Funding will assist beef farmers in adopting sustainable practices
Manitoba cattle farmers can benefit from a five-year $350,000 investment in the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) to deliver the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) Program.
Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, and Ralph Eichler, Manitoba’s agriculture minister, announced the Canadian and Manitoba government funding on Friday, a same-day Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada release
MBP will use the funds to help producers meet the highest industry standards and adopt responsible and sustainable practices, MacAulay said in the release.
“This investment will help the beef sector continue to meet consumer demands for high-quality food while maintaining trust and confidence in Canada's world-class production standards," he said.
The national VBP+ program enables farmers to abide by industry standards for food safety. The program has modules for environmental stewardship, animal care and biosecurity. The VBP+ program offers resources and training to help producers “meet marketplace and societal expectations,” the release said.
The VBP is the outward-looking piece of MBP’s public trust efforts, Brian Lemon, MBP’s general manager, told Farms.com today.
“It’s the program that we use to demonstrate to stakeholders, the public and the rest of the value chain that our producers do the right things and they do them for the right reasons,” Lemon said.
“VBP+ is a program where producers are recognized for the practices they implement on-farm.”
The MBP will host VBP+ workshops to “train beef producers about the program, (and) coordinate the required on-farm audits,” the release said.
Increasing numbers of companies are committed to purchasing beef from sustainable sources, Eichler said in the release.
“The VBP+ program will ensure that processors and consumers who demand a high-quality product can be confident in the product they are purchasing," he said.
“It’s important that we have this program to bring some balance to the conversation,” Lemon added.
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