Ottawa commits $8.3M to beef industry

CKTB COW

Canada Beef and the Canadian Cattlemen's Association are pleased that the federal government is pumping $8.3 million into the industry.

Much of the money that federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced in Calgary yesterday is aimed at growing Canada's international market reach as a trade standoff with China continues.

Canada Beef president Michael Young called it tremendous news and says he shares Bibeau's optimism that a Chinese ban on Canadian meat will be short-lived.

Bibeau says the money will go to six different projects.

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

Executive vice-president Dennis Laycraft says the beef industry has been hurt less by the Chinese ban than pork producers because it has a more diversified customer base.

Bibeau said her office is having almost daily conversations with Chinese officials and that it's premature to discuss compensation for beef and pork producers.