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Formation of Alberta's Livestock and Meat Agency

by 5m Editor
26 August 2008, at 8:27a.m.

ALBERTA - The formation of Alberta's new Livestock and Meat Agency was announced in June 2008. The role of the Agency is to work as a catalyst with industry to help regain Alberta's competitiveness and return to profitability.

The Agency will work with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and other government agencies and departments to focus government resources on implementing the various initiatives that were outlined in the Livestock and Meat Strategy that was announced on June 5, 2008.

"The Agency programs will be designed to provide positive impact to the industry to help create an environment for industry to be successful," says Jeff Kucharski, CEO of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency. "While we will be working with industry on regaining Alberta's competitive edge, we will leave the specifics of marketing, business planning, the production of cattle and processing of meat with the industry, where it belongs."

The Agency intends to help the industry become more dynamic by bringing all segments of the value chain together to work on common goals. The Agency will focus on the eight priorities that have been outlined in the Livestock and Meat Strategy. Those eight goals are:

  1. Shared Vision - establish a common vision for achieving a global competitive advantage, which includes the implementation of the LISA information system and the creation of the Agency to focus collective efforts.
  2. Animal Health and Food Safety - strengthen on a foundation of animal health, food safety and public health, a number of initiatives will be undertaken to ensure that Alberta is doing a good job in this area and increase consumer confidence that the meat and livestock system is safe.
  3. Livestock Information System Alberta (LISA) - invest in the infrastructure required to support information exchange up and down the value chain in order to help better respond to customer needs and hopefully capture premiums in the market place.
  4. Differentiation Initiatives - create an environment and infrastructure to enable industry to differentiate their products, capture new markets and added value.
  5. Marketing and Diversification Initiatives - to help improve marketing effectiveness, access international markets and lower marketing risk.
  6. Environmental Stewardship - provide a platform for leadership in environmental stewardship in the livestock sector.
  7. Cost Reduction and Regulatory Barriers Initiatives - there are a number of ways to reduce costs and regulatory barriers, at the producer level and especially on the processing side. The Agency will be working closely with the federal government to help reduce the costs and the amount of unnecessary regulations.
  8. Industry Governance and Transition - help the livestock and meat industry move toward enhanced effectiveness. The Agency has engaged with the industry in a number of workshops already and have a number of workshops planned during the next few months. The workshops will focus on how to most effectively work together to improve competitiveness.

Producers can get in touch with and provide input to the Agency by:

  • attending the AFSC producer meetings that will be held throughout the province this fall
  • calling the Ag-Info Centre toll-free at 310-FARM
  • writing to the Agency directly, at:

    Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency
    100A, 7000 - 113 Street
    Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5T6

Over the next few months, the agency will be working with the agriculture department to increase the number of field personnel who can assist producers to age verify their calves in the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) database, and assist feedlots and auction markets with tag readers and other technology to help improve the speed of commerce and the movement of cattle. The Agency will also be working with Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) to answer producer questions about the requirements for the second Alberta Farm Recovery Plan (AFRP) payment in January 2009.

"The Livestock and Meat Agency is a new initiative, and I would like producers and others to know that we are doing our best to get up and operational as soon as possible," says Kucharski. "We have already started a number of initiatives and workshops; however, it will take some time before the Agency is fully operational and able to deliver on all the programs outlined. We want to do this right, so we are asking for patience while we move forward. We want to ensure that initiatives will be delivered in a way that has the most positive impact on the industry as possible."

5m Editor