Funding the Food Chain

By / Magazine / April 6th, 2010 / Like

The federal government will provide a total of $75 million in funding in support of beef and dairy producers. The Dairy Farmers of Canada are very excited about this news because it will allow them maintain a high level of quality when it comes to safe slaughter methods. It may be an unpleasant thought, but where did you think all of that meat at the butcher’s came from?

“The Government of Canada has really stepped up to the plate. This announcement confirms they heard dairy and beef producers’ requests for assistance to alleviate the cost disadvantage we face in processing our cattle. We urge them to expedite the delivery of these programs as quickly as possible. The funding will help maintain slaughter capacity in Canada and meet requirements for the disposal of Specified Risk Materials. It’s a commitment to innovation in our industry to help develop new technologies …. In the end, all Canadians will benefit from this government action through even better quality and safety standards in the food chain,” said Jacques Laforge, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Since 2007, Canada has implemented enhanced feed ban regulations to improve the safety of the food chain and eradicate BSE (mad cow disease). Specified Risk Materials, like the skull and brain, were completely removed from animal feed, pet food and fertilizers to eliminate the potential for cross-contamination. The regulations also prohibit the exportation of animals, animal products and products of rendering plants without a certificate. A similar feed ban was adopted by the United States but with a shorter list for SRMs, putting Canadian dairy and beef cattle producers at a cost disadvantage.

Laforge wanted to express his appreciation for the support the industry received from all parties in parliament. We all should continue to urge the federal government to provide greater support to ensure that our food supply system functions at the highest level possible.

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