Verified beef participation up 10 per cent last year

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Participation in the national Verified Beef Production (VBP) program grew by 10 per cent last year, with 38 per cent of cow-calf producers and 82 per cent of feedlots now participating.

VBP is Canada’s on-farm food safety program for beef.

“Both the participation levels and the trends they represent are important,” Terry Grajczyk, national manager of the VBP program for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said in a release.

He said 16,597 beef operations are now trained in VBP, and two-thirds of Canada’s beef production now comes from VBP-trained operations.

Grajczyk noted an increase in participation in online training geared for dial-up Internet users. Producers have the option of completing the initial training at their own pace online which makes it widely available. This past year, 1,135 producers completed online training, more than 50 per cent over the previous year.

The number of registered operations, those which have their operations audited by a qualified third-party validation auditor, also increased markedly, with a 35 per cent increase over the previous year. Alberta and Manitoba producers led in that growth.

“We’re approaching the 1,000 mark for producers nationally who have taken the steps to be registered,” Grajczyk said.

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