Beef industry groups recently launched the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration pilot project.
The one-year pilot project aims to create a certified sustainable beef supply chain, where financial credits are given to cow-calf and feedlot operations.
National Business Manager of Verified Beef Production Plus, Virgil Lowe, says the project is step two moving on from the McDonalds sustainable beef pilot project.
"The pilot program is an initiative led by Cargill, Verified Beef Production Plus, and the Beef InfoXchange System. The goals of the pilot are to be able to track cattle and beef all the way through the beef production supply chain, so that we can properly attribute of whether or not the animal was raised and processed through certified sustainable operations."
Lowe says, there are three end user organizations involved.
"Those being McDonalds, Loblaws, and Cara Foods through it's Original Joe's and Swiss Chalet brands, that have agreed to provide financial incentives for the pounds of beef that makes it through the certified sustainable supply chain, which is very exciting."
He says, participation is important for both individual producers and the Canadian beef industry as a whole.
"We've finally got commitment and financial incentive from end users, beef sellers, to provide product that meets these demands. The ball is really in our court as beef producers to build this supply chain. It's really important that Verified Beef Production plus cow-calf operations, and Verified Beef Production plus feedlots work together to insure animals remain in a verified supply chain."
Lowe encourages producers to look at the VBP plus website to find other registered producers in order to keep certified cattle in the supply chain.
"In order for producers to qualify for the pilot, they have to be Verified Beef Production Plus registered, which is trained and then completed the on farm audit, and be in compliance with our annual audit requirements," Lowe says. "They also have to be a member of the Beef InfoXchange System, and they have to upload their cattle to the CCIA data base."
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