Private companies reward beef producers for sustainability efforts

INNISFAIL, Alta. — Beef producers who want financial compensation when they adopt sustainable practices could be rewarded by a new private sector initiative.

The Canadian beef sustainability acceleration pilot announced earlier this year includes companies like Cargill Meats, Cara Foods, McDonalds and Loblaws, which are depositing money into a special fund to reward all players involved in the beef production chain.

“People believe that they need to do this and the fact is that retailers are actually putting dollars on the table,” said Deborah Wilson of the traceability company BIXs at the Alberta Beef Producers zone meeting in Innisfail Oct. 25.

Companies are investing in the industry based on the amount of sustainable beef that appears in the chain, but there are no details on the size of premiums.

Payments to eligible participants could start next year and would be provided quarterly.

Starting Oct. 1, BIXs started to trace cattle produced sustainably from the farm to the processor.

The initiative follows indicators established by the Canadian roundtable on sustainable beef covering food safety, environmental and animal care, as well as the role of people in beef production.

To participate, producers need to sign on to BIXs so cattle are monitored from farm to Cargill Meats. They must also become audited members of the food safety initiative, Verified Beef Plus.

For more information or to join the pilot, visit cbsapilot.ca/.

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