As of this week, Canada officially has a national, audited program for verified beef production.

On Wednesday, the Beef Cattle Research Council and Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) launched the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, offering a voluntary tool for cattle producers to credibly demonstrate the sustainability and care that goes into beef production.

"Producers have always taken a look at these practices and followed them -- that's critically important to their operations — but with VBP+, they can actually show the program they're following and go through a robust validation process that allows them to tell their story to consumers," says Manitoba's provincial VBP+ coordinator, Betty Green.

verified beef prod plus logoVBP+ is an expansion of the former on-farm food safety program, Verified Beef Production (VBP), and will include training and auditing for animal care, biosecurity, and environmental stewardship, as well as the previously outlined on-farm food safety practices within the cow/calf and feedlot sectors.

Green explains the expanded program offers transparency, with the audit cycle running on an eight-year time frame.

"The first (audit) is an on-farm complete audit where the auditor goes out to the producer's operation, looks at their standard operating procedures and their records, and completes that assessment," she says. "Over the next seven years, there are records assessments or self-declaration, or in some cases, random audits."

Through the system of audits and documentation, the program will provide retailers and consumers with information on key production practices, so they know the beef they purchase is raised with the appropriate oversight and care.

Green says this is particularly important, given the way consumer interest in food production has evolved.

"We no longer just want to say, 'Believe us, trust us, we're doing it,' — even though that is true," she says, "we're now saying we understand (consumers) want to have some validation, and we're going to step to the plate and provide that."

Work on the expanded program began in 2013 by adding to the VBP program, which came from the CCA's Quality Starts Here initiative. VBP+ is operated by the Beef Cattle Research Council, with funding from the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off and Growing Forward 2.

More Ag News

Combines Sitting As Of Late

Manitoba Agriculture says there was little to no harvest progress made over the past week because of the rainfall, high humidity and cool temperatures. Progress remains steady at about 65 per cent…

It's Not Too Early To Soil Test

The province's soil fertility specialist John Heard says it's not too early to start soil testing in preparation for fall fertilizer applications. "The best time to sample is close to when the crop…

Sunflower Harvest Fast Approaching

It's been a good year for Manitoba's sunflower crop. Ben Friesen with Scoular Canada says the crop remains fairly disease-free. He notes harvest is right around the corner. "We're within the last two…

Manitoba Agriculture Signs MOU With Indiana

The Indiana and Manitoba Departments of Agriculture signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Monday to foster co-operation in key areas including agricultural research, trade, investment and youth…

Manitoba Farms Open Doors To The Public

Over 40 host sites participated in Open Farm Day, held Sunday throughout the province. Brad and Leanne Anderson of Cypress River opened their mixed farm to the public. The couple showcased farm…

Soybean Growers Seeing Green This Harvest

Many soybean growers in Manitoba are seeing green seeds this harvest season. This year's warm, dry conditions, have caused many seeds to prematurely ripen, resulting in chlorophyll getting locked…

Manitoba Producers Eligible For Livestock Tax Deferral Provision

The federal government is providing further relief for livestock producers affected by this year's dry conditions. Extreme weather conditions have caused feed shortfalls, which has led to designated…

Livestock Producers Eligible For Water Source Development Funding

The Manitoba government is taking another step to help livestock producers who have been affected by dry conditions. “Manitoba Agriculture supports our livestock sector across the province, and we…

Province Supports HyLife With Tax Incentive

On Friday, Premier Brian Pallister announced that the Manitoba government is supporting an expansion project at HyLife Foods Ltd. “Our economy is growing here in Neepawa and throughout Manitoba,…

(VIDEO) U of M Opens New Dairy Research Facility

On Thursday, the University of Manitoba officially opened the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba Discovery and Learning Complex at the Glenlea Research Station. The 60-cow facility, which features modern…

Railways Outline Strategies During Grain Transportation Roundtable

The Federal Government’s Grain Transportation Roundtable on Wednesday in Saskatoon brought together railways, grain companies, and farm organizations. In the last few years, farmers have seen a real…

Federal Ministers Hold Roundtable Discussion On Grain Transportation

The Federal Liberals are held a caucus retreat this week in Saskatoon. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay also took time out to hold roundtable…

Steinbachonline.com is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login