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Sustainable beef pilot continues to expand

The program has a new customer and is poised to expand into Ontario

The payment to producers fell slightly, but the sustainable beef pilot attracted a new restaurant chain and Ontario producers will soon be able to participate.

The Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration pilot project, launched last fall, tracks cattle and beef produced under certified sustainability standards from ranch to retailer. In the latest quarter, more than one million pounds of beef were produced and processed under the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef standards, Cargill said in a news release.

The per-head credit for the third quarter was $18.52, compared to $20.11 per head in the second quarter and $10 in the first quarter. The money comes from grocery store chain Loblaws along with restaurant chains McDonald’s Canada, Swiss Chalet, and Original Joe’s.

“The dollars-per-head credit varies each quarter of the pilot based on total number of qualifying animals, cattle weights, and participating retailer and food-service operator beef demand,” said the Cargill release.

The demand should increase somewhat after the B.C.-based Cactus Club Cafe chain signed on to the pilot. It has 29 restaurants in Alberta, B.C., and Saskatchewan.

The sustainable-branded beef is currently processed at Cargill’s High River plant but its facility in Guelph, Ont. “will soon be audited to qualify for this program,” Cargill said.

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