C$300 million Funding to Assist Producers

CANADA - George Groeneveld, Alberta's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development has announced a long-term strategy aimed at ensuring a competitive and sustainable livestock industry in Alberta.
calendar icon 18 June 2008
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"Alberta's livestock industry is facing significant challenges and needs a major and fundamental change," said Mr Groeneveld.

"Albertans want a competitive and sustainable livestock industry, but this will not happen until we start doing things radically different.

"The industry needs to regain its competitive advantage and although these changes will not be easy, they are necessary."

The minister added that mandatory (animal) traceability and the development of a new Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) are key to implementing this new strategy.

The government will invest C$56 million this year to create the agency, which will report directly to Mr Groeneveld.

Included in that amount is C$40 million that will be redirected from the ministry’s existing budget.

The ALMA will direct funding, resources and programs toward eight strategic priorities that will include a renewed focus on animal health, traceability initiatives, the development of an 'Alberta brand' and a new trade strategy to recapture and revitalize export marketing efforts.

Livestock producers (cattle, hogs, and sheep) will receive C$150 million in immediate (relief) funding.

An additional C$150 million will be available in January 2009 after age verification and premise identification practices have been adopted and verified for individual applicants.

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