Feds announce $8.3 million to support beef industry amid China standoff

Canada Beef gets biggest chunk to improve foreign consumer confidence in Canada’s product

Canada’s beef industry is getting $8.3 million in federal funds, the bulk of it aimed at growing its international market reach as a trade standoff with China continues.

The money is going to six different projects, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said Wednesday during a visit to the Calgary Stampede.

The biggest recipient is marketing organization Canada Beef, which is getting $5.3 million to grow sales internationally, in part by boosting foreign consumer confidence in Canada’s product.

Bibeau said the announcement would have been made regardless of last month’s news that China is shutting out exports of all Canadian meat after inspectors detected a restricted feed additive residue in pork. A subsequent investigation found forged veterinary health certificates attached to the batch.

“I want to assure you we are working around the clock to resolve the matter,” Bibeau said. ”We all want the same thing: to resume trade with China as soon as possible and our ongoing conversations with Chinese officials are encouraging.”

Bibeau said her office is having almost daily conversations with Chinese officials.

“We have submitted a plan with short-term, long-term, medium-term measures to reassure our Chinese trading partner and we are hopeful they will re-open the market as soon as possible.”

She said it’s premature to discuss compensation for affected beef and pork producers.

Michael Young, president of Canada Beef, welcomed the federal dollars.

“It’s tremendous news as it comes at a time when the Canadian beef industry really needs the investment to get into the markets we need to get into and to work with the end-user customers that are really looking for our product.”

He said China is Canada’s biggest growth market next to Japan for beef. There is also double-digit growth in the southeast Asian market.

Young said he shares Bibeau’s optimism that the Chinese ban will be short-lived.

READ MORE: Former prime minister Chretien hospitalized in Hong Kong as a ‘precaution’

“We stand behind our system and it’s just a question of working with the Chinese regulators and officials to fully understand what happened,” he said. ”We find with these foreign countries, usually it’s a two-part thing: they really want to know what happened and what are you going to do about it.”

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is getting $1.7 million from Ottawa to build public trust in their product globally through the Verified Beef Production Plus quality-assurance program.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Red Deer down to one confirmed active case of COVID-19

18 new cases were confirmed across the province Saturday

Bentley teacher injects online lessons with fun and creativity

‘Howe’s Historical Moments’ makes learning that much more memorable for the youngsters

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The Rimbey Review covers the stories that matter to you and to our community

N.S. fire crews continue battling ‘out-of-control’ Porters Lake blaze

Word of the fire first emerged early Saturday afternoon

Technology, representation butt heads amid debate over resuming Parliament

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax

The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash

Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Central Alberta firefighter says virus taking toll on mental health

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada as of May 23

There are 83,621 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim to make its way through Halifax today

The military public affairs officer died in the Snowbirds Tutor jet crash in B.C. last Sunday

Employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

Only eight per cent of employers were fully prepared to restart operations, survey finds

Central Alberta woman recognized by province for making hospital gowns

Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition program honours Christine Engel

Most Read