Meristem Land and Science: Driving Progress in Sustainability


Canada's Verified Beef Production™ program grows

Posted: September 26, 2013

Canada's on farm food safety program for beef, the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program, continues to grow and is looking at ways to add value for those involved.

"Canadian beef producers do a good job and care about what they do," says Terry Grajczyk, national manager of the VBP program for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. "Many have been loyal to the VBP program and it continues to grow. We are looking for ways to secure further recognition for beef production practices on behalf of cattle producers."

Growth in 2013 over 2012 show that two thirds of Canada's beef production comes from VBP-trained operations, with a three percent increase over last year and 17,103 producers trained.

The number of "Registered" operations, those which have their operations audited by a qualified third party validation auditor, increased 16 percent over the previous year. That represents 1,004 beef cattle operations audited and 20% of beef cattle production in Canada.

"This is a big industry and growth takes time, but there has been good interest in western Canada, Québec, and now starting in the Atlantic provinces. VBP is a cost effective program that provides proof to customers that Canadian beef producers care about doing things responsibly," continues Grajczyk. "Thanks to availability of provincial Growing Forward 2 programs, producers in some provinces can access partial funding for equipment purchases which has been a plus."

The program is in early stages of exploring add-on modules for biosecurity, animal care, and environmental stewardship. This may include verification processes for those who want that option, and identifying key outcomes for Canadian producers. This will help promote responsible practices for those who are new to the industry, or maybe haven't kept up on the various ways that demonstrate due diligence.

VBP identifies industry-sanctioned practices to further enhance confidence in Canadian beef production.

General information on the VBP program is available at www.verifiedbeef.org including contacts for provincial VBP coordinators who deliver the program in each region.