The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) today welcomed the Alberta government's pledge of $37 million for the further development of export markets for Canadian beef and development of commercial uses for byproducts of beef production. The Alberta government is the first to pledge funding for the beef industry's Legacy Fund, which will be used to help the Canadian beef industry develop new markets and expand sales in existing markets.

"The Canadian beef industry is not taking our set-backs lying down," says CCA president Stan Eby. "Our beef is the best in the world. In 2004 Canada exported beef to 69 markets around the world. We are aggressively going to
expand those markets.

"In the fall of 2004 the CCA developed a strategy for industry recovery whether or not a prolonged market disruption with the U.S. is faced, which was endorsed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The strategy includes expansion of domestic and export markets, enhancing Canada's cattle tracking system, meeting and exceeding Canada's BSE surveillance targets, and increasing slaughter capacity in Canada."

Enhancements to the Canadian Cattle Identification Program have been developed so Canada will be one of a few countries in the world with the ability to provide age-verified beef. The Canadian Cattle Identification Program has developed a Web site in which producers can register cattle birth dates. By voluntarily registering cattle birth dates, producers are helping Canada position itself as a major player in export markets demanding age verified beef.

Source: Association Release