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Comment: Preparing for the death of NAFTA

After the rumble in Virginia last month it is tempting to rail on about the possible loss of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But to be honest I’m NAFTAed out. President Trump will do what he wants. If he wants to shut down NAFTA the U.S. auto and ag industries will suffer, as […] Read more


Comment: Take the long view on CETA

As our Oct. 23 issue of Canadian Cattlemen arrives in your mailbox the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union will have been in force for about a month. Not much has happened since it came into force on September 21, at least as far as the beef industry is […] Read more



Comment: Quality counts

The final report of the 2017-18 National Beef Quality Audit is due out next March but Mark Klassen, the director of technical services for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association gave us a sneak peak at some of the preliminary results at this year’s beef industry conference. To call it an audit is a bit of a […] Read more


Comment: Will sustainable beef pay?

[Updated: Sept. 14, 2017] – Finally. After years of discussion and planning and surveying and researching, the Canadian version of Verified Sustainable Beef is about to face its ultimate test in the marketplace. It begins this October with the soft launch of the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration pilot in which Cargill, the Beef InfoXchange System […] Read more



Comment: Trade talk

When the industry gathers in Calgary tomorrow for the Canadian Beef Industry Conference trade will almost certainly be a hot topic of conversation. Of course there will be plenty of discussion about traceability, sustainability, genomics and maybe even beef checkoffs, but it will be hard to escape the immediacy of the trade agenda. It starts […] Read more


Comment: Our cattle inventory numbers seem high

The Census of Agriculture is important. It’s a way of correcting all the estimating we do between censuses about our economy, our industry and even our society. Every five years we take a snapshot to give us a more accurate picture of what is going on in the country so we can refocus and stay […] Read more



Comment: Albertans now get to choose

With his introduction of Bill 9 on April 11 Alberta Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier gave the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) the gift of a second chance to unify the provincial cattle industry as it faces increasingly uncertain times. The bill revokes previous marketing legislation to give producers the right to choose via a plebiscite whether […] Read more


Comment: Ontario banks on branding

It was near the end of the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) meeting and Sylvain Charlebois, the well-known food researcher from Dalhousie University was wrapping up his talk on changes in consumer buying habits. One final questioner asked him if he had any suggestions for the best way to convince consumers of the value of […] Read more



Comment: Grading changes still on hold

On January 21 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) published its proposed Safe Food for Canadians regulations for public comment. The overall aim is to streamline and tighten up on the regulation of Canada’s food supply. CFIA’s current food safety program is managed under 13 different regulations spread over five pieces of legislation covering nine […] Read more


Comment: Let us slash some red tape

With Donald Trump pledging to take a knife to government regulations to stoke the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans, Canadians can only hope some of this zeal rubs off on Canadian bureaucrats. Of course, this is a faint hope. Canadian cattlemen, for example, are already preparing to adjust their own business plans to account for more […] Read more