Feds announce $8.3 million to support beef industry amid China standoff

Canada Beef gets biggest chunk to improve foreign consumer confidence in Canada’s product

Canada’s beef industry is getting $8.3 million in federal funds, the bulk of it aimed at growing its international market reach as a trade standoff with China continues.

The money is going to six different projects, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said Wednesday during a visit to the Calgary Stampede.

The biggest recipient is marketing organization Canada Beef, which is getting $5.3 million to grow sales internationally, in part by boosting foreign consumer confidence in Canada’s product.

Bibeau said the announcement would have been made regardless of last month’s news that China is shutting out exports of all Canadian meat after inspectors detected a restricted feed additive residue in pork. A subsequent investigation found forged veterinary health certificates attached to the batch.

“I want to assure you we are working around the clock to resolve the matter,” Bibeau said. ”We all want the same thing: to resume trade with China as soon as possible and our ongoing conversations with Chinese officials are encouraging.”

Bibeau said her office is having almost daily conversations with Chinese officials.

“We have submitted a plan with short-term, long-term, medium-term measures to reassure our Chinese trading partner and we are hopeful they will re-open the market as soon as possible.”

She said it’s premature to discuss compensation for affected beef and pork producers.

Michael Young, president of Canada Beef, welcomed the federal dollars.

“It’s tremendous news as it comes at a time when the Canadian beef industry really needs the investment to get into the markets we need to get into and to work with the end-user customers that are really looking for our product.”

He said China is Canada’s biggest growth market next to Japan for beef. There is also double-digit growth in the southeast Asian market.

Young said he shares Bibeau’s optimism that the Chinese ban will be short-lived.

READ MORE: Former prime minister Chretien hospitalized in Hong Kong as a ‘precaution’

“We stand behind our system and it’s just a question of working with the Chinese regulators and officials to fully understand what happened,” he said. ”We find with these foreign countries, usually it’s a two-part thing: they really want to know what happened and what are you going to do about it.”

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is getting $1.7 million from Ottawa to build public trust in their product globally through the Verified Beef Production Plus quality-assurance program.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Castlegar council sets limits on conference attendance

Councillors can only attend FCM conference once a term

Suspect in custody after Castlegar break and enters

RCMP reminding residents to look their doors.

Passenger counts still rising at West Kootenay Regional Airport

Reliability rates also on rise in second quarter.

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

PLACE NAMES: Grand Forks neighbourhoods, Part 2

No nuts were grown in Almond Gardens

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Most Read