Cuts of B.C. beef are on the menu at a barbecue outside Victoria's Parliament Buildings today as the Province proclaims May 16, 2012 the third annual B.C. Beef Day.
B.C. Beef Day is a joint venture with the BC Cattlemen's Association (BCCA) that commemorates the ongoing partnership between government and ranchers.
This year, the BCCA is featuring a new education program highlighting the benefits B.C. beef brings to our tables and communities. The BCCA has teamed up with the provincial and federal governments to launch "Behind the Beef" - a face-to-face and web-based program to provide British Columbians with tips on selecting and preparing different cuts of beef along with nutritional facts.
The program also provides information on B.C.'s ranches, and the beef industry's commitment to animal health and welfare, land stewardship and food safety. Resources, recipes and tips, and an events schedule are available at: www.behindthebeef.ca
The total economic contribution of B.C.'s beef industry is estimated at over a half-billion dollars annually. B.C.'s Agrifoods Strategy aims to expand local and international markets for B.C. foods and notes specific opportunities for beef. The strategy is designed to lead B.C.'s agrifoods sector to becoming a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.
Agriculture Minister Don McRae -
"B.C. Beef Day is a celebration of the teamwork between the ranching community and the Government of British Columbia. This partnership has accomplished much over the past 10 years, and I know B.C.'s top-quality meat and food products are exactly what sophisticated and passionate B.C. consumers want to see in the marketplace."
B.C. Cattlemen Association president Judy Guichon -
"Ranching has a long history in B.C. and we have a great story to tell. The "Behind the Beef" program is doing a great job of interacting with consumers. B.C. Beef Day lets us work with government to deliver the message."
Behind the Beef educator Brooke Madley -
"It is great to talk one-on-one with consumers. People want to know more about what they are eating and new ideas about how to cook beef. They appreciate having someone knowledgeable about beef to talk to."
* Consumers can find tips on cooking and recipes, FAQ, information about ranching, and the option to ask an expert at: www.behindthebeef.ca
* The Strategy behind B.C. Agrifoods sector growing from $10.5 billion to $14 billion: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agri/agrifoodsstrategy.html
* For details on the Ranching Task Force, visit: www.ranchingtaskforce.gov.bc.ca
* Follow all things related to B.C. foods and agriculture at: http://www.facebook.com/FoodsBC
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Agriculture
Facts about the B.C. beef industry
- B.C. Beef Day was first proclaimed in June 2010 in response to recommendations made by the Ranching Task Force to identify key issues and opportunities facing the ranching industry.
- Ranchers are meeting with government officials throughout the day to discuss current topics of interest, ideas and strategies.
- The beef for the barbecue outside Victoria's Parliament Buildings was provided by the B.C. Association of Cattle Feeders and Okanagan's Finest Angus Beef near Oliver. This beef was finished on a grain diet supplemented with wine at Southern Plus Feedlots.
- The beef is being prepared by the award winning "House of Q", a barbecue team based in Langley led by chef Brian Misko.
Behind the Beef
- "Behind the Beef" places trained, knowledgeable and personable Beef Educators in front of consumers at grocery retailers, fairs and trade shows throughout the province. Beef Educators are there to answer consumer questions regarding the beef industry and assist them with beef cut selection and cooking methods.
- The program employs 28 beef educators and has several large grocery retailers enrolled, such as Save-On-Foods, Coopers Foods, Safeway, Nesters, Buy-Low Foods and some IGA Marketplace locations.
- The Behind the Beef program is supported by the Canada-BC Ranching Task Force Funding Initiative with funding from the federal and provincial governments.
B.C.'s beef industry
- B.C. ranches occupy more than 2,023,400 hectares (about five million acres) of private land and have tenure on a further 8,700,700 hectares (close to 21.5 million acres) of Crown range land for grazing.
- B.C. producers are leaders in areas such as animal health, food safety and traceability and land stewardship.
Government Partnership with Industry
- Government stood side by side with B.C. ranchers to promote B.C. beef on trade missions to Asia 2010 and 2011 and have seen results, with China's and South Korea's borders opened to B.C.-raised beef and products.
- The Province recently extended the Cattle Industry Development Fund into perpetuity, ensuring the promotion of B.C. beef will continue indefinitely.
- The Province, along with our federal partners, has provided over $200 million in programs to cattle ranchers in B.C. over the past decade.
Ministry of Agriculture