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Grass Routes News

In this issue

  • ONE.
  • TWO.
  • THREE.
  • FOUR.
  • Alberta government seeking input on farmer-led ag research
  • Alberta Beef Export Market Development Program
  • Notice: New amendment to carcass grade requirements
  • Cleanfarms to research options to manage agricultural plastic waste nationally

Alberta government seeking input on farmer-led agricultural research

The Alberta government is holding engagement sessions starting today until January 24 seeking input on farmer-led agricultural research. After hearing the government's commitment to move towards a new research framework, Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) collaborated with agriculture commodity boards and commissions on a White Paper, entitled A Strategic Research Proposal to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry that was submitted to Minister Dreeshen in November.
A survey is also available online for comment until January 31, 2020.

ABP has developed key messages regarding the research strategy and encourages all producers to participate in the engagement process by completing the survey and participating in the engagement sessions. It is important that your voices are heard during this process.

Alberta Beef Export Market Development Program

Canada Beef is pleased to announce that the Alberta Beef Export Market Development Program (ABEMP) grant is now available.

“The ABEMD program is an excellent example of a partnership between industry and government to achieve common goals and objectives,” says Mike Kennedy, Chairman, Canada Beef Market Development and Promotion Committee.

The ABEMD program is a partnership between Canada Beef (50%), Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (25%) and the Alberta Beef Industry (25%). The new program provides cost-shared funding support for eligible Alberta Beef representative company-initiated projects and activities in five broad-based categories essential for achieving diversification through export market growth. The program is now available for eligible activities from November 1, 2019 to March 31, 2022 and represents $2 million in partnership investments to expand the Alberta Beef industry.

“This program comes at a time when global demand for high-quality beef is booming and competition for market share is fierce. Exports are growing and Canadian beef supply partners are ready and able to deliver,” says Michael Young, President Canada Beef.

ABEMD Program Goals:
  1. Increase Alberta beef export volume, value and market access.
  2. Improve Alberta beef competitive position in new and existing markets and value-added sectors of opportunity growth in the export marketplace.
  3. Increase the awareness and confidence in Canadian beef quality, food safety, quality assurance and sustainability.
ABEMD Program Objectives:
  1. Provide collaborative programs and services that enable and encourage Alberta beef representative companies to develop aggressive export growth strategies.
  2. Invest in volume and value creation sales and marketing programs that deliver commercial results and measurable ROI.
  3. Forge partnerships with Alberta beef representative companies and end-user customers to enable Alberta beef brands to become an integral part of premium quality exports to international markets.
For more information about the Alberta Beef Export Market Development, program contact:
Michael Young, President, Canada Beef
403.275.9288 ext. 205

Notice: New amendment to carcass grade requirements

The new Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) have incorporated by reference the Beef, Bison and Veal Carcass Grade Requirements document as opposed to housing them in a direct federal regulation. This approach has provided the opportunity for industry to now manage the document through due process by the Canadian Beef Grading Agency (CBGA). The CBGA can now receive and process applications for amendments to this industry managed grade requirements document.
The first amendment is a change to the definition of veal. Essentially veal is defined by weight and the change states the maximum carcass weight is now 190 kg (from 180 kg). To ensure transparency and integrity of any amendment, the public must be provided an opportunity for comment. This particular amendment was posted for comment commencing September 9, 2019 to December 20, 2019, with three public comments received, all in favor of the proposed amendment. This change to the Beef, Bison and Veal Carcass Grade Requirements came into force Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

Cleanfarms to research options to manage agricultural plastic waste nationally

A first-of-its-kind national scale research project that will provide critical information to help agricultural plastic producers and Canadian farmers boost their ability to recycle agricultural plastic waste is starting.
The two-part research project will be led by Canadian agricultural waste expert, Cleanfarms. It is a national, non-profit, industry stewardship organization established in 2010 to help Canadian farmers recycle or properly dispose of waste agricultural plastic and other waste materials that have to be managed on farms at end of life.
Cleanfarms will first quantify the types and volumes of on-farm plastic wastes and then identify facilities that can manage or recycle these waste streams, in order to create a more circular economy for agricultural plastics.
“Farmers are looking for options to manage the plastics they use on the farm in environmentally sustainable ways,” says Cleanfarms General Manager Barry Friesen. “The work we’ll be doing will help advance our understanding of what is out there, drive on-the-ground solutions to help manage these plastics, increase recycling rates, and improve our ability to incorporate higher levels of recycled content in plastics products.”
By combining industry research, on-farm visits and interviews with farm operation experts and potential plastics end-market buyers, this project will provide accurate and updated data, which is key to improving end-of-life management of agricultural plastics, and increasing the quantities of agricultural plastics that are ultimately recycled and brought back into the economy.
Additional details about this project will be available online at throughout January 2020.
One of Cleanfarms’ first priorities will be recruiting farmers to participate in on-farm visits. These visits will help researchers develop a better understanding of usage patterns that impact how well plastics are recycled at end of life.
This project will support the Canadian comprehensive federal agenda to address plastic waste and pollution and increase our knowledge and evidence base about plastic waste. It will encourage innovative action along the lifecycle of agriculture plastics in order to support Canada’s goal of zero plastic waste.
This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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