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December 2020


Gordon Food Service Canada Showing Its Commitment to Beef Sustainability Humane Stunning for Federally Regulated Poultry Slaughter in Canada Canada’s Ag Ministers Focus on Support Measures for Farmers and Processors China’s Coronavirus Testing Chokes Beef Trade CFIB: The Road to Economic Recovery meatbusinesspro.com


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Gordon Food Service Canada Showing Its Commitment to Beef Sustainability FCC: 2021 Meat Processing Outlook Governments Taking Action to Support Ontario's Meat Sector

Humane Stunning for Federally Regulated Poultry Slaughter in Canada Canada’s Ag Ministers Focus on Support Measures for Farmers and Processors

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China’s Coronavirus Testing Chokes Beef Trade

Canadian Beef Industry Releases Phase 1 of 2030 Sustainability Goals Three New Virtual Reality Tours Open Doors to Beef, Chicken and Turkey Farms The Road to Economic Recovery




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December 2020 Volume 21 Number 2

PUBLISHER Ray Blumenfeld ray@meatbusiness.ca MANAGING EDITOR Scott Taylor publishing@meatbusiness.ca DIGITAL MEDIA EDITOR Cam Patterson cam@meatbusiness.ca CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David McInnes, Will Sawyer, Emilio Godoy, Cam Patterson, Scott Taylor, Virginia Labbie CREATIVE DIRECTOR Patrick Cairns Meat Business Pro is published six times a year by We Communications West Inc.


We Communications West Inc. 106-530 Kenaston Boulevard Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3N 1Z4 Phone: 204.985.9502 Fax: 204.582.9800 Toll Free: 1.800.344.7055 E-mail: publishing@meatbusiness.ca Website: www.meatbusinesspro.com Meat Business Pro subscriptions are available for $28.00/year or $46.00/two years and includes the annual Buyers Guide issue. ©2020 We Communications West Inc. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means in whole or in part, without prior written consent from the publisher. Printed in Canada. ISSN 1715-6726

GORDON FOOD SERVICE CANADA SHOWING IT'S COMMITMENT TO BEEF SUSTAINABILITY In late November, Gordon Food Service Canada Ltd. issued the following statement in regards to their committed to sustainability across our industry. “We are very proud to announce that we have incorporated sustainable sourcing for our Gordon ChoiceTM boxed beef program, the first to do so in Canada. This means that we support sustainable beef practices in Canada through sourcing a minimum of 30% of the beef for the Gordon Choice line of beef products from CRSB Certified Sustainable farms and ranches across Canada. We invite our customers to join us in our beef sustainability journey, show how you value improvements being made, and help recognize the leadership of Canadian beef to consumers across Canada. “Gordon Food Service Canada Ltd has been a longtime supporter of our Canadian cattle industry through its Gordon Choice boxed beef brand. Our customers and consumers continue to ask questions around how sustainable our Canadian cattle industry is, and want to know they are purchasing products raised with sustainability in mind. By aligning our brand with the CRSB we can now proudly talk to the benefits that prioritize our planet, people, animals and progress,” comments Darren Frey, National Merchandising Manager for Center of the Plate at Gordon Food Service Canada. “We are proud to partner with our beef processor partners, Cargill and Intercity Packers Meat & Seafood, who have worked hard to implement all the requirements to track the cattle and beef from CRSB Certified Operations at every point in the sustainable supply chain, from the farm gate forward,” adds Frey. “Gordon Food Service has been a sustainability leader and we are thrilled to partner with them to bring Canadians products that align with our shared values,” said Clint Young, Cargill’s Canadian food service sales leader. “We’re building on the strong environmental stewardship led by farmers and ranchers and showing that agriculture and the food service industry can drive sustainability solutions forward.” “The CRSB appreciates the dedication of companies like Gordon Food Service and their supply chain partners, in aligning their values with those of their customers, and working with the Canadian beef industry to tell the great story of sustainability embraced by Canadian farmers and ranchers every day. We are excited to work with their team and customers to continue to share that story,” said Anne Wasko, Chair of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef To learn more about Gordon Food Service Ltd., visit gfs.ca. Check out the CRSB’s Certified Sustainable Beef Framework at CRSBcertified.ca. 100TH ISSUE | March/April 2019 December 2020 MEAT BUSINESS PRO 55

FCC: 2021 MEAT PROCESSING OUTLOOK By Kyle Burak, Senior Agricultural Economist, Farm Credit Canada The meat processing sector has experienced its fair share of ups-and-downs over the past couple of years. Global supply reductions have expanded export opportunities while rising incomes supported domestic demand in 2019. COVID-19 shifted consumption away from foodservices, created new opportunities in retail sales and increased processor’s costs. Plant-based proteins have increased competition – however, they still represent a small proportion of overall protein demand. 

SALES INCREASING ON STRONG EXPORT DEMAND, BUT DOMESTIC HEADWINDS EXIST Over half of Canadian beef and 70% of pork  is shipped internationally, making exports key for growth. Exports have grown at an average rate of 5.8% between 2015-19, with sales growth averaging 2.7%. Plant shutdowns in 2020 resulted in sales falling 11.8% in April YoY, introducing a significant backlog in livestock. Our October Red Meat Outlook projected livestock prices to remain below the 5-year average into 2021. Export opportunities to China, the U.S. and Vietnam have driven the recovery. Add this up, and exports are up 9.2% YTD, with sales up 2.6% thru September. Sales are forecast to decrease by 0.4% YoY during the fourth quarter as the second wave of COVID impacts

the global foodservice industry, bringing the annual 6


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growth rate to 1.8% (Figure 1). The impact of COVID will continue to be felt into 2021 as well. We project sales to decrease by 0.6% for the year, largely due to the abnormally strong Q1 in 2020 and continuing struggles in foodservice. The remainder of 2021 should see more stable growth as the impacts of COVID wane. These forecasts embed lots of uncertainty given the risks to the economy, global trade, and livestock prices related to COVID-19. According to the USDA FAS, Canadian beef and veal exports are predicted to increase by 4.0%, and imports decline by 8.3% in 2021. This could tighten the domestic beef supply and lead to increases in beef consumer prices. This should benefit the demand for chicken and pork. Pork exports are expected to decline by 2.0%, and imports remain flat due to an increasingly competitive global export market.

TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2021 DOMESTIC MEAT DEMAND SENSITIVE TO PRICE Lower incomes, foodservice closures, processing plant shutdowns and inflation in beef and pork (peaking at 21.6% and 8.4% in June YoY) caused a decline in consumption this year. This inflation is now behind us, but many Canadian households are still dealing with tighter budgets that could have longer-term impacts on the industry. Beef and pork prices have increased by 68.2% and 40.1%, compared to 26.8% in chicken over the past 10 years. This price discrepancy has had significant impacts on consumption trends. Beef demand is strong, but higher prices can lead to a slower beef consumption trend (Figure 2). Chicken, on the other hand, benefits from subdued retail price pressures. Domestic red meat consumption growth will continue to be hindered by higher prices unless incomes grow proportionally higher.

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Growth in plant-based protein to-date has been in alternative beef, but as the cost of production lowers, companies have begun to expand their offering and become more of a presence. FCC estimates the Canadian grocery market share of alternative protein vs traditional sits at roughly 2.9%, up from 2.0% prepandemic in January. Kearney projects the global market share could reach 10% by 2025 and 25% by 2040. With demand for meat accelerating more rapidly overseas, exporting to Asia and Europe could become more important as alternatives gain steam domestically.

Pork exports to China are over 187% higher than 2019 thru September as China’s production continues to be hit by ASF. China could continue to provide short-term opportunities, but as China rebuilds its herd, Canadian businesses must also look elsewhere for growth. Preferred partners Mexico, Japan and the U.S. are all expected to increase pork imports, and large importing EU nations under CETA could provide opportunities for diversification. Although non-tariff trade barriers hinder EU trade, Germany’s struggle with ASF could provide openings.





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The governments of Canada and Ontario are committing up to $11.5 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) for two important new programs, one of which will assist meat processors on projects to rapidly increase processing capacity, and one that will help farmers adjust to current market challenges. The Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative is an up to $4 million program that will provide up to $150,000 per project for improvements to product handling and processing equipment. It will also cover consulting and engineering costs associated with planning future projects and will open to applications on December 4, 2020. Today's announcement is an immediate response by the governments to support Ontario's meat processors and abattoirs and is part of a long-term commitment to help the sector. Eligible projects must be completed with equipment delivered by March 1, 2021. Recipients will have until May 31, 2021 to have their equipment installed. "Investing in strategic enhancements across the meat processing sector will help strengthen Canada's capacity to continue to produce safe, high quality food," said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "Farmers and food processors are great innovators and we will continue to provide the tools they need to compete at home and around the world."

Food and Rural Affairs. "This funding is just one part of our long-term commitment to help Ontario's meat processing and abattoir sectors become more efficient, while continuously raising the bar on our food safety standards." "These investments support Ontario's meat processors in enhancing their businesses," said Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "Equipment upgrades and innovations are key to the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of the agri-food sector." This new program comes four days after Minister Hardeman announced a new application intake under the Partnership at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture's annual general meeting. An investment of up to $7.5 million will support farmers in making enhancements to their operations. Farmers can receive support for a variety of investments that help them adjust to current market challenges. Examples of projects that can be funded through this programming include developing a product that will open new sales markets for a farm business, investing in new technology and equipment to enhance labour productivity, and improving food safety systems to meet or exceed international certification standards.

"COVID-19 has created new challenges for our livestock processing sector and as a result impacted our farmers so, today, we are taking steps to help plants increase their productivity and capacity," said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, 8 8

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This new intake is delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and will open on December 9, 2020. "We applaud the federal and provincial governments for this timely funding for our sector," said Carol Goriup, President of Meat & Poultry Ontario. "This support will be invaluable with helping our sector manage the increased demand for local meat and poultry products we have experienced throughout the pandemic." "Protecting Ontario's food supply is fundamental to ensuring our food sovereignty," said Peggy Brekveld, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. "We have seen over the past eight months that it doesn't take much to unsettle our food supply chains. Ontario farmers have demonstrated throughout this pandemic their commitment and ability to adapt and innovate, and these government programs will foster that spirit and shore up Ontario's food security." This funding is in addition to other supports launched this year to assist the sector in meeting challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes a portal to connect farms and other agri-food sector business with labour needs to job seekers, the creation of the $26.6 million Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program, a commitment of $25.5 million to

help minimize COVID19 exposure risks in the workplace and support the province's food supply chain through the Agri-food Prevention and Control Innovation Program and the recent investment of an additional $50 million into the Risk Management Program, one year earlier than originally promised. Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support to approximately 4,200 projects through the Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.

QUICK FACTS • The Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment which includes $1 billion for federal activities and programs, and $2 billion in cost-shared programs delivered by provinces and territories on a 60-40 basis. • There are 480 provincially licensed and 230 federally licensed facilities (abattoirs and free-standing meat plants) in Ontario. The Ontario agri-food sector supports more than 837,000 jobs in Ontario and contributes more than $47.5 billion each year to the province’s economy. • The Meat Processing Capacity Improvement Initiative will be delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA.)

https://www.birosaw.com meatbusinesspro.com

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HUMANE STUNNING FOR FEDERALLY REGULATED POULTRY SLAUGHTER IN CANADA Dr. Barbara Scherzinger, DVM 1 In many societies that generally accept the slaughter of animals for food, stunning an animal before slaughter is justified ethically on the grounds that by inducing loss of consciousness, it prevents the animal from experiencing avoidable fear, distress and pain that may be caused by the slaughter process. Stunning also enables a more precise and automated incision of the carotid arteries and veins in the neck during the slaughter step because the animal is no longer moving. Electrical multi-bird stunning relies on the attachment of birds by their legs to a conveyor mechanism that serves as one electrode while their heads contact a medium serving as the other electrode, usually water or a wet/dry metal plate. This facilitates a calculated measure of electricity to flow from the head through the brain to the feet. Effective stunning is achieved when there is sufficient flow of current through the brain. It remains the most commonly used technology for stunning large numbers of birds in most poultry slaughter plants in North American, including many under Canadian federal regulations. Today, there is a broad range of technology, electrical parameters and equipment, all based on the principles of using an electrical current to stun multiple birds in batches large enough to accommodate high volume slaughter capacities and line speeds.

in batches, the current becomes divided between the birds, with each bird becoming a resistor of variable strength between the two electric poles of the equipment. Birds can vary considerably in their individual resistance to electrical current flowing from the head to the feet. Birds with a lower resistance to electrical current will experience larger current flow than birds with a higher resistance. Consequently there is a risk that not all birds in the same batch receive sufficient flow of current to ensure they will become deeply stunned. 3, 4, 5 Instead, some birds may be only lightly stunned; this will often cause them to rapidly recover consciousness before death by exsanguination occurs. A particularly undesirable outcome of insufficient current flow is for birds to be conscious and electro-immobilized (a state where the muscles are paralyzed but the animal remains conscious). 4, 5 The latter is particularly insidious because electro-immobilized birds resemble stunned birds, so to even a trained observer it may appear as if the electrical stunner were working as intended. 5, 6

For good animal welfare outcomes, the electrical parameters at which the machinery needs to be set are those which can most reliably and uniformly render unconscious the highest numbers of birds in the same batch at the same time. However, the basic principles that underlie all electrical multi-bird stunning systems can be problematic for ensuring stunning of each bird, equally effectively in the same batch, regardless which equipment is used. When birds contact the electrical source (electrified water or plates) simultaneously 10 10


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Controlled Atmospheric Stunning or CAS using CO2 is 1. Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Veterinary Expertise and Advice, Animal Welfare at Slaughter fast gaining popularity in Canada as some businesses construct new plants to accommodate CAS or existing 2. Canadian Food Inspection Agency plants reconstruct the facility layout for conversion to CAS stunning. Introducing this technology requires 3. Hindle, V. A., et al. "Animal welfare concerns during the use of the water bath for stunning broilers, hens, and ducks.", Poultry a considerable capital investment and usually a Science 2010, 89(3): 401-412. substantial redesign or new construction of large areas of the processing facility. The technology of CAS 4. Cia L. Johnson, DVM, MS, “A review of bird welfare during is capable of consistently stunning, even stun-killing, controlled atmosphere and electrical water-bath stunning”, all the birds in a batch under the correct gas settings, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, July 1, 2014, Vol. 245, No. 1, Pages 60-68 equipment and facility design. CO2 has a mode Global organization showcases services for Canada’s growing and fast-changing of action on public the brainhealth that has been compared to 5. Shields, S. J.; Samiyun P.; A.B. M. Raj, “A Critical Review of anaesthesia with inhalant gases, since there is a similar food industry Electrical Water-bath Stun Systems for Poultry Slaughter and gradual loss of awareness and loss of sensibility to Recent Developments in Alternative Technologies”, Journal of NSF International in Canada recently launched a new accredited International Association for Continuing Applied Animal Welfare Science, 2010, 13 (4), 281 – 299 external stimuli experienced by the birds. However the website - www.nsfcanada.ca - to give Canada’s growing Education and Training (IACET) site. Topics include HACCP, CO2and gascomplex can be irritating to the mucous membranes food and beverage industry easy access food safety and quality, GFSI benchmarked standards, 6. Prinz, S.; Van Oijen, G.; Ehinger, F.; Coenen, A.; Bessei, W.,” and to can certain breathless sensation, thecause globalapublic health organization’s expertise and regulations (including FSMA), food science, food packaging, Stunning effectiveness of broiler chickens using a two-phase services in Canada. The website combines food microbiology ISO followed standards. Training hyperventilation or excitation; these effectsinformation can be stunner: pulsed directand current by sine wave modalities alternating on the depth, experience and capabilities of the NSF include eLearning, on-site, customized and open enrolment. minimized when the birds are exposed to CO2 levels in current”, Arch. Gefluegelk., 2012, 76 (1), S. 63 – 71 International Canadian office with access to NSF multiple stages of increasing concentration, together Additionally, the website includes information about International’s global services dedicated to food safety 7. M.A. Gerritzen *, H.G.M. Reimert *, V.A. Hindle *, M.T.W. management system registrations for the food, automotive, withand decreasing levels of O2. The addition of O2 at quality. Verhoeven *, W.B.information Veerkamp,”Multistage carbon dioxide gas environmental, security, medical devices, an initial concentration of 30% can help to ensure a stunning of broiler”, Poultry Science, January 2013, Volume 92, Evolving regulations across countries and increasing aerospace and chemical industries, as well as for Ontario smoother induction phase for the birds. Issue 1, , Pages 41-50


complexities associated with a globalized food supply network present challenges for NSF International clients in Canada and around the world. The new Canadian website offers expertise and services to help companies navigate these challenges, including certification and auditing, consulting, technical services, training and education, food and label compliance, packaging, and product and process development.

International’s provides information The NSF highly automatedCanadian nature ofwebsite CAS from receiving to on the following services: slaughter gives it a definite animal welfare edge over Certification & auditing: Third-party safetyuse audits other stunning alternatives. Most CASfood systems a and certifications, are that integral components modular or containerwhich system allows the birdsofto supplier selection and regulatory compliance. Accurate remain in the containers on arrival at the slaughter audits are the first step toward successful verification plantofuntil they are stunned, therefore never requiring a company’s food safety system, providing improved birdsbrand to beprotection handled and for shackling while still conscious. customer confidence. Certifications All electrical systems still require each inbird and auditsstunning are available for animal and produce theto agriculturefrom industry, GFSI certification and and management be removed the transport container placed registration. ontosystem or affixed to the conveyor system (“shackled”) while still conscious. Since handling of food animals and Consulting: A full-service team approach providing technical resources, expertise and forcontinues a wide range the resulting pre-slaughter stress ininsight animals ofafood safety and quality services. NSF International to be major animal welfare concern globally, any provides finished product testing foroffood, increase in automation thatinspection reduces handling packaging and non-food testing for rapid analysis and animals will readily improve the their welfare in the insight to protect the brand, technical support services slaughter plant.temporary Increasing (including use from on-site or automation permanent technical staffing of artificial intelligence and robotics) to modernize the placements, and various types of consulting. processing technology of slaughter plants has other Technical services: A one-stop solution for food product significant advantages apart from welfare ones, compliance and formulation, fromanimal concept to finished suchproduct, as decreasing the risk of exposing human workers including food and label compliance, packaging, product and process development, and shelf-life and to infections from transboundary diseases at slaughter product evaluation.of an animal to human pandemic facilities. A situation could arise, as pointed out Training in the June 2020 issue of Training and education: for the global food 8 and beverage industry across the supply chain as an Canadian Meat Business. meatbusinesspro.com meatbusiness.ca

drinking water programs.

theVerboven, new Canadian website www.nsfcanada.ca to review the food 8.Visit Will “New Big at Beef Plants Needed….Government safety services capabilities video, find a list of Canadian food experts, learn Support Would events Help –and Again”, Canadian Meat Business, June 2020 about upcoming global news releases, a question YesGroup_CanadianMeatBusiness-Qtr-pg.pdf 1 submit 2014-05-16 1:20:17 PMor read an FAQ.


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CANADA’S AG MINISTERS FOCUS ON SUPPORT MEASURES FOR FARMERS AND PROCESSORS Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture recently wrapped up their twoday virtual conference with important discussions on the future of Business Risk Management programs, a discussion on balance in the retail supplier relationship, and a look ahead to the design and development of key priorities for the next agricultural policy framework. Ministers discussed options for short-term improvements to AgriStability. The federal government tabled a proposal that will be considered in more detail by provinces and territories. While no consensus was reached, efforts will continue on a common path forward. “The Government of Canada is ready to support our producers as they continue to feed us. I am determined to continue working with my provincial and territorial colleagues to find common ground and make meaningful improvements to the financial safety net,” stated Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and AgriFood

be completed to inform discussions on longer-term risk management reform at their next meeting in July 2021. Ministers also took the opportunity to look further ahead as they launched discussions for the design and development of the next agricultural policy framework to follow the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which will come into force on April 1, 2023. Ministers look forward to launching an initial engagement with industry this coming year to consult and collaborate on priority areas for development of the new framework, to be articulated in the policy statement that will be tabled in Guelph next summer. They noted the importance of recognizing regional differences and shared national objectives within that policy statement. Ministers also reviewed the lessons learned from a number of one-time initiatives to support producers and processors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Continued on page 14

FPT governments are listening to farmers and stakeholder groups, who have been asking for meaningful changes and alternatives to the current risk management approach. Ministers agreed that programs need to improve to better target emerging risks that threaten the viability of the farm, which may include options based on insurance principles. Moreover, programs should be simple, predictable, and respond quickly for producers, while treating farms fairly and equitably. To address these objectives, Ministers requested that analysis on alternative designs

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Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for Ontario stated, “The FPT agriculture ministers met this year during a unique and difficult period for the agri-food sector and for the networks that provide families with the supply of safe and nutritious food that they rely on. I appreciate the work we did collectively to make progress on important matters, such as building the next agricultural policy framework. I thank the federal government for their business risk management proposal, and look forward to working with my colleagues to review and consider it.”

Ministers also acknowledged the importance of essential front-line food workers. The Ministers agreed to build on the progress made at this conference by continuing to meet regularly to advance immediate and long-term issues on behalf of the agriculture and agri-food sector as they lead up to their next Annual Conference in Guelph, in July 2021. Today’s meeting was their 21st ministerial discussion since the pandemic began in March. Continued on page 16

Ministers discussed the concerns of processors, producers and independent grocers regarding increased retailer fees on suppliers and the need for balance in the supplier-retailer relationship, while also ensuring that Canadians continue to have access to a reliable food supply at affordable prices. FPT governments agree that collaborative action is the best approach. As such, an FPT working group will be created and will consult with experts and industry members to clarify the impact of the announced fees. The objective is to target potential solutions that benefit the entire food value chain. To support the working group’s discussions, FPT Ministers call on industry to actively contribute to the development of solutions that will help ensure that Canada has the appropriate conditions for all supply chain partners to prosper. Ministers asked that the working group begin its work as soon as possible in order to propose concrete actions at the next Ministers meeting in July 2021. 14 14


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2020 program year and boosted interim payments in most jurisdictions from 50 to 75 per cent, while committing $125 million to AgriRecovery (federal) to help beef, pork, and other producers cover up to 90 per cent of extraordinary costs related to the pandemic. The federal government also deferred repayment of up to $177 million in loans under the Advance Payments Program to help producers manage cash flow.

QUICK FACTS • Today’s virtual meeting followed day one of discussions for the Annual Conference, which took place on November 20th, and covered topics such as labour challenges in the agriculture and agri-food sector, and the ongoing threat of African Swine Fever.


• Although COVID-19 has disrupted global supply chains, the Canadian agri-food sector remains resilient, and exports of agri-food products continue to grow, trending up eight per cent through the first eight months of 2020 compared to the previous year.

• This FPT meeting builds on discussions and decisions taken at the December 2019 meeting in Ottawa, where Ministers initiated action on a number of key proposals to improve support to Canadian producers.

• Agriculture and agri-food continues to be an economic engine driving Canada’s economy, contributing more • Throughout the pandemic, federal, provincial and than $140 billion to GDP and responsible for 2.3 million territorial ministers coordinated to maintain jobs, accounting for one in eight jobs in Canada. Proposed 30,000-square-foot beefthe abattoir in Cloverdale would be B.C.’s largest such facility integrity of supply chains and access to a diverse range By Amy Reid, Peace Arch News of products. The agri-food sector demonstrated its • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 so as to not emit odours. And while there is an operational A federally licensed beef processing facility is in the works robustness through the billion commitment Canada's federal, 6,000-square-foot abattoirby on the property now, it’s canprovincial and in Surrey, BC.efforts of all entrepreneurs and only processgovernments a limited number of cattle. workers to overcome the significant challenges caused territorial that supports Canada's agri“There’s a new building coming forward, a new abattoir, I Chris and Les isagri-products general manager ofsectors. Meadow Valley Meats, think that’s the French pronunciation of slaughterhouse,” by the pandemic. food said Councillor Mike Starchuk. “So Surrey will have a newer facility with a better capacity so people will have • BRM programs, including AgriStability, serve to help the ability to not have to ship an animal to Alberta to have it processed. The applications havedisasters, gone through the producers manage risks such as natural Agricultural and Food Sustainability Advisory Committee.”

weather events, severe loss and market volatility. The facility is proposed on a 25-acre property within the Farmers are always encouraged to make use of the Agricultural Land Reserve at 5175 184th St. The planned programs, which can helpfoot them cope with difficult 30,000-square abattoir in Cloverdale would process up to 100 head of cattle per day. situations. According to a city report, that would make it larger than any other processing facility in B.C.. But it would still be • Improvements tobyBRM programs already beenmeat small industry standards,have compared to the largest plants Alberta that process heads of announced as aprocessing response toinCOVID-19. These3,000 changes cattle per day.

extended the AgriStability enrollment deadline for the

The proposed facility would be fully enclosed and designed


the company behind the project. Meadow Valley Meats is seeking a Canadian Food Inspection Agency license for the proposed abattoir, to become a federally registered meat establishment and expand the operation. This would allow the meat products to be transported beyond B.C.’s boundaries.

“Our focus is on trying to bring a more efficient, sustainable local product to the market, realizing we can do that now in a very limited sense,” said Les. “I caution people when talking to them and they say, ‘What a big plant, that’s going to go allow you to go mainstream.’ Well, yes, if you look in the context of B.C., but this is still a very niche plant and we’ll serve a niche industry for producers and for the market. It’s certainly not going to be a monstrosity of a plant but it’ll be a big upgrade from the site currently.” Continued on page 32

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December 2020 MEAT BUSINESS PRO 15 100TH ISSUE | March/April 2019 15

CHINA’S CORONAVIRUS TESTING CHOKES BEEF TRADE In a supermarket in downtown Beijing, refrigerator shelves normally filled with steak from around the world sit empty as tougher testing for the novel coronavirus creates supply bottlenecks and raises prices for importers Fresh supplies of beef won’t arrive for days, a salesman at the Suning.com-owned Carrefour outlet told Reuters – if then. That’s a big setback for the industry at traditionally one of its busiest times of the year. “Whether we can get supplies then, and how much, remains a question,” said the sales person, who declined to be identified as he was not allowed to talk to media. Suning did not immediately respond to a request for comment. China began testing batches of imported chilled and frozen meat and seafood for the coronavirus in June, but significantly ramped up its inspections early this month after port workers in several cities tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

weaker demand caused by consumers’ coronavirus worries. Though China says the risk of shoppers catching the virus from chilled foods is low, officials said this week there is still a risk of infection, particularly for handlers who repeatedly come into contact with the outer packaging of imported cold-chain food. In Tianjin, northern China’s most important port for meat shipments, the trade has come to a virtual halt, after a worker tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month. Warehouses were ordered to test all frozen meat before it could be shipped to the market, and no new product can enter, three importers told Reuters. Three out of five supermarkets in Beijing visited by Reuters this week were short of beef.

The new measures, which include testing much more product than before and additional disinfection, are raising costs for importers while adding time and layers of red-tape in an industry used to working at speed to guarantee freshness. The move is especially hurting the booming beef trade, worth $8.65 billion last year and growing rapidly, as some importers cut purchases on rising costs and 16 16


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Red meat is often wrongly portrayed as being unhealthy. some in the media as unhealthy or not environmentally fr Vegan, fish and other non-meat diets have been proposed as healthier alternatives. The result of this onslaught of negative meat messages has influenced many families to cut back on their meat and poultry purchases. Perceptions may reality but truth trumps misinformation. Parents and other consumers want what is best for their health and that of their families. They are also aware that a lot of false information is out there and as such, are open to scientific facts that can correct their misconceptions.

A salesperson at Meat Mate, a restaurant and retailer selling chilled Australian beef, said it now needs to place orders three months in advance, instead of one previously, to deal with the delays. Nobody at Meat Mate’s headquarters could be reached for comment.

Slower imports come as China’s domestic pork This provides an opportunity for retail meat departments production a severe outbreak to implementrecovers an instorefrom ‘Healthy Meat disease Facts’ nutritional and pricestofall recordstraight highs.and convince their campaign setfrom the record

customers that meat and poultry are actually good for one’s

Now Beijing’s Xinfadi wholesale market, linked to a coronavirus outbreak in June, has also suspended sales and storage of cold-chain and aquatic products, state media reported this week.

healthmore and that they should rather thanand decrease With domestic meatincrease being produced the local their purchases of it. Thedue campaign below can have economy also slowing to theoutlined global coronavirus a direct impact on sales: pandemic, beef demand was already taking a hit, said Start by displaying instore posters promoting the nutritional Grace Gao, manager at Goldrich International, a beef value of meat. They should be innovative, eye catching and importer in Dalian.

Growing concerns about catching COVID-19 from frozen product has dented demand too.

be designed to specifically contradict any meat myths. The comments should all be literature based quoting research Many importers have effect. also had to deal withshould the papersbeef or MDs for maximum Various posters impact souring relations key beef be madefrom - each with a trade brief but powerfulwith message covering one theme. supplier Australia.

“Orders for imported beef have halved for us as our clients have got concerned about COVID recently,” said a beef trader in Tianjin.

messages: After cutting back on Australian purchases, Fu is now reducing imports from other 1. Let’s IRON out the Truth on origins Meat! too, including “You would need toand eat Belarus. a massive amount of spinach to Brazil, Argentina,

“They ask us when the products were shipped and whether they have been tested when placing the orders. We have been selling lots of domestic products lately,” she added.

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A beef importer based in southwestern China said he has reduced imports to less than one quarter of the volumes of previous years even as China enters its peak demand season ahead of the New Year and Lunar New Year holidays. “What if your cargoes get hit (with the virus)? It will be huge trouble. I’d rather import less,” said the importer surnamed Fu. meatbusinesspro.com

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22 CANADIAN MEAT BUSINESS September/October 2017

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CANADIAN BEEF INDUSTRY RELEASES PHASE 1 OF 2030 SUSTAINABILITY GOALS CANADIAN The Canadian Beef industry is demonstrating its commitment to ensuring the health and viability of both the land and animals under the care of farmers and ranchers. Building upon five-year goals that were outlined in the 2020-2024 National Beef Strategy, the industry has now identified a suite of ambitious ten-year goals that will provide positive and clear messaging about the desire to continually improve practices, reduce carbon footprint and enhance natural environments.

the right things for our land, our animals and our environment. The hope is that these ambitious goals result in innovation in the beef industry and solidify our place as part of the climate solution. These goals will be used by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) to inform the update of their Sustainability Strategy. They will also inform the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC)'s update of the National Beef Research and Extension Strategy for 2023-28. Four more sets of goals will be coming in 2021 including: Water, Beef Quality and Food Safety, Human Health and Safety and Technology. These goals recognize the breadth of benefits from beef production beyond supplying global protein demand.   Visit beef beefstrategy.com for more details.

The first three goals have been released and address: 1) Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Sequestrations, 2) Animal Health and Welfare and 3) Land Use and Biodiversity. These goals highlight the work of the Canadian beef industry as integral for climate change mitigation and the sustainability of our food system. Building support from government and public trust is based on doing 18 18


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https://www.cfib.ca 100TH ISSUE | March/April 20192020 CANADIAN MEAT BUSINESS 1919 November

THREE NEW VIRTUAL REALITY TOURS OPEN DOORS TO BEEF, CHICKEN AND TURKEY FARMS Canadians looking to get behind the scenes and learn more about how their food is produced on family farms have three more opportunities available to them now at www.FarmFood360.ca. Three new Virtual Reality Tours filmed last summer on Ontario beef, chicken and turkey farms have been added to the popular website, joining the 15 farm and food processing tours already on the site.                                                                                 Visiting a farm is a perfect way to connect Canadians with their food and those who produce it; but unfortunately, doing this in person is not always possible. Using 360° cameras and virtual reality technology, the FarmFood360° website gives Canadians the chance to tour real, working farms and food processing plants, all without having to leave their homes or classrooms.                                                                                  Browsers can access the tours on tablets and desktop computers, as well as through mobile phones and VR (Virtual Reality) devices. An additional 12 traditional videos have just added to supplement the 360° feature tours that include interviews with the farm families, explanations on where their animals live and what they eat and conversations about their day to day chores on the farm.  Veterinarians, nutritionists and other experts join the farm families in explaining their roles in caring for animals on these farms.   The new beef tour visits both an Ontario cow-calf farm and a feedlot farm. Rob Lipsett, President of Beef Farmers of Ontario, describes their new online resource as a great way to showcase two primary types of beef farms to the public who might not otherwise have the opportunity to tour a farm in real life. “We’re proud of our farms and our beef farming families. We want the public and our consumers to know how we raise beef cattle responsibly and how our grasslands support and protect the environment. We want our consumers to 20 20


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make informed decisions and feel good about their choice to put beef on their plates. This new tool will open barn doors in a way we haven’t been able to do before.” The second tour takes people on an immersive experience into an Ontario farm raising broiler (meat) chickens. Videos explain what chickens eat, how they’re cared for and highlights a special program called CFO Cares Farmers to Food Banks that encourages farmers to donate fresh meat to local food banks. “Due to the strict biosecurity practices put into place on-farm to protect our birds from outside diseases, we’re often unable to take visitors into our barns for personal tours. This new virtual reality chicken farm tour helps show our industry’s commitment to quality and transparency,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario.    

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In the turkey tour, the farm family takes guests through both DF: I don’t thinktheir beingpoult on thebarn island has really us negatively (young birds) andimpacted their grow-out barnone or the birds. other. We’ve traveled a lot, for moreway mature They talk about met a lot of other farmers and livestock their life as a farm family and the daily producers in other parts of Canada, and routine on their farm. Brian Ricker, Chair we all seem to have the same issues of Turkey Farmers of Ontario, said that and same concerns. consumers often don’t know very much CMB: I understand that your farm about turkey farming, because there are was the first in Atlantic Canada to be only about 160 farmers in the province. involved in the TESA program. “We’re proud of our industry and our I think we were the first farm farmers DF: whoYes, work hard year-round to east of Ontario as far as I understand. put turkey on the plates of Canadian I’m not sure why the eastern consumers,” Brian said. Wehave are previously excited associations wouldn’t about this new immersive program that nominated anybody because there are will showcase turkey farming to a much many farms here on PEI doing every as much as we are as to attain a broaderbit audience. high level of sustainability. Anyway, were very when the PEI Already we in 2020, thesurprised tours have received Cattleman’s Association nominated our more than 2.5 million views from farm.

750,000 users. This is a 300 percent And then attending increaseCMB: compared toyou thewere same time the Canadian Beef conference in Calgary period in 2019 and reflects Canadians and you won. turning online for their education and DF: Yeah! That was a very nice moment entertainment needs.

for us. But I don’t like to use the word win actually. However, being This project was funded, in part, through recognized for our commitment was the AgriCompetitiveness of a real honour. If you program want to know the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the truth, it was a pretty humbling a federal, experience. provincial,As territorial initiative. I said to CBC when they phoned me after the conference, I was floored, couldn’t believe it. Farm & just Food Care really is a coalition of

farmers,CMB: agriculture food partners So now and that you have been recognized, dotogether you think to thatearn will proactively working drawand moreconfidence attention and more public trust ingarner food and nominations out of Atlantic Canada farming. going forward?

DF: Absolutely. We’ve For more information, visit gotten www.a lot of good press highlighting the island FarmFood360.ca.

cattle industry. I’m positive you’ll see more farms in our neck of the woods nominated next year. And I have to give the Canadian Cattleman’s Association recognition for choosing a farm from Prince Edward Island. We are small players in the national beef industry and I think it was a real credit to their organization to recognize us. They treated all the nominees royally and it was a real class act. It was a wonderful experience.

meatbusiness.ca meatbusinesspro.com


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THE ROAD TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY REDUCING RED TAPE WILL HELP MAKE CANADA’S AGRICULTURE SECTOR MORE COMPETITIVE AND INNOVATIVE In the lead up to the last Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in November, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) outlined a number of priorities for government action. Some of these priorities included: addressing the inadequacies of Business Risk Management programs, creating a more competitive tax environment, succession, addressing the shortage of labour, and focusing on trade and market access for Canadian agrifood products. One of the other key recommendations was to reduce the burden of red tape on the agriculture sector. While we recognize the country is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture has no choice but to continue on and produce the safe and high-quality food Canada is known for. Our message to governments has been that agriculture can play a key role in Canada’s economic recovery, but the policy environment must be in place so the industry can perform to its potential. The impact of the pandemic makes reducing red tape all that more important for farmers and food processors. What better time than now to unleash this entrepreneurship at the farm gate? As the pandemic wears on and hopeful news that vaccines are on the way, we must think of creative ways to spur economic recovery. Reducing red tape is a low-cost way governments can fuel growth and encourage innovation. In fact, when CFIB surveyed its farm members in November, almost 60 per cent said an increased focus on regulatory reform, reducing 22 22


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regulation and red tape by federal or provincial governments would help their agri-business recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s be clear- we are not talking about deregulation and getting rid of all food safety checks and balances. We are talking about excessive and confusing paperwork, complying with excessive or outdated regulations, redundant rules or receiving poor customer service. We’ve all been there and most of us have dealt with some kind of red tape headache. A government form that’s so hard to understand it makes you feel stupid. Waiting in line longer than what feels humane or getting caught in voice mail jail. These experiences can feel trivial on their own but their cumulative impact is huge. It’s a lot of unnecessary time and stress that’s a drag on our personal lives and the economy. CFIB is currently surveying its members on the issue of red tape. Preliminary data from our farm members shows that 95 per cent say excessive government regulation adds significant stress to their life with another 87 per cent saying it reduces their businesses’ productivity and ability to grow. In addition, if the cost of regulations (time and money spent complying) were reduced, 63 per cent said they would most likely use the savings to invest in equipment or expand their business, fifty-six per cent said they would pay down debt and 41 per cent said they would increase employee wages and benefits.

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In an era where the industry must increasingly adopt more innovative technology, freeing up business owners’ time and money to do this is more than a worthwhile endeavor- it is a necessity. Recent announcements by the federal government to invest in broadband internet in rural areas is welcome news and will help support innovation in rural Canada. But it can’t stop there. Removing some of these barriers to growth, like red tape, will help immensely. Reducing red tape is not a one-time endeavor- it is a marathon, not a sprint. It must be a permanent, ongoing feature on the menu and must be enshrined in government policy. While we recognize some governments have made more progress than others in reducing red tape for farmers and small businesses, there must be a sustained focus on this important challenge. There is much more work to be done and it is more critical than ever.

Imagine what could be accomplished if we gave back business owners this time and money to invest in their business and their community. Imagine how much faster those in the agriculture sector could recover and be a leader in Canada’s recovery. As CFIB gears up for Red Tape Awareness Week from January 25 to 29, 2021- we want to hear from you! Do you have a red tape nightmare? Is there a government regulation that needs to change? Share it with us at agri@cfib.ca.

Every January, CFIB dedicates an entire week to Red Tape Awareness Week (RTAW) to shine a light on the cost and impact of excessive regulations. This January will mark our 12th year of profiling this huge burden on small business owners. At last count, regulations cost small businesses $36.2 billion annually, $10 billion of which is unnecessary red tape. For a business with fewer than five employees, it takes 178 hours per year – more than a month of work – to comply with all these regulations.


Virginia Labbie is the Senior Policy Analyst, Agri-business for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). CFIB has 110,000 small and medium-sized member businesses (7,200 agri-business members) across Canada. To find out more about how to support local business go to www.smallbusinesseveryday.ca.

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Profile for Meat Business Pro

Our December issue  

In our December issue we deep dive into Farm Credit Canada's Meat Processing Outlook for 2021, Ontario's Meat Sector support, humane livesto...

Our December issue  

In our December issue we deep dive into Farm Credit Canada's Meat Processing Outlook for 2021, Ontario's Meat Sector support, humane livesto...