At the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM), held virtually, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) Board Members re-elected Bob Lowe (Alta) and Reg Schellenberg (Sask) as president and vice president, respectively, and set CCA’s path forward for the upcoming year.
During a productive AGM, CCA discussed the beef industry’s priorities for the year ahead, including focusing on maintaining full business continuity through COVID-19, making changes to business risk management programs, ensuring beef is seen as a nutritious, sustainable and safe protein choice, changing the conversation about cattle from an environmental perspective and enhancing international trade market access.
“CCA is pleased that coinciding with our AGM, Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Ministers agreed to the removal of the reference margin limit (RML) within AgriStability. This has long been a recommendation of CCA and a key ask we had of Governments over the last years,” said Bob Lowe, CCA president.
Removing the RML will go a long way in making AgriStability more predictable and equitable for our industry. CCA encourages all FPT Ministers to continue productive discussions on further changes to agriculture risk management programs in Canada – making the Livestock Price Insurance Program national and permanent is a key recommendation of CCA that has yet to be implemented.
Environment is a continued focus for CCA this coming year. This builds on the 2030 beef industry goals that were recently announced including carbon sequestration, grassland conservation and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
“We know that the positive environmental contributions of cattle production and the Canadian beef industry aren’t as well understood as they should be,” Lowe said. “We are focused on continuing to raise the profile of Canada’s beef sector within the Government of Canada and at the Cabinet table to make sure our industry is understood as an economic engine for our country while also being an environmental positive industry.”
On the international front, CCA is continuing engagement with U.S. policy makers and our allies in Washington to head off efforts to bring back Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (mCOOL). Further abroad, CCA is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to increase Canada’s ability to export more beef to the European Union, a market which has seen steady but non optimized export growth since the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
As CCA awaits the Organisation for Animal Health ruling in May for the anticipated approval of Canada’s BSE Negligible Risk Status, CCA continues to seek changes to eliminate remaining BSE impediments to trade. Increasing Canadian beef exports is another area of focus as CCA continues to support the expansion of membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TransPacific Partnership.
CCA welcomed newly elected members to the CCA board including Linda Allison (BC), George L'Heureux (Alta), Kelly Smith-Fraser (Alta) and Matthew Atkinson (Man).
The Board thanks the following retiring directors and members for their time and contributions to the organization and Canada’s beef industry: Grant Huffman (BC), Jodi Flaig (Alta), Stuart Somerville (Alta) and Gord Adams (Man).