cargill is awarding financial credits for cattle that qualify at both High River and Guelph facilities, rewarding those producers who have had their sustainable practices verified as meeting CRSB requirements.

Through these financial incentives, Cargill and its customer partners are thanking these producers for doing their part to raise animals and care for their beef operations according to CRSB’s standards, across all five principles of beef sustainability: natural resources; people and community; animal health and welfare; food, and efficiency and innovation.
“As demand for protein continues to rise, we’re excited to be able to expand our sustainable beef supply chain to help feed a growing population while supporting a healthy ecosystem,” said Matt Gibney, General Manager at the Cargill Guelph facility “Together, we can scale, share and support the good conservation practices that allow farmers and ranchers to prosper.”
“CRSB appreciates the dedication of Cargill to beef sustainability in Canada, putting into action the requirements of our Certified Sustainable Beef Framework, while at the same time, rewarding producers across Canada for their on-going sustainability efforts. The expansion of sourcing to eastern Canada is an important step in our beef sustainability journey,” says Anne Wasko, Chair of the CRSB and rancher from Eastend SK. “As a beef producer myself, this is a strong signal of the demand for showing the sustainable practices we already have in place on farms and ranches across Canada, and to share that story with the world.”
Sustainability is an ever-evolving journey, with continuous improvement at its core. Learn more about Cargill’s Beef Sustainability objectives and sourcing opportunities ( and the CRSB’s certification program (

2021 Alberta Beef Industry Conference virtual session is available

The first virtual session for the 2021 Alberta Beef Industry Conference is now available. The 2021 programming will be delivered through series of pop-up virtual experiences through out the year. 

Watch our first presenter Dr. Jack Mintz give his thoughts and opinion about economic recovery post COVID-19 here

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