VICTORIA - Cowboy hats, jeans and the smell of a summer barbeque is the setting outside Victoria's parliament buildings today as the government of British Columbia and the province's ranching community celebrate the fourth annual BC Beef Day.
The Province proclaimed July 24, 2013 as BC Beef Day and the celebration is a partnership of the B.C. government, BC Cattlemen's Association, BC Association of Cattle Feeders and the BC Association of Abattoirs.
The BC Association of Cattle Feeders has developed "Certified B.C. Beef" as a marketing brand to inform consumers the beef was born, raised and processed locally. The B.C. government is working with the association to complete the provincial certification process with the goal that "Certified BC Beef" becomes the formal standard for high-quality beef products originating from ranchers, producers and processors throughout British Columbia.
The BC Association of Cattle Feeders has introduced retailers and consumers to "Certified BC Beef" with the help of $10,250 in funding from the B.C. government's Buy Local program. The funds are being used to build awareness and consumer demand for "Certified BC Beef" products and to build relationships with retailers and chefs to use and promote "Certified BC Beef" products. The brand is also being promoted through attendance at trade shows, the distribution of printed and digital information and the development of social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.
There is a growing consumer demand for local foods including beef, and the B.C. government's Agrifoods Strategy highlights the importance of building markets domestically and adding value from farm to fork. The overall strategy has a goal of becoming a $14-billion-a-year agrifoods industry by 2017.
Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm -
"The B.C. government is committed to promoting local foods, and we look forward to continuing to work with the industry on a 'Certified BC Beef' label. The annual BC Beef Day is a great example of government and the agrifoods industry working together to promote local foods and generate economic benefits for B.C.'s food producers and communities."
BC Cattlemen's Association president David Haywood-Farmer -
"BC Beef Day is a great opportunity to communicate with government and discuss the beef industry's valuable contribution to a strong provincial economy. B.C. ranchers are proud to raise a high-quality product for local and global markets while stewarding the lands of B.C. and sustaining a healthy environment for all to enjoy today and generations to come."
BC Association of Cattle Feeders president Bill Freding -
"The BC Association of Cattle Feeders and the BC Association of Abattoirs are partners in this Buy Local program, and we are excited about the interest being generated by consumers, retailers, restaurants and producers about this program. Consumers are eager to know where their food comes from and having a recognizable logo that guarantees to them that their beef is 100 per cent local gives them that assurance."
BC Association of Abattoirs president Mike Noullett -
"We are really happy to be working closely with the B.C. government and the BC Association of Cattle Feeders to build Certified BC Beef and bring it to our market place. It's really rewarding when government and two key industry groups can work together towards this common goal of getting B.C. meat products to B.C. families."flowboard.com
- In 2011, the cattle industry produced 236.5 million pounds of beef at a farm-gate value of $206 million.
- At the end of 2012, the cattle herd in B.C. consisted of about 199,500 beef cows.
B.C. Buy Local program: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agri/buylocal.html
BC Association of Cattle Feeders: www.bcacf.com
BC Cattlemen's Association: http://www.cattlemen.bc.ca/
Keep up to date on the latest in B.C. foods and beverages: https://www.facebook.com/FoodsBC
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (cell)